Henna is a natural colouring device. The plant from which it is made is called the Lawsonia inermis, it is also known as the henna tree. With henna you can dye your skin, hair, nails and even fabrics such as silk wool and leather. Originally the Egyptians started using it to colour the hair and nails of mummies.
Before you can actually use the henna you have to make a paste with it. There are many different recopies and this is one:
- Fresh henna powder
- Lemon juice
- Plastic wrap
- Non-metal mixing bowl and spoon.
- Put sifted henna into a bowl
- Add lemon juice
- Add sugar
- Let the paste rest for 24 hours while covered with plastic wrap
- Create your own patterns
The art that results from using henna is called Mehndi. At least that is what they called it in ancient India. It is a ceremonial form of art seen mostly at weddings on the bride and groom as well. Muslims in Afghanistan also started to use it as an indication of coming of age. Both apply it during festivals. It is mostly drawn on the lightest places of the skin, such as palms and back of the hands as well as feet. This way there is a more noticeable contrast.
These are my own creations: