The phrase “henna designs” is a simple to-call term for Mehndi. Mehndi is a body-art style, for which people use a special type of dye made from powdered leaves of henna plant to paint on their body, commonly seen on arms and legs. It also has different designs and various alternatives to choose. Mostly noticed, women usually apply mehndi designs to their hands and feet, though some, including those who have health issues (such as alopecia or cancer) which caused them hair loss occasionally have mehndi decorations on their scalps. The colour of henna is widely standardized in brown, however, you might see other designers employ variant colours like red, black, white, etc. based on individual interests and how customers would like to adorn their skins.
This form of arts is mainly practiced in indian culture, traditionally used in wedding ceremonies – for brides. If you ever watched an indian series, you would recognize that, during an episode of a wedding occasion, both hands of the bride were decorated with some sorts of drawing but you did not know what it was. It was actually the henna design or mehndi. Centuries after, it had been widely spreaded to nearby nations such as South Asia, Middle East, North Africa, and so on. In late 1990s, its new revolution had begun in the West part of the world and became fashionable over there.
Besides, the ancient India must have a reason behind this tradition. It is never an accident that they just simply do it for no sense. In that case, it explained that mehndi is a symbolic representation of the outer and the inner sun in Vedic customs. Vedic customs, in addition, are centred on the idea of “awakening the inner light”. Traditional Indian designs are representations of the sun on the palm, which, in this context, is intended to represent the hands and feet.
Let us put the history to the side for a moment and let’s talk about the modern civilisation of henna design or mehndi.
In today’s use of mehndi, everybody including women, men, children likes to apply the decoration on their body part as mostly seen on hands and feets for the sake of beauty and especially, henna designs are diverse from permanent tattoo, which lasts for 3 weeks maximum. After that, people can have a new tattoo without having to worry about getting rid off the previous one compared to the real tattoo.
There are five easy designs or drawing pattern you can try out later: 1) lines with small plant leaves 2) wavy lines with dots 3) one big line in the middle and two small lines on each side with dots and leaves 4) flowers on the line. Have a look at the figure, below.
As for kids and for those who are freshly beginning to learn how to craft henna design on your own, feel free to experiment the below instructions to draw simple and easy mehndi. Supplies needed for this experimentation are henna cone, blank papers for practice, and old cloth.
First of all, there are eight fundamental strokes you need to know:
- / / / / / / / / / / / /
- \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \
- C C C C C C C
- Reversed “C”
- U U U U U U U
- Upside-down “U”
- S S S S S S S
- Reversed “S”
Now, let’s begin the first step by drawing a circle on the very centre of your palm and put a dot in it. Next, just simply draw flower fetal based on your own imagination. Finally, draw a few lines inside the fetal for a little bit of decoration.
This is just a simple illustration. At home, when you have free time, try to draw whatever you like using the above basic strokes in order to get used to it.
Through multiple practices, your creativity will arise naturally. Then, you can be like one of those professional mehndi painters that might interested in henna design patterns as below.
The Majestic Flower
Anyone who wears this tattoo on their body must feel majestic and exciting. When you go to a henna design shop tell the painter “Hey! I’d like to have a majestic flower tattoo on my back?” Naww… just kidding. Explain to them that you want a tattoo of which there’s a diwali design flower in the middle and some curvy vines around it in four directions; something like in the above picture.
The Sacred Lotus
Lotus lovers might want to try this out. I love the fact that the lotus itself is beautiful, plus the spirit of kindness and pure. When applying that piece of tattoo on your body, I think you’re gonna get lots of WOW.
The Ko-maut Water Lily
If you don’t like types of tattoo that is too curvy or has too many strokes, perhaps, this one suits you. This henna design looks simple, though, it seems calm and shows harmony and peace of mind to the person who owns this tattoo.
Apparently, these three figures are just some ideas and recommendations of different patterns of henna designs, of course, there are hundreds of design out there you can pick when you enter a mehndi shop. As we can see, henna design has a rich history and culture. I am truly thankful to the ancient Indian for creating such a gorgeous art and passing down to us to use happily.