While Mehndi or Henna has been popular in the States for the last few years thanks to people like Demi Moore and Madonna, it began more then 5,000 years ago in the ancient cultures.The earliest record of henna being used was in Egypt, where the fingers and toes of the Pharaohs were stained just before they were mummified. We know of Mehndi because of the cultures and traditions found in India and other Middle Eastern cultures.
You have seen Mehndi, the beautiful and intricate designs on the hands, feet, neck or arm. When this artwork has passed you by, it made you stop and take a second look. To understand why we first need to know that Henna or Mehndi is a tall plant that resembles a shrub and grows in dry, hot climates like the Sudan, North Africa, India, Pakistan and countries of the Middle East.
It has been a long standing tradition to use Mehndi as a way to decorate the body. Indian, Buddhist and Hindu women would decorate the soles of their feet and the palms of their hands on a daily basis. We also know that widows would not wear the Mehndi as a sign of mourning.
There is a variation in the art of Mehndi from one country to the next. This variation depended on the culture, religious traditions and ceremonies. And, it is all these variations that helps us identify where the design originates from.For the sake of clarity, there are three main traditions that are recognized, not including the current popular use for temporary henna tattoos. The first of those three traditions is Arabic Mehndi, coming form the Middle East. These patterns are usually large floral patterns that are done on the hands and feet.
The second of these traditions comes from India, known as Asian Mehndi. This tradition uses more fine line and lacey paisley or floral patterns. These patterns are used to cover entire hands, feet, shins and forearms.Finally, our third tradition is what is known as African Mehndi. This Mehndi art is large and bold in design. Large geometrically patterned angles are used.While some sites will tell you that African Mehndi uses black henna, you need to know that there is no such thing as “Black Henna.” Genuine Henna is either reddish brown in color or orange.
Posted on October 13, 2011, in Mehndi and tagged African Mehndi, Arabic Mehndi, Asain Mehndi, Henna Tattoos, Indian Mehndi, Mehndi, Mehndi Art, Mehndi Art 2011, Mehndi Designs, Mehndi Henna, Temporary Tattoos. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.