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Alpona (আলপোনা) is a traditional decorative art form that has been traditionally been practiced by women in Bengal. This includes both the modern day state of West Bengal, a part of India and also Bangladesh The designs are traditionally created as motif-based floor paintings using rice flour mixed with water.
Alpona is mainly drawn in Bengali tradition during Lakshmi Puja or Lakshmi Purnima (The full moon day immediately after completion of Durga Puja or Vijaya Dashami). These arts are mainly drawn to indicate or to welcome goddess Lakshmi, the Hindu Goddess of wealth and prosperity.
Apart from floor paintings, Alpona can also be seen on the walls of mud huts of rural people, as a part of decorating their houses.
The designs are applied to the drawing surface (usually a floor) using cotton dipped in thick rice flour slurry.