Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Henna designs made with leaves from the Mignonette (Lawsonia inermis) tree. Grinding the leaves produces an olive-green paste which is mixed with lemon juice and other liquids to produce a workable medium. These designs are applied, in one instance, at the Mendhi ceremony in India prior to the wedding as an enhancement for the bride. Wonderful designs are applied with a conical-container device, or with wooden implements. After drying the paste is removed with, in one description , a cotton bud dipped in olive or avacado oil. The traditional color derived from this is orange on the skin but other colors are done with different additives.

As an addition to the lipstick, blush , eye shadow, powders, nail polish, manicure, pedicure, perfume, shave, haircut, perm, cornrows, braids, curls, tats and piercings now utilized to make us pretty, this may be the oldest form of body enhancement dating at least back to 2100 BC in NW Syria (see history).
And it comes off within one to three weeks depending on how many times it is washed.

I really like these designs many of which I am sure derive from family tradition and history.


Princess Haiku said...

These designs are beautiful and what an interesting tradition. I'll have to tell Moonriver as she has a post somewhat like this once.

red dirt mule said...


i think i might have found a way to get my dragon 'tattoo' after all ... i had completely forgotten about henna designs. And i love the ritualistic process.


lettuce said...

wow, i've never seen quite such intricate designs
i love the last one especially

polona said...

i think these henna designs are quite beautiful and much more appealing than real tatoos

shooting star said...

indeed it is an wonderful tradition which has not only withstood with time but flourished also....i applied henna on my arms during my wedding...and it looked lovely...

Middle Ditch said...

Aren't they great? I used to henna my hair with that green powder. Mud on my head, wrapped in a plastic bag with a towel, for a whole night. My hair was beautiful and healthy.

MarmiteToasty said...

So beautiful...... my son drew glasses and a tash on a friend that had fallen into a drunken sleep at a party, it was funny at the time but Dean had to wear the glasses and tash for many week LOL.....

What a lesson learnt :)


Anonymous said...

Well Im about to do that, henna also is also used in our weddings (No so much in Lebanon or countries like egypt) but in Guld Countries like Kuwait, UAE, Oman Yemen) Henna is part of a bride even in Zanzibar..SO Im about to get my hand decorated soon



Kila said...


Rhiannon said...

I quite like these designs of art on the body...it's also nice to know that they will soon fade so they are not there forever like tatoos!

Hope your Thanksgiving was a good one..

Love, Peace and Blessings,


Monique said...

I'm going to answer here, just in case anybody from work reads my blog.

The boarding school I'm writing about is a non-uniform, bohemian school, one of a handful left in Britain. They were started at the beginning of the last century when most cities were blanketed in coal smoke to give inner city children some fresh air. Such schools are set in woodland with loads of outdoor facilities. Thus, as it is non-uniform, the children are wearing their own clothes and, indeed, their dorms and rooms are usually strewn with shoes and clothes. The girls like wearing the most provocative clothing whilst the boys usually wear their trousers halfway down their buttocks. I can assure you that a lot of sex takes place as well as drug use.

A lot of artists, actors, singers, producers and directors' children attend such a school as it aims also for the arts, filming, theater and drama.

I had hoped that a story set in such a school would appeal to producers but they were not interested or they did not understand it.

ANNA-LYS said...

Beautiful, simply beautiful!

iriz said...

wow, that must take time to finish. i love the details. and of course pretty less pain.

thanks for sharing goatman.
i miss being here! ;0)

Pauline said...

Beautiful indeed.

Squirrel said...

it cheered me up to see this --it's so beautiful. we have a large enough Indian population here that these designs are easy to get. I think I may get one! thanks for planting the idea.

foam said...

body art like that definitely has an appeal, especially since it is temporary. it is very beautiful.

Rhiannon said...

"I see you live on love street
there's this store where the creatures meet, I wonder what they do in there?..summer Sunday and a year, I guess I like it fine, so far".

Doors song "Love Street" from the album "Waiting for the Sun"...hope that helps..he he..:o)


Marion said...

I have loved these designs forever. In my youth, I was lucky enough to attend a wedding where the bride was beautiful with the henna designs. I was fascinated with them.

It is such an old art and tradition, and I'm glad it is still so popular.

Squirrel said...

