What is Rangoli?

Rangoli is an ancient ephemeral artform practiced throughout India. Designs are drawn onto the ground, usually in chalk or colored powder and embellished with sand, rice, candles or flower petals.

Rangoli is an expression of the creative self, often viewed as a form of self-portraiture. Designs are composed of geometric and curvilinear patterns, usually derived from nature. After the Rangoli is complete, the image is simply allowed to blow away with the wind – serving as a metaphor for the impermanence of life.

Rangoli design completed at Suffolk University, Boston, MA. April 2010

Why  Rangoli?

Rangoli design is a safe, beautiful and expressive tool that can bring people together to work towards a common creative goal, transcending age, language or cultural barriers. Rangoli is a powerful and therapeutic artform that is quiet and meditative in process, allowing one to find a temporary disconnect with the relentless hubbub that surrounds our daily lives.

Traditionally Rangoli designs are made to celebrate an auspicious occasion. However, they can be created for the purposes of:

  • Temporary public art
  • To celebrate the opening of a building or an event
  • To mark an auspicious occasion
  • As an educational tool for schools, colleges and universities
  • As a successful and engaging workshop experience within the community

8 thoughts on “What is Rangoli?

    • Hi Lihan – I’m sure Rangoli designs are made all over Pakistan. It seems that many cultures have their own forms of ephemeral art. Personally I don’t think Rangoli making has any religious significance, but more of a cultural significance. It is such an absorbing activity, it’s easy to understand why the process is used as a meditation aid.

  1. Pingback: Rangoli Haiku – Almost Anthropology

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