Since the rice powder is used for
this transitory kind of art, the drawings also provided nourishment for smaller
animals, such as birds, ants.
The original Tamil kolam (கோலம்)
merely consists of white dots around which intertwined lines are drawn, where as
the North Indian rangoli (ரங்கோலி) is made up of various coloured planes. In recent
times the use of colours seems to become popular in Southern India, as well.
-"Kolam" by Institute of Indology and Tamil studies