Henna Tattoos - Henna, which is also known as mendhi, is a tall plant that prospers in hot, dry climates; it is most commonly found in India, Egypt, Sudan, and other countries located in either North Africa or the Middle East. The leaves of this shrub-like plant are ground into powder, which is then made into a paste. This paste is used to make henna tattoos.
The henna paste leaves an orange-brown stain when it is applied to the skin, thus resulting in the tattoo-like effect. The tattoos are not permanent; they fade in about six weeks, or perhaps less. Also, the process is pain free—no needles!
Indian women used to apply henna to their skin every day, except for widows, who would not wear the body art as a sign of mourning. Special henna designs would adorn the body on certain holidays and celebrations. For example, brides commonly wore henna because it was seen as a symbol of joy and life.
Today, many Indian and Middle Eastern cultures still use henna tattoos in their celebrations. However, henna has spread to Europe and the United States as an alternative to tattoos. Most commonly seen along beach boardwalks, there are now shops that will do the body art, for a price.
The alternative to having a henna tattoo professionally done is doing one yourself. You can obtain the materials to make henna paste and draw the design from an Indian Market or Indian Warehouse. You can even purchase a book full of traditional henna designs.[ad#ads-good]
However, if you prefer to design your own henna tattoo, feel free to do so. It is common now to see small roses or butterflies in the form of henna art. The options when it comes to henna tattoos are unlimited, because it is gone in six weeks!
A Longstanding Tradition
Henna is an ancient art that has withstood the test of time and spread among many different cultures. Perhaps it is the history behind it that makes it so appealing; or, maybe people simply don’t like to consider the alternative option.