- Takes note that India has nominated Kolam, ritualistic threshold drawings and designs of Tamil Nadu, India for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, described as follows:
Each day, Hindu women in South India rise at dawn to draw intricate designs on the thresholds of their houses, creating labyrinths of white rice powder to ensnare harmful spirits. This gesture invites the blessings of Hindu deities, particularly Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity. Kolam drawing requires a clean, compact earth, prepared by sprinkling water mixed with cow dung. The artist makes an evenly spaced grid by means of points or dots, and trails rice powder through her forefingers to draw the Kolam lines. The freehand designs are characterized by symmetrical and neat geometrical patterns. A huge repertoire of designs exists in the cultural memory including mathematical abstractions, floral motifs, birds, animals, and butterflies and intertwined snakes. The rice powder later provides food for ants and other insects, providing an ecological link with nature. Kolam marks festivals, seasons and important events in a woman’s life such as birth, first menstruation and marriage. The designs indicate a sphere of positive feminine energy that influences both the interior domestic space and the outside world. The tradition of Kolam is passed down from mothers to daughters, and is constantly recreated by them in response to their environment and their interaction with nature.
- Decides that, from the information provided in nomination file 00341, Kolam, ritualistic threshold drawings and designs of Tamil Nadu, India satisfies the criteria for inscription on the Representative List, as follows:
R.1: The patterns and meanings of Kolam designs are passed on from mother to daughter and the tradition maintains its importance as a part of daily life;
R.2: The inscription of Kolam on the Representative List could help to promote cultural diversity and the appreciation of human creativity by demonstrating the artistic interpretation of mathematical and geometric design principles;
R.3: The nomination has elaborated a number of safeguarding measures focused in particular on documenting the diverse designs and promoting public awareness of the art of Kolam;
R.4: The Kolam community welcomed the nomination process and extended it their cooperation, and the nomination includes evidence of their free, prior and informed consent.
- Further decides that the information provided in nomination file 00341, Kolam, ritualistic threshold drawings and designs of Tamil Nadu, India is not sufficient to allow the Committee to determine whether the criterion for inscription on the Representative List is satisfied, as follows:
R.5: The State is requested to provide further information to demonstrate that the element is included in an inventory of the intangible cultural heritage present in its territory, as defined in Articles 11 and 12 of the Convention, as required in criterion R.5 of paragraph 2 of the Operational Directives.
- Decides to refer the nomination of Kolam, ritualistic threshold drawings and designs of Tamil Nadu, India to the submitting State Party and invites it to resubmit the nomination in a subsequent cycle, providing the additional information specified with regard to criterion R.5.