livingdraftily.typepad.com > New Year's Rangoli in Hampi

Introduction

Rangolis are wonderful instances of spontaneous art that decorate sidewalks outside people's homes during major holidays. They popped up during Diwali at the end of October, and I walked out of my rooftop restaurant hide-away at 10pm on New Year's Eve to find Hampi's street wildly decorated with them.

Rangoli is almost exclusively done by the women of the family. An outline is prepared with white rice flour poured from the fist, often using a grid of small rice flour dots and a pattern on paper as a guide. But many women, especially older ones that have been making these for years, make them totally free-hand.

Many women decorate the entrance to their home with these designs on a daily basis, but it's only during the major holidays that they get coloured in with brightly hued, fine sand. And like much of the best art, it is ephemeral, a thing of the moment to be scuffed away by day to day life, awaiting its next moment to grace the streets.