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.