Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sunday Deliberations: Mehndi

      I find the beauty of the Indian culture to be absolutely astonishing. The clothing (especially the sari), the jewels, the art...the list goes on. One of my closest friends as a teenager and early to mid-20s was Indian, and that's where my love for all these things flourished...and let's not forget to mention my love for Indian food! But one of my most favorite things? Mehndi, also known as henna tattoos, a temporary skin decoration popular in Arabic, Pakistani, and Indian culture and is most commonly used as part of pre-wedding celebrations, but also during other cultural festivals, as well. It's origin is from ancient Indian culture and is usually done on the hands and feet. But in the the late 1990s, it became a popular form of body art in mainstream culture (think Madonna in her "Frozen" music video). 


     Henna paste is usually applied on the skin using a plastic cone or a paint brush, but sometimes a small metal-tipped jacquard bottle used for silk painting is used. The painted area is then wrapped with tissue, plastic, or medical tape to lock in body heat, to create a more intense colour on the skin. The wrap is worn three to six hours, or sometimes overnight and then removed. Initially, the henna design is pale to dark orange in colour and then gradually darkens through oxidation, over the next one to four days. The final colour is reddish brown and can last anywhere from one to three weeks depending on the quality and type of henna paste applied.


     Here are a few photos of Mehndi. They are just beautiful and the designs are so intricate. 


Photo credit: Jyothis.
Photo credit: SadiaKomal.com
Photo credit: SadiaKomal.com
Photo credit: SadiaKomal.com


     Personally, I've never seen it this well done. But from what I understand, the more talented mehndi "artists" can be  extremely expensive, particularly with very elaborate designs. I think it's all so stunning and beautiful, and one of the best parts? Only a two-week commitment and you can try something else. LOL.


   What do you ladies think of mehndi? Have you experimented with henna tattoos in the past? I'd love to hear about it!

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6 comments:

Jess W. said...

I think mehndi is beautiful and I've always been interested in the patterns. I've often wondered if there is any meaning or significance to the type of design created. As for henna tattoos, I've tried them before in the summertime as a faux tattoo. Great option for commitophobes since it disappears in a few weeks so you're not stuck with it forever. LOL =)

Cynthia from DelectablyChic! said...

Mehndi is the only kind of body art I'd ever have done on me. I think it's my upbringing, but anything other than that just seems...UNLADY-LIKE.

Jarucha said...

I have tried henna tattoos during college...it wasn't anything fancy but it is pretty cool looking. There are some kits and paste you can buy online and do it yourself.

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AUBS said...

I've always wanted henna tattoos. They're so pretty. these pics you found are amazing works of art. Next time I'm at a fair...

Elaine A (TOBeautyReviews) said...

Such beautiful art! But I don't think I could get this done on me. I'm one of those weird types that gets really obsessed when I have even a pen mark on me! I think this would drive me crazy :P No tattoos for me either for that same reason.

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