RU  UK  EN
Статьи  >  Imagine  >  Mehndi – instead of a thousand tattoos

Mehndi – instead of a thousand tattoos

Автор: 12.11.2020 | art, traditions, India
Every other person has considered having a tattoo, maybe not permanent but at least a temporary one. Absolutely painless application of drawings that can be altered in a couple of weeks is offered by Mehndi art – henna painting.

Hiding from parching sun in refreshing shadows of palaces and escaping boredom, while men were shaping the future of states, noble women in ancient Egypt, Babylon, Greece, Assirya and India sought entertainment in the art of henna painting… Travelling around the world, penetrating various cultures and adjusting to their traditions, this type of body-art became deeply engrained in various lands therefore it is rather problematic to figure out Mehndi’s true birthplace. Findings in the shape of thousand-years-old Egyptian mummies testify to the popularity of bio-tattoo in those times. Researchers have discovered traces of the coloring composition on embalmed bodies that had spent over five thousand years peacefully lying in a sepulcher. Thus, Egyptian women used to cover their hands and faces with ornamental paintings while they decorated their husbands’ temples with images of hoopoe birds as a symbol of wisdom and wit.Henna-Morocco-wedding-traditions.jpgPhoto beyondweddings.com

Another country competing for the title of the art’s founder is India. It was here where the term “Mehndi” originated and it was also here where archeologists found ancient petroglyphic engravings depicting Indian princesses with extremities fully adorned with distinctive paintings. Local women nowadays still ornament themselves with various patterns. Every other one regardless of age and status can boast to have either a blooming lotus or whimzical ethnic elements. Girls get their first henna-tattoos as early as at the age of three to four years. Citizens believe that these paintings done with natural material, aside from beauty and beneficial effect on skin, also work on a “delicate level” performing “cleaning” of chakras. Seven of them are considered to be major ones, they are dispersed along body’s major energy centers and find their reflection on palms that are decorated the most.Mehndi-Designs.jpgPhoto bel-india.com

Ornamentation was paid special attention by women from Arabic countries. Henna paintings didn’t serve merely as adornment but also as a talisman with the process of their application considered to be a certain ritual. Daily pictures were uncomplicated at all representing a simple pattern of swirls and dashes while on holidays and celebrations women used to decorate their bodies with more sophisticated motifs in shapes of flowers, leaves and geometric figures that compose exclusive arabesques. Tattoos for brides used to be paid special attention. Most often their application was taking both hands of more than one skilled painter and a several days time. Mehndi traditions here as well as in India remained almost intact. Henna decoration is included to standard procedures list in many beauty salons alongside hairdos, makeup and manicure. In wedding season and national holidays these establishments significantly extend their working hours trying to paint as many hands and legs as possible.IMG_4247.jpgPhoto fas.nus.edu.sg

Mehndi didn’t gain as much popularity in Europe as it did in the East in those times. Durable paint transportation that significantly decreases its quality, Church’s disapproval of the decoration together with increasing relevance of long-lasting tattoos significantly delayed period of henna popularization, as long as till 1990s. Having had enough of life-long tattoos and piercing, Europeans and Americans embarked on a search for blander and less “permanent” adornment. It was then when they recalled natural dye. A painting made with a blend of good quality lasts for about a month and the procedure itself is absolutely painless and hygienic. Besides, due to its natural origins, henna exerts favorable effect on skin. Its main benefit is antipyrotic action that was noticed in the very same East. Before sun protection cream was invented, it was henna that Bedouins, who were wandering in deserts for months and months, used to cover their hands and faces with. Travelers weren’t particularly thinking about drawings and their meaning (and who other than camels would have appreciated them), so they were simply dipping their hands into a dye-liqour.Mehandi_At_Rajsthan_Wedding.jpgPhoto static.newworldencyclopedia.org

Mehndi application technology in Europe isn’t much different from eastern one while designs diversity increased significantly. Traditional styles and motifs with complementing trends like images of zodiac signs and meaningful inscriptions created new patterns that enjoy popularity as a stylish accessory for parties and feasts. One of the world’s best masters in Mehndi art, by the way, became a European. The United Kingdom citizen Ash Kumar in 2001 even managed to proudly get his own line in Guinness World Records when he managed to paint as many as 96 hands with good quality drawings in one hour.

