chapter  8
13 Pages

Integrating Traditional Crafts Within Clinical Practice

A Cross-Cultural Group Case Study
WithMahesh Iyer

Rangoli is a traditional craft typically seen at the main entrances of homes and temples within parts of the Indian subcontinent. The culture-specific art form is harmonized with simple basic patterns or symbol motifs, created using white and colored powder or rice flour. This research channels the idea of how culture when sensitively integrated within art therapy can foster creative self-expression and effectively challenge clients to reach their potential in meaningful ways. Rangoli was introduced within the format of group art therapy to a pre-dominantly Chinese group of elderly residents at a sheltered home in Singapore. Results indicated that the group members garnered a range of therapeutic benefits. They evolved a theme of cultural integration and reconnected with their personal, local and cultural identities.