For various and sundry reasons, I could never personally get a tattoo. Knowing that it is permanent makes me nervous.  Deciding what design to get makes me nauseous.  Trying to find a part of my body on which to put this permanent design would only end in neurosis.  Thus, I steer clear of the whole idea.

But, when living in Africa I found the perfect alternative, henna!  This all came to mind again the other day when I found this picture of this lovely Indian bride:

Most of you are probably already familiar with their henna traditions during a wedding.  What is there not to love about the beautiful artistry?!  And I’m especially fond of the fact that it is temporary – which nips all my previous concerns in the bud because I won’t have to live with it from now until death-do-us-part.

This was huge in the villages of Africa.  Most designs were done on the palms of the hands and the sole of the feet.  I know that other cultures have the tradition of henna designs on the pregnant belly for good luck.  I even went to a class once on how to do designs on yourself (which, if you plan on doing both hands, you have to be ambidextrous).  I’m not really artistic enough to pull it off well on myself (maybe just my feet so I can hide them if it doesn’t turn out).  But done by an experienced henna artist the outcome can be incredible!  I may just have to try my hand at it again in the very near future.

{image courtesy of Style Me Pretty – photographer Karen Wise}

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One Response to Henna

  1. Debbie says:

    I LOVE henna tattoos! I usually get one every year over at the Manitou Craft Fair. My favorite one was a vine that started on the fingers of my left hand and wrapped around my arm to my elbow. I might go for a traditional one on my feet and palms some day.