The art of henna (called mehndi in Hindi & Urdu) has been practiced for over 5000 years in Pakistan, India, Africa and the Middle East. There is some documentation that it is over 9000 years old. Because henna has natural cooling properties, people of the desert, for centuries, have been using henna to cool down their bodies. They make a paste of henna and soak their palms and soles of the feet in it to get an air conditioning affect. They feel its cooling sensation throughout the body for as long as the henna stain remains on their skin. Initially, as the stain faded away, it left patterns on the skin surface which led to ideas to make designs for decorative purposes. In the ancient Egyptian times mummies wore henna designs and it is documented that Cleopatra herself used henna for decorative purposes.
Henna was not only a popular adornment for the rich but the poor, who could not afford jewelry, used it to decorate their bodies as well.
FYI Henna stains so keep it off your hands and finger nails, clothe, etc. Only let it rest where you want it to be. It will stain you skin for 7- 12 days depending on the temperature, your skin and lifestyle (perspiration, bathing, etc.) On the skin henna can vary from orange to dark reddish brown. For the deepest color and long lasting designs to stay on your skin you need to let the paste remain on your skin for as long as possible (12-15 hours)
Choose where you would like to design a henna tattoo to go – hands, arms, ankle, foot, neck, etc. Draw out the proposed idea in your sketchbook. Turn in the permission slip from you parents allowing you to create a henna on your body. Pair up or do your own work – it is up to you. We will all work on our henna tattoos in class on the date agreed.
**Allergies””? We will be using henna powder, eucalyptus oil, in a citrus/sugar solution ** You must return the parent permission slip before beginning to use the henna (18 years old students as well)