Kolum: White Designs in Doorways
These patterns, called kolum, were in doorways many places: for good luck and to attract ants so they won’t come into the house. The powder is rice powder. We watched women making them and more women watching. The little boy captivated us: everyone took pictures of him. He was darling. The patterns start with dots and then the lines drawn in with a finger dipped in the powder. The last drawing was done by the man who sat beside me on the airplane. His mother taught him. He is in the textile business as the technician for big spinning machines for factories—very up to date machines made in Italy. His grandfather was a weaver. It was so nice to talk with him about his business and our tour of weavers and textile people. He has a little boy about 1 ½ years old. His village is in Madurai and there are looms in most of the houses there, he said (I think). [click first photo below]
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