Kolum Drawing in the Early Evening
Photo and caption by Erinn Heilman
A woman of a household in Gokarna, India draws a pattern outside the door of her house as the sun sets. Each night and during certain festivals village women throughout South India create these auspicious paintings know as kolums. First the ground is cleaned and prepared by a mixture of cow dung and water. Then, over a grid of dots drawn with rice powder, a pattern is created; some are simple, and others are sprawling and intricate. This devotional practice wards off evil entering the household, and invites gods to bring joy, wisdom, and prosperity to the family and community.
Location: Gokarna, Karnataka, India