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Raṅgolī and Kōlam
(3,706 words)

The kōlam is a daily women’s ritual art form created before dawn (and sometimes before dusk) by millions of Tamil Hindu women throughout Tamil Nadu in southeastern India. Sometimes referred to in English as household marks or threshold designs, the word kōlam in the Tamil language means form and beauty. The kōlam is drawn on thresholds, floors, and walls in houses, temples, and businesses. What is striking is that much of the time, the kōlam is ephemeral; it i…

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Nagarajan, Vijaya, “Raṅgolī and Kōlam”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism Online, Editor-in-Chief Associate Editors Knut A. Jacobsen, Helene Basu, Angelika Malinar, Vasudha Narayanan. Consulted online on 27 January 2022 <>
First published online: 2018

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