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Muggu designs: Andhra women's unique way of invoking goddess of wealth, Lakshmi

By Deepanwita Gita Niyogi* 

In the villages of Andhra Pradesh, attractive designs are made on the floor and around traditional stoves (chulhas) made of mud. This is done to invite the Goddess Lakshmi for showering prosperity on households.
In Kosta village of Srikakulam district, woman labourer Ramanama Pisini makes muggu every day after finishing cooking in the morning and cleaning her chulha. She does this by sprinkling rice powder to create the designs on and around her stove. Sometimes, muggu is created in front of the entrance of houses. In some places, white chalk is used to draw the designs on the floor instead of rice powder.
Lakshmi Narasimha Murthy, who visits many interior villages for his work for Dr Reddy’s Foundation, a non-profit which works on regenerative agriculture, said the area and the walls around the chulha are first cleaned with a layer of cow dung and then muggu is made with rice powder. “As modern gas stoves have invaded many houses, sometimes designs are made with chalk wherever these are kept inside the kitchen. Many women have learnt it from their mothers and grandmothers,” Murthy added.
Muggu 1: Ramanama Pisini of Kosta village in Srikakulam district draws a muggu in the afternoon.
Muggu 2: Intricate floor designs are commonly found in many houses in rural Andhra Pradesh.
Muggu 3: Two women take rest in front of a muggu.
Muggu 4: Women tend to fresh tomatoes inside a room full of beautiful muggu patterns.
Muggu 5: Muggu design created on a traditional chulha made of mud.
Muggu 6: A woman makes muggu with rice powder on her chulha and the wall in front of it. The area is first smoothed with cow dung for beautiful effect.
Muggu 7: Muggu being created at a house in Neliwada village of Srikakulam.
Muggu 8: A beautiful lotus created on the floor.

Muggu 9: The reporter tried her hand at muggu. The pattern has both chalk and rice powder usage.
Muggu 10 and 11: Muggu designs made with chalk at the door step.



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