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Kolam maps

Published: 17th Aug, 2019

Kolam maps

Kolams maps are helping women map business potential.


Kolams maps are helping women map business potential.


  • Kolam is a traditional drawing found across south India.
  • It is drawn by using rice flour, chalk, chalk powder or rock powder, often using naturally or synthetically colored powders.
  • It is a geometrical line drawing composed of curved loops, drawn around a grid pattern of dots.
  • Kolams are thought to bring prosperity to homes. Every morning, millions of women draw kolams on the ground with white rice flour.
  • Through the day, the drawings get walked on, washed out in the rain, or blown around in the wind; new ones are made the next day

Kolam Maps

  • This skill of drawing a sequence of dots and deftly making geometric patterns has been used to draw the maps in Tamil Nadu
  • It is helping women in Tamil Nadu to identify lucrative locations to set up businesses.
  • Every single detail on the streets is observed near homes, making notes of the shops, tea stalls, water points, temples and everything. Then it is drawn on the ground and they understand what they have and what they don’t.
  • The kolam inspired maps are now a ready reckoner for thousands of women, all budding entrepreneurs trapped in low paying jobs, to decide which business to start or where to set up shop.

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