© 2016  by Silvana Piga

Primal Henna Arts

Elegant  Body  Art  To Decorate Your Skin Beautifully !

Her-story: What is Henna !!!!

Long story but worth it!

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: Egyptian privet.

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 Mughal  Empire

henna became  one of the many very  creative and super

artistic mediums  of this culture ( known for sculpture, weaving, woodblocks, archery,

and armory were) . The Mughal 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",

 popularized asthe art of lace, or "mehendi". Today "Mehendi", is  the word now used in India

to specify Henna art.

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. In fact,

henna paste is at its darkest stain color 3 days after application, regardless of your culture :)



            Important Health facts!!






           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.


So , be cautious and enjoy and love your skin when choosing your body  art!!



Non-henna options.. Try Jagua!

Have some Questions?
Please email me!