Cover photo pinterest.com

Вам это будет интересно:
Kamasan: Village of masterpieces in Bali
Bali is one of the most popular places to spend winter. Ocean, volcanoes, amazing nature and exotic fruits... But there is also one more reason that not many people know of, yet it definitely deserves attention: Kamasan, a unique art village where namesake Balinese picture art was conceived – as ancient as the island itself. We are going to tell about it today on the pages of the OUTLOOK.
Handicraft: persian carpets
In those days when the Persian soldiers were second to none, and both the Roman Empire and the Arabian Peninsula were conquered by their power, skilful fingers of winner nation craftswomen created their first masterpiece. The carpet called The Springtime passed into history as the most precious of all time. It symbolized powerful rule of the Persians, and its beauty told about the divine origin of the king Khosrow I.
Pablo Picasso: Poet for his era
About Picasso as a distinctive artist, graphic artist and sculptor, we know to some extent everything. Meanwhile, his other incarnations are pushed into the background. Ilya Ehrenburgh once very concisely described Pablo Picasso’s relations with his era: “20th century found in him its own dynamite expert, its own philosopher and its own poet”.
On the Move. Street food from around the world. Part 2
Do you happen to get hungry? That is great as we go on with our story about the most popular street food from around the world. It’s freshly cooked - fall to, you guys! Let's start with the South Asian countries, namely Singapore - seafood-rich in vitamins and minerals occupy a key place in the diet of residents ...
Yodel - Music of the Austrian mountains
Austrian tour operators launched an unusual touristic tourdesigned for fans of singing style called yodel. Hikers wander through the Ziller Valley, a broad trail narrows opening the way for only the most avid travellers, then track leads upwards. Tourists look into the interactive station shaped as a giantsonorous walk-in cowbell, then they go around thelargest alpine horn and head to place...
Blood. Money. Feather
This entertainment is strictly forbidden in almost all countries of the world. But lovers of cockfights do not stop. Partly illegal competitions always gather full halls or courtyards, depending on the fact where the deadly bird fights are. Spectators literally savor the way the birds tear each other to shreds, without showing pity for themselves and their rivals.
Boat instead of shopping basket: Famous floating markets
Stores, shopping malls, markets - all these places are an integral part of daily goings-on of almost every person on our planet. It would seem there is nothing special about them: they are all alike, just goods and prices vary depending on country or city. In fact, it is not quite true since some markets are only accessible via waterways. Our today’s story is about them.
White gold of Tianxia. Chinese porcelain
The civilization of ancient China was one of the first to discover porcelain. It is established that back in II millennium BC the firing temperature of pottery found in the Yellow River was close to 1200 ° C. According to some researchers, the invention of porcelain was dictated by the desire to find a replacement for greenstone and jade.
Visa is useless: Where tourists are not allowed
Perhaps, everyone who is going to plunge into fun holiday has already planned spectacular routes and scenic spots. In order not to spoil your trip and not to see gates to the desired gateway closing right in front of your nose, we encourage you to read our selection of locations forbidden for visits.
On the Move. Street food from around the world
Experienced tourists believe that one of the best sure-fire ways to quickly tune into the beat of another culture is to try local food. In order not to be at a loss when choosing dishes and save precious time for spiritual food, Outlook gives you selective advice on street gastronomy from seven spots of the globe.
Desperate Futurism: Japan. Part 3. “Samurai Spirit”
If what they show in cinematograph is true than a typical samurai appears to be austere, taciturn and even slightly unsociable person. But this image in actual fact doesn’t get in line with reality... You don’t believe it? Our journalist Elena Rasenko suggests you make sure of it for yourself.
Mandala Therapy
Yesterday I created a Universe. I took some peas, rice, buckwheat, millet, black and white pepper seeds and cardamom. Grabbed a handful of coffee and aniseeds. Then it all acquired a centre. It kept growing and calming my thoughts. When the last seed landed in the circle, I felt forgotten harmony again, heard birds singing through the noise of cars on the avenue...
Rice fields: Grains of unbelievable beauty
- Do you want to try some rice? - such a question is greeted by guests in China. And if the owners are also farmers, they can invite you on an unusual excursion and show you the masterpiece of natural art. The grass which we often eat without thinking about its aesthetics, at the time of growing resembles a blanket woven from multi-colored rags ...
Indian village Kodhini: the unraveled mystery of twins
In the world there is an unusual place where the biggest number of twins are born. Although at first glance it looks like a mystical coincidence, statistics makes you believe in miracles. The Indian state of Kerala can boast of a village where unusual things happen. Kodhini is the place with more twins than anywhere else in the world. Actually, there is almost no explanation for this.
Desperate Futurism: Japan. Part 2 “Fish Day”
It is just as hard to imagine a Japanese who doesn’t eat fish as to picture a Scott who doesn’t drink whiskey. OUTLOOK journalist Elena Rasenko will tell you about a unique place where successors of samurai purchase fine seafood for their tables.
Bregenz. To the Theatre in a Tuxedo And on a Catamaran
Especially for those who believe theatre and opera music to be vestige of the past, we tell about an amazing Austrian theatre where traditional art meets technical and engineering novelties and also a great view of the Alps.
Desperate Futurism: Japan. Part 1
OUTLOOK journalist Elena Rasenko came back from Japan and launches a special series of articles devoted to this country. Warning for very sensitive readers: Beware! After reading, you will get a keen desire to break away, buy a ticket and fly to such a marvelous and fascinating Land of the Rising Sun!
Thailand handcraft: From silk to pearls
Have you ever thought how many grains of history are stored in each item sold at little booths in Thailand? Yet, strolling along those souvenir stalls you are browsing craft records of the whole nation, briefly looking through notes survived from a thousand years ago to the present day. Some pages have thinned to transparency, but marks did preserve their former accuracy.
Ecuador: To be an indian
Our journalist came back from Ecuador with unique experience and we share it with you. For the first time I was suspected of drug trafficking. Alone, in the country where there is no Ukrainian Embassy, I was standing and feverishly figuring out if someone could plant something on me on the way to the airport.
Step over threshold: The magical art of the huichol
Dazzling flashes of ancient knowledge manifested in colourful shimmering beads and in elaborated yarn mosaics by Huichol Indians, captivate the imagination calling for an endless journey through branches of the world tree. Spiritual images take on flesh in intricate ornaments that accompany a Mexican peasant throughout his life.
Закрыть
Outlook facebook page