Murray State Theses and Dissertations


Kōlams are a ritual art form found in India, most commonly in the southern state
of Tamil Nadu. Comprised of different interlocking knots, these women-drawn designs are placed on the entrances to people’s home to showcase the household’s emotional state and ask the earth goddess Bhūdevi for forgiveness. More aesthetically pleasing kōlams are considered latshanam, where the design permeates beauty; monolinearity is one such aspect that implements latshanam. Using graph theory, we examine one style of these drawings, the labyrinthine variety, to identify if a given kōlam is monolinear and how to construct monolinear kōlams.

Year manuscript completed


Year degree awarded


Author's Keywords

kolams, ethnomathematics, graph theory, topology

Thesis Advisor

Elizabeth Donovan

Committee Member

Robert Donnelly

Committee Member

Lesley Wiglesworth

Document Type