Henna Tattoos – No Pain, Just Stain
Madonna, Sting, and Demi Moore have recently “discovered” what Indian brides have known for centuries: henna paste adorns the body with temporary tattoos. Usually applied to the hands and feet, the body becomes a canvas for patterns of scrolls, vines or flowers that last for several weeks.
The application of the henna paste, or mendhi, takes between a few minutes and a few hours, depending on the position of the body and the desired detail of the pattern. After finishing the pattern with cones or injections, the paste dries so that the color can be absorbed by the skin. While this only takes 10-15 minutes, the paste should be left on the skin for another 6 hours to achieve the most lasting effect. A mixture of sugar and lemon sprayed on the dry beggar will deepen the final color. When it is completely dry, the rind will fall off by itself. A soft towel removes the last traces of the rind. The tattoo will last longer in wet weather, but will gradually lighten with a natural exfoliation of the skin. Hard soaps, chlorine, and commercial peels accelerate the fading of the design.
Celebrations such as births and birthdays may include Mehndi, but it is Indian brides who traditionally show the most elaborate designs on their feet and hands. The application of the paste is a solemn pre-wedding ritual to bring love and happiness to the couple, but it has no religious or sacred significance. Occasionally, brides choose to arrange a large part of their body and include the groom’s name in the patterns. It is their right and duty to carefully look for the groom’s name on the wedding night.
In the Middle East, Mendhi days are spent getting to know the women in the family while applying the designs. The women gather to decorate the skin with the most informal floral patterns inspired by Arab art. It is the women’s day when they leave their domestic chores and share a joyful activity with other women of their gender.
The leaves are ground into a paste and can be mixed with other ingredients such as oil or tea. The resulting paste remains dark green or black, even if the stain is a continuous red-brown. Henna mix recipes are well-kept family secrets for good reason. Women want their family members to have a deep and rich tattoo, as tradition proclaims that the bride does not do the housework as long as her design is visible. How much your mother-in-law will love you also depends on how long the beggar stays.
The paste that has adorned so many women comes from Lawsonia inermis, a small tree that grows in areas where the minimum temperature is usually above 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Lawsonia inermis is a thorny tree that takes about five years to mature and produce leaves with useful tannin content. It grows better in dry than wet regions and tolerates extreme heat and long periods of drought. Its origins as a tattoo paste can be traced to areas of North Africa, the Middle East, and India. The flowers of the same tree have been used in perfumes since 1500 BC.
The use of this abundant plant began in earnest when the desert people of India discovered its “cooling” properties. By dipping their hands and feet into the mud or paste of the crushed leaves, they could keep their body temperature down while some color remained. In the dry heat of their desert environment, this was indeed a fortuitous discovery!
From this general application came more specific ones. The women noticed that a large central point on the palm of the hand would get cold and at the same time stain the whole hand or foot. This rudimentary design was embellished with dots around the center, which evolved into increasingly pleasing designs.
Henna was not only used to apply temporary tattoos, but also to dye wool, silk, animal skins, and men’s beards. Mummies dated 1200 B.C. show evidence of the use of henna on the hair and nails of the pharaohs. Today, the deep-dyeing paste is used by women to give their hair shine and hide gray hair.
When an Indian woman asks her husband if he has a beggar on his hands, it does not mean that he really believes that he is decorated with reddish-brown body art under his wrists. She refers to her wedding period when she was not expected to work while the beggar was still visible and asks if this was also HIS reason for laziness.
New Easy and Simple Floral Arabic Henna design for hands | Step By Step Tutorial
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Welcome to my channel “MEHNDI EXPERT” I am Aditya Lahade a self-trained henna or mehndi artist. I upload simple, easy, latest mehndi or henna designs. Hope you will enjoy my mehndi designs and please subscribe to my channel for more mehndi designs. There are many variations and types in Mehendi designs which are categorized, such as Arabic mehndi designs, Indian mehndi designs, and Pakistani mehndi designs. Women usually apply variations of henna or mehndi design patterns on their hands and feet Mehndi is the local variant of henna designs in India and neighboring countries such as Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka and around the world women use mehndi for festive occasions, such as weddings, religious events and traditional ceremonies
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Mehndi is the art of painting the body in ornate designs with henna.
