HENNA AN ANCIENT CHARM… STILL ENCHANTING…
The art of henna (Mehndi) is a deeply rooted tradition in the lives of women across the Indian subcontinent. It's a fascinating art form that's used to decorate hands, feet, and other parts of the body for special occasions. But have you ever wondered how this unique art form turned out to be so important in our lives? Have you ever been curious about where henna came from?
Henna in the Indus Valley CivilisationThe well-known sculpture of a dancing girl with ramp walk pose found at Mohenjo-daro (Indus Valley Civilisation) symbolizes the concept of female empowerment. The girl, with her one hand on waist, is shown in a pose of self-assurance and determination. This shows how women were confident, determined and independent from that era only. ‘Mina’ means a confident & determined woman in the Indian language. Historically, henna was most popular in the Indus Valley Civilisation, also known as the Bronze Age Civilisation, which flourished between 3300 BC and 1300 BC. The beauty of this ancient civilisation’s culture can be seen in its artworks, but what makes it even more fascinating is the use of henna as a colouring ingredient. Henna was used to create intricate patterns on the skin, walls and pottery, usually for decoration purposes during this period.
Henna in Ancient EgyptHenna’s history dates back to ancient Egypt and the pharaohs as well. Henna tattoos have been a longstanding practice in the Middle East. The use of henna has been traced as far back as 9000 BC and 5000 BC, when the Egyptians and Sumerians used it in their religious ceremonies and art. Henna tattoos were also popular during the reign of Cleopatra, the last ruling queen of Egypt. Cleopatra was a renowned pharaoh who ruled from 51 BC to 30 BC and was known for her beauty and magnetism. Her beauty, intelligence and charm were unsurpassable. She used henna tattoos to adorn her body and eyebrows with intricate designs.
Henna in Indian CultureHenna has a rich history in India too. The use of henna spread to India during the reign of the ‘Maharajahs’ group of kings of princely states in India, most of them were from Rajasthan and were historically known as warrior aristocrats. Henna has been used as an adornment by Maharanis or queens throughout history. And today, no celebration, such as weddings or festivals, is complete without henna tattoos adorning the arms, feet and body of women across India. A special ceremony is held in many Indian weddings across cultures called ‘Mehendi (Henna) ki Raat’, or ‘The Night of Mehendi’. The womenfolk dance around and get themselves decorated with intricate henna tattoo designs to look more beautiful. In Indian culture, the colour red represents fire, good luck, happiness and passion.