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African Inspired Henna Patterns

Friday, 23 September 2011

In the name of God, Compassionate, Merciful بسم الله الرحمن الرحيمِ | Peace be with you السلام عليكم

My man-hand is decorated in a mixture of African tribal patterns

In African body art, henna was originally used as ceremonial decoration, and if education serves me correct, it was used for medicinal purposes. Women dyed their black hair for beautification, men at war drew dots and straight lines as way of protection.

My mehndi here worn for Eid-ul-fitr was less war orientated.

I've mixed in some Indian paisley shapes and leaves. Rays and sun shapes represent guiding light and straight lines are meant for strength. African henna patterns lean towards geometrical shapes.

Repeat 'hills' and dots decorate the entire fingers and thumb.

I added 'hand' shapes but completely forgot what they mean in age-old African culture. Something pagan probably. The 'hand of Fatima' is a popular Shia symbol that stands for the household of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. But that's not what I've done.

The henna I used is a strong emergency dye that instantaneously leaves a dark reddish colour. After 24 hrs I was left with a luminescent orange. Yeuch.

More henna stuff:
Henna Inspired Eid Cards!
Mehndi Experimentation
Glass Painting Vases
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