Henna is extracted from a tree: Lawsonia inermis, and ground into a fine paste. Then the paste is diluted and applied in designs onto the body using cones.
Typically used on the hands and feet, henna is applied in an elaborate fashion for the bride but today one finds almost everyone attending the wedding applying it.
It is also popular as a tattoo maker because it is not permanent and does stay for a while.
One the most common styles used is to create a pattern that uses the join palms as one large canvas.
The center of the palm or the heart of the palm is typically depicts a scene or a theme and the rest of the palms are used for foliage or filling in.
Girls may also like to get the name of their beloved tattooed into the design. But it is generally done in such a fashion as to ensure that the boy has to spend a considerable amount of time searching!
Feet are also adorned by henna.
Typically it may go up to the ankle, but newer and bolder designs are now coming into vogue where the tattoo goes up to the calf.
The more elaborate the design the longer it takes to etch it in.
Because henna is safe, natural, organic and does not scar the skin or leave any long term harmful effects (though it may itch initially - apply sugar mixed in lemon oil), it is used extensively on other parts of the body too.
the back, the arms, the wrists, the neck are all fair game!
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