Associated with transformation and transcendence, it is a beautiful and mysterious art form
that has been used for centuries to heal, to adorn, and to bless.
A paste is made from the crushed leaves of the henna plant mixed with other natural ingredients,
such as eucalyptus oil, lemon juice, and black tea. The paste is applied to the skin,
and when removed several hours later, it leaves beautiful markings that last from 1 to 3 weeks.
The longevity of a mehndi design depends on many factors.
Keep in mind that each person’s skin takes differently to henna, as does the area of the body you choose to adorn.
Before applying the paste, the skin must be free and clear of all other oils and dirt.
Once The Paste Is On The Skin The Real Work Begins!
YOU ARE COMMISSIONING THE ARTIST TO APPLY YOUR HENNA DESIGN, THEN IT IS UP TO YOU.
To Get The Best Results From Your Henna Experience
YOU MUST TAKE CARE FOR THE NEXT 24 HOURS.
The paste must be allowed to dry completely (20-30 min).
The longer the dried paste remains on the skin the longer the design will last, recommended time 4-6 hours.
Remove the paste with a layer of oil, or scratch off with fingers,
DO NOT TAKE IT OFF WITH WATER!
Avoid water contact for the first 24 hrs after the paste is removed, as the color is still developing at this time.
When the paste is first removed it will appear orange, it takes 24-48 hrs for the color to finish darkening to a deep brown.
Preserve and Protect your Design by Applying a Layer of ‘Mehndi Maintenance Oil’ to your Design Frequently,
Especially BEFORE and AFTER Water Contact.
Short History of Mehndi
The earliest cosmetic use of henna (Lawsonia inermis) was in Egypt, where the people would dye their hair and nails,
and a Pharaoh’s fingers and toes would be dipped before mummification. Once the henna plant’s cooling properties were discovered,
painting the skin and dying the hair with henna became a way for the people in desert climates to cool their body temperature.
For centuries mehndi has been practiced in Africa, India, Asia, the Middle East,
and Central Eurasia for various ceremonies and celebrations.
Today mehndi is still practiced in many diverse ways, from eccentric body decoration
to healing ceremonies… Mehndi is a Magical Art
Symbols and Symbolism
Henna dyes the top layer of skin… as the skin replaces itself and exfoliates away, the designs fade.
Areas of the body with thicker layers of skin will last the longest- the hands and feet can last up to 4 weeks.
The arms, ankles, back, and belly can last up to 3 weeks. And the chest and face will last a week at most
The Two Best Areas of the Body for Mehndi are the Hands and the Feet.
Hands ~ the most popular and long-lasting area of the body.
Palm ~ designs invoke images of opening and offering (usually sun, flower, mandala)
Back of hand ~ acts as a shield-closing, defending, clenching-symbolizing protection.
According to Eastern Indian Palmistry
Right hand ~ Male, Projective
Left hand ~ Female, Receptive
Feet ~ the tops stain deeply & are long-lasting.
The feet are recognized as a point of divine contact, considered a holy junction,
where Human being and Earth meet.
Symbolism in Tantric Philosophy
Point (Bindu)- The Supreme Reality
Seed (Bija)- The mysterious matrix in which everything emanates and merges.
All symbols begin with the seed.
Triangle – Pointing up (Shiva)- Signifies active male principle. Resting on its base it represents fire and the ascent to heaven.
Triangle – Pointing down (Shakti) – Signifies active female principle. Reflects all that is feminine-water, fertile valleys, and grace descending from heaven.
Six Point Star (Satkona)- Signifies union of feminine and masculine principles.
Square (Catuskona)- Stability and order. Implies honesty, dependability, and shelter.
Mandalas- Concentric forms relating to a center point.
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