Ancillary 5

Henna is known for its beauty and aesthetically pleasing designs. In the U.S, henna appeals to many because it acts as a temporary tattoo. Unlike tattoos, henna is a painless process that doesn’t have age restrictions. An appealing aspect of henna is that it fades with time, allowing people the freedom to get different designs and hold less regrets. Henna can also be seen as ‘exotic’ since it originated in India, which in term can make it ‘trendy’ since it’s less common than an average tattoo. Historically, the henna plant was gifted from Egypt to India but the origin of the plant still has it’s mysterious. The practice of Henna has been happening for over 5000 years across various continents such as Asia, Africa, and Europe. Henna started to become popular in the west but it peaked in the 90’s. After the henna trend got a jump start in the west, many celebrities like Gwen Stefani and Madonna have showed off their henna designs in movies and public outings. Henna has also become apart of wedding traditions, camouflage for scarring, and for aesthetics. It’s also very appealing because it resembles a real tattoo but doesn’t require long term commitment.

What most don’t know about henna is that the henna designs can represent passages of life and symbolize one’s journeys. The henna paste, which is made from the henna plant, is associated with positivity and good luck. Henna art as a whole is a lot more than just painting designs, as it can represent much larger meanings. For example, the placement of the henna on one’s body can hold special meanings and significance. Henna that is painted on the palms of the hands represents hand ready to receive and offer blessings. Henna that is placed on the top of the hands, or the fingertips can be used to represent protection. Certain henna designs also symbolize larger meanings. Many popular designs, such as peacocks, flowers, or the eye all point to a bigger picture. More specifically, bird henna patterns represent messengers to heaven. A common eye design reflect the evil eye, which turns off evil wishes back into its gazer and seeks protection. Although many may not have known, henna is more than just a form of body art, as its designs, placements, and overall purpose can dig much deeper. These symbols appeal to many in the U.S, who want life journeys, symbols, and experiences to be expressed through the art of henna.



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