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"Strawn presents a series of photographs and essays on the threshold designs used by women in India. Information for this book was gleaned directly from village women in India and Indian scholars. The photographs are the focus of the book and are divided into three portfolios: the first and second feature designs made with purely aesthetic intent, while the third is made up of figures that convey cultural information about Indian life. The essays, which bookend the portfolios, reference the photos in all three sections. Together, the portfolios and essays combine to create a visual ecology that attempts to convey the Indian worldview to the reader and viewer."


"Martha Strawn's photographs reveal an ancient tradition unfamiliar to most outside of India. The intricate patterns of the rangoli diagrams, rendered in lyric detail, connect these Hindu women with others throughout millennia who have sought to find the divine within sacred geometries. Strawn effectively demonstrates how this inherited custom has evolved from a religious necessity into a fascinating and enduring form of cultural expression. This book is a welcome addition to the growing literature about Indian art and culture, with Strawn's timeless photographs at its center."
—Mark H. Sloan, Director and Senior Curator of the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston, from his introduction

"It still astonishes me that no one has focused on this very important aspect of the Hindu religious experience. This beautiful and informative book will be a first in this area and one that will fill an important gap."
— Vasudha Narayanan, Distinguished Professor of Religion at the University of Florida, past President of the American Academy of Religion, and author of Hinduism




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