Since you asked---(I only had so much room on my blog)

You're right--there was a whole story re: the girl Corny left town with. A 14 yr old factory worker described as sweet and hard working. But after Corney took her to New Orleans and dumped her, Nyack turned against her and re embraced Corny. The girl went to live with relatives in New Jersey. Corney said the girl became despondent and difficult to manage during their weeks away, he'd grown weary of her company so he came home to his wife.

too much soap opera back then--good thing nothing like this ever happens anymore, right???

Leon Basin said...

That is pretty...

red dirt mule said...

just to let you know i'm currently posting personal adds for a detail man who has no trouble using a fine sable haired paintbrush, a bowl of henna, and skin as canvas ...

i'm determined to get my dragon!

Princess Haiku said...

Your comment was fine but I wasn't sure how to answer it as all possibilities are complex. I hope that you are doing okay. The dark of the solstice isn't an easy time for me and I welcome the return of the light.

aria said...

those are wonderful images..
nice to see you writing about henna.. I've applied it many times in my palms and arms.. :) it really looks pretty ..

ANNA-LYS said...

________________I Have
_______________Come Here
______________To Wish You
_____________Merry Christmas
____________And Also, A Happy
___________New Year To You For
__________2009... I Hope The New
_________Year Brings You Loads Of
________Happiness And Good Health.
______I Hope You Have A Nice Day On
_____Christmas Day, Filled With Lots Of
____Family Time.....And Of Course Eating
___Lots Of Nice Foods, And Candies. I Hope
__That Santa Is Good To You As Well And He
.Brings You Lots Of Presents On Christmas Day

get zapped said...

I love the art and magic of mehindi. What beautiful designs you've captured here. And you've reminded me that I need to pull out my henna and start playing.

Celestine said...

wow such beautiful work. i'm really feeling this.

Celestine said...

ryc: i totally agree about the good feeling a smile brings to others. how nice if smiling is our usual disposition, unquestioned yet honest.

Naj said...

now i see what you mean :)

I like Body henna; I want to get my shoulders painted at some point!

Buut in Iran, we don't do henna. Indians are the masters i guess. I did it once on my hand for my Pakistani friend's wedding; and i was getting comments about it for the month that it lasted.

Why tatoo; when there is henna?

Naj said...

here's a photo of happiness in Caspian: http://www.radiozamaneh.com/morenews/images/caspian-sea03.jpg

It's a nice water; but not Mediterranean! And it's usually cloudy; more like North Europe than South of France :)

Yes Zereshk is barberry.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your words, I sent you my photo with hena in your email




Rhiannon said...

Dropping by to wish you Happy Holidays Goatman.

Enjoy yourself and never give up on your dreams..at least don't give up on a few of them!..keep believing.

Love and Blessings,


Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

These designs are so stunning! Can't imagine how long they must take to do. So very beautiful.

Middle Ditch said...

I hope that you had a very merry Christmas and I wish you a happy and creative new year ...


Celestine said...

RYC: "I am playing with a translator called Babylon. What language would I try to translate this to which you could read??"







Squirrel said...

Happy New Year!

red dirt mule said...

Happy New year, goatman!

May you have and experience all the best - it seems you have enviably achieved the balance we all crave.



Mother of Invention said...

I'm really glad this isn't done with needles. I really don't get the whole tattoo thing.

Azer Mantessa said...

Happy New Year

Amazingly, the design is quite South East Asia traditional art where the feature is more towards floral and fauna ... meaning having balance with mother nature.

tarek mohmed said...

Wonderful blog
Happy new year
Kill children and say we fight terrorism
Of the terrorist killing of children or the children
I hope to be friends

Marion said...

Happy New Year to you and your family, my friend! Keep writing...Spring is on its way.

I loved your comment about the candles. I remember doing sand candles way back in the seventies...and you're right. They did work well for years.

Now all I have to do is find a beach, in a part of the country where all beaches are covered in Snow...right now, anyway! Lol!

Tazeen said...


Henna tattoos are pretty common in our part of the world. Its strange how they are exotic for people from other parts of the world

iriz said...

Hi Goatman!
Happy New Year! Wishing you all the best!

More posts!


iriz said...

Thanks for those great times. Another year of sharing great ideas and posts! Cheers!

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