© 2016 by Silvana Piga
Primal Henna Arts
Elegant Body Art To Decorate Your Skin Beautifully !
What is Henna !!!!
If you love art history as much as I do, then you may find the many travels of henna through the ages very fascinating....from Egypt to Persia to India to Bali to Europe and the Americas! so read on...
Here it goes!!
Henna is the name given to a pretty shrub like plant that can grow the size of a small olive tree. It produces sweet yellow flowers and it thrives in very hot climates, such as in the Indian deserts of Rajastan, or Pakistan, Egypt, Central Africa and parts of Iran. The leaves and twigs are harvested every autumn and dried for distribution for either hair products or body arts.
The art of henna painting, also known as mendhi (Hindu for the art of lace), has become fashionable worldwide and stylized for a variety of special events world wide. Henna connects people from various ethnicities, regardless of beliefs or religious backgrounds. Besides its beautiful jewel like elegance, henna is safe, non toxic, temporary and painless. The dye, which is permanent on fabric or wood, lingers anywhere from 2-3weeks on skin (outside of native countries). Depending upon the quality of the henna, its reaction with an individual's skin and the care taken can preserve the design to a nice maroon color. Note!! There are no needles, cutting of the flesh or insertion of dyes within the flesh. Henna is also medicinal and can improve the texture of hair and skin. On a spiritual level, henna is believed to bestow happiness, good fortune and benevolence of the universe.
The earliest depictions of henna
practices have been found inside ancient Egyptian burials depicted on the walls,
or on the remains of mummies' nails or hair. Infact, henna will last the longest
when applied on the nails.
These findings can date up to 6000 thousand years ago!!
"Whether or not there was an earlier indigenous tradition, the art of henna painting would become
firmly established in Egypt alongside Islam. Henna's vocabulary of styles is based largely on region:
Bedouins tend to create stark, solid blocks of color while in India very elaborate and intricate
forms are favored. Berber designs are characterized by a bold geometry. Classical Arabic and
Middle Eastern designs tend to be delicately geometric and floral rather than representational
and this is characteristic as well of much of the henna design seen in modern Egypt. The palm is
not quite so "filled-up" as is favored in India or Pakistan". **(hennapage.com)
Egypt's associations with henna are confirmed by
its botanical nickname:
The term "henna" derives from the Arabic, al khanna.
There is a hieroglyph, pouquer, which is
believed to indicate the henna plant.
The term mendhi, used synonymously for henna, derives
from the Sanskrit mehandika.
Much of the modern revival of henna derives from its popularity
in India and Pakistan.
It is believed, however, that the plant arrived in India as a gift from Egypt
and there is much debate as to when it actually arrived on the subcontinent,
perhaps as late as the Mogul Empire. ***(hennapage.com)
Art history, documents that henna also traveled through ancient Persia,
where the men would dye their beards with henna
( for its luscious red color)
prior to going to war .
Eventually, henna then made its way to
Northern India . There, during the rule of the Islamic Mugal Empire
for centuries , henna became one of the many very creative and super
artistic mediums ( sculpture, weaving, woodblocks, archery,
and armory were others) .
the Mugal pioneered into. The Mugal empire enriched our world
with masterpieces of architecture like the Taj Mahal,
gorgeous Indian screens and furniture and the iconic henna
pattern of botteh, by the British named "pasley",
which is popularized in the art of lace, "mehendi".
"Mehendi", is often the word now used in India
to specify Henna art.
Today, henna art remains an important tradition for a bridal shower in most of Northern Africa , in Arabia, India, and Pakistan, Generally a special "henna" day is curated by the women of the bride's family. The bride receives the henna art 3 days prior to the wedding. Infact,
henna paste is at its darkest stain color 3 days after application, regardless of your culture :)
Important Health facts!!
BLUE HENNA ?????
If the henna paste is any other color than
brown or red (when scraped off) then the
henna is NOT HENNA!
BLACK henna is an especially dangerous option.
Black henna frequently offered at resort beaches like the Virgin Islands,
Hawaii, Venice Beach California, Bali and Mexico. Ask the artist to show
you a sample on "their own skin" first. If the paste looks more like black
hair dye, stay away. Not worth the cheap price!
Of course unless it is the Amazonian dark blue gel known as "Jagua".
In which case, you ought to see a bluish black hue in the gel.
Toxic ingredients are added by so called henna tattoo vendors around the world so to appeal to people seeking tattoo like colors. Many people around the world have gotten PERMANENT DAMAGE to their skin due to toxins added to henna powder, BLACK henna is an especially dangerous option.
" Blue ink "temporary art is simply Jagua gel, and it is derived in the Amazon. It is a fruit like berry and its extract is comparable to a citrus. The fruit is edible and also used as food coloring. On the skin it leaves a non toxic stain reminiscent to a blue / black exotic tattoo. This non toxic gel makes for exotic tribal tattoos look alike that look impressive on the arms and shoulders. Jagua is also a great alternative temporary tattoo for darker complexion.
Jagua warning: do not expose to hot water like a hot shower/ sauna/ jacuzzi until 48 hours later.
"White henna" is NOT HENNA , but it is made with generally non toxic medical skin adhesive mixed with face paint. Mainly safe unless sensitive to acrylic or adhesive. Designs look great photographed for Pinterest.