Henna, also called Mehndi is the
conventional art form of hand / foot painting in India. It's a form of body
art that is created with henna paste. Henna is a small shrub called hawsonia
inermis and is found in Iran, India,
, Egypt, and North
Africa. The art of putting henna differ from country to country, spanning
different cultures and religious traditions, and making it possible to
recognize distinctions in cultural style.
Henna itself is used for many things such as hair treatment, heat rash
relief, and skin conditioner to name a few. The top leaves of the plant are
best for mehndi, while the lower part of the plant is used for the other
purposes. Henna paste is what is made to apply henna art designs.
Method to use Henna
The leaves, flowers, and twigs of the henna plant are ground into a
fine powder, then mixed with hot water. This paste is traced in a design
on the desired body part in much the same way as lettering is traced on
a cake with an icing cone. A solution of lemon juice and sugar is
applied to the drying mehndi to "set it" and bring out its
lustrous texture. The dried paste is scraped off, leaving behind a
reddish-brown stain or temporary tattoo. The color and longevity of this
tattoo will depend on how long you leave the paste on the skin (the
longer you leave the paste on the darker the stain).
» History of Mehandi In India
Mogulmonrachie braught Mehndi to India in the 12th century. Initially,
Mehndi was only used by the rich and ruling families. Soon also the
simple volk found pleasure in it. As more people were using Mehndi, the
recepies and patterns became more refined.
» Importance of Mehndi in Indian weddings
In Indian weddings, Mehndi is a custom to follow. The evening before
the wedding, the Mehndi is applied.to all the female family members of
the bride. Traditional songs are sung to give the Bride good luck.
In a few festivals
Traditions the Mehndi ceremony is very customized and is done on a very
large scale. In on religions for instance the Mehndi application can
only start after the mother in law has applied the first mark on the
hand of the bride.
It is belivied that, the intesity of the Mehndi radiates the love of
the bridegroom for the bride. Traditionally the name of the bridegroom
is worked into the Mehndi pattern of the bride.