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Kumkuma is a powder used for social and religious markings in India.
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It is made from turmeric or any other local materials. The turmeric is dried and powdered with a bit of slaked limewhich turns the rich yellow powder into a red color.
Recently, the CDC has identified this as a major source of lead poisoning in children. Kumkuma is most often applied by Indians to the forehead.
The reason has to do with the ancient Indian belief that “the human body is divided into seven vortices of energy, called chakrasbeginning at the base of the spine and ending at the top of the head. The sixth chakraalso known as the third eyeis centered in the forehead directly between the eyebrows and is believed to be the channel through which humankind opens spiritually to the Divine”.
Thus, the kumkuma is placed where Indians kungukam to be the most important spot for receptivity to be enhanced.
In the Vaishnava tradition, the “white lines represent the footprint of their God, while the red refers to his consort, Lakshmi”. The ‘color’ of the womb is yellow and is symbolically represented by turmeric. The blood stains on kungunam womb is represented by kumkuma. It is believed that the combination of turmeric and kumkuma represents prosperity. When a girl or a married woman visits a house, it is a sign of respect in case of an elderly lady or blessings in case of a girl to offer kumkuma to them when they leave.
However, it is not offered to widows. When visiting a temple, married women from southern India usually dip their ring finger in yellow turmeric powder and apply a dot on their forehead. Men, women, girls, and boys also apply a dot on their forehead of red turmeric powder, when visiting a temple or during a pooja. Kumkuma at temples is found kubgumam heaps.
People dip their thumb into the heap and apply it on the forehead or between the eyebrows. In most of India, married women apply red kumkuma to the parting of their hair above their forehead every day as a symbol of marriage.
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This is called vermilion, or in Hindi, sindoor. In southern India, many unmarried girls wear a bindi every day unlike northern India where it is only worn as a symbol of marriage.
Kumkum is made from turmeric by adding limestone and is an Ayurvedic facial material along with turmeric. Kumkuma is also widely used for worshiping the Hindu goddesses, especially Shakti and Lakshmiand a kumkuma powder is thrown along with other mixtures into the air during Holi the Festival of Coloursa popular Hindu spring festival.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For Indian film actress, see Kumkum actress. KungumamKumkum TV seriesand Vermilion. In The Life of Indiansed. Vasudha Narayanan and John Stratton Hawley. University of California Press, Indian Rites and Rituals.
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