Henna Designs (body art)

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Henna is a small tree or shrub of lawsonia Enermis, when its leaves dries up, its grounded with stone and mixed with hot water and paste is made out of it, for cosmetic reasons. Henna has been used as a hair dye for over 6,000 years. It has a maroon to dark brown color after it dries up and fades away as time goes by and becomes yellow to pale color. Henna tattoos are put only on females. This is a body tattoo which is put on hair as a dye, and on fingernail as a nail polish and on hands and feet as a tattoo. It is researched by an archaeologist that, in Egypt henna was put on fingernails of the Pharaohs before the mummification. Now, it’s becoming a trend to put on other parts of the body as well like belly, arms and neck. This is considered to be very traditional in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and other Arab countries. People usually put this on when there is special occasions like weddings, Eid festival, eight month of pregnancy, the child naming ceremonies etc. This is considered to be very important in the marriage of the girl when she becomes married. This is considered to be part of art because the designs are made up of such fine lines. The designs of henna varies from culture, there are Arabic designs, Indian, African designs. The reason I chose this Art because, I think art is associated with us in our daily lives without even realizing it and it is not only bonded in piece of paper or wall but can be beautified on the body as well. It can be put on temporarily and without any pain like other tattoos.

Do you consider this as a piece of art?
Would you put henna designs on your body?
Would you recommend henna for men as well?

Hena Haque

Work cited


17 thoughts on “Henna Designs (body art)

  1. Of course this is art. I’ve never seen henna done as well as in your examples. They are amazing. I’ve seen it many times it’s becoming quite commonplace. I think it’s a fun way to decorate yourself without the commitment of a tattoo and you have the benefit of changing it with your mood or place in life. I would put henna on myself if i were ever in the moment for the experience. I think henna would be fine for men. The basic gender roles in the world are disappearing very quickly these days and a person should be able to express themselves as they want. Why limit yourself?

    • very well said Nick! usually men are not fond of henna tattoos because of the smell it has when you put it on, Honestly speaking I just love Hennna, even its smell. even I had to put it on all year long I definitely would do that!

  2. I truly think Henna art is so amazing and beautiful. I do consider this a piece of art just because you can create many different designs with it and all the designs are beautiful. I’ve seen friend that have had Hanna done in different areas of their bodies and it looks amazing. I’m really looking into doing Hanna myself in the future.

  3. The designs that people draw on sombones skin is amazing. I think henna is art because it is still a design that someone creates by using the henna ink. I have seen this in a lot of different places on people and everytime i see it the desgns just intrest me. Guys should definetly try using this even though its meant for women. I didnt know to much about this kind of art until now. It is very intresting because its like a tatoo except it comes off in a coupkle weeks.

  4. I think henna is definitely a form of art. Personally, I’ve never had it done but would love to. I like the fact that it fades over time then eventually disappears. It’s not permanent like a tattoo so you can always try new designs in different areas of your body. An interesting thing about henna is that the paste that is made from the dried leaves of the henna plant is also used for healing as well as body adornment.

  5. I believe it is definitely an art form. It gives the artist the opportunity to be creative with their mind. I would not consider heena for men because it is traditionally for girls on special occasions. I personally feel like if men started to apply heena then it would not be as special anymore. It should be kept original to just girls. With that being said I did try heena but I only applied it to my pinkie finger nail, and I got a few laughs out of my friends. I had to live with that until my nail completely grew out.

  6. I have always wondered what this tattooing was all about! I’m glad you picked this to explain about it. I like the fact that the “inc” is drawn from mother nature not being toxic or harming to our skin. It’s absolutely amazing to think people started using this method more 6000 years ago! I wonder how people found out that the small trees and plants dyed their fingernails,hair and skin. Was it in accident?

  7. I have always thought that tattooing was a form of art. To take a blank canvas, such as your skin, and use ink to put a design or picture onto it is definitely art. So henna is absolutely no different. You are still expressing a design onto yourself. I have seen this on people before and never really asked about it, but was always intrigued so it was pretty awesome to learn about the history of it. Thanks for sharing this! And I would absolutely get it done. Seems fun. And as far as this only being on women, I think at this point, it’s 2015. It’s time to let the gender roles go. This isn’t the olden times where women MUST stay home and raise children while the men go hunt. We’ve come a long way and there’s no reason to keep everything separated as a society. Men, women, who cares. If you want to do it, and you’re a man, go do it. It seems like it would be fun.

  8. I do believe that Henna is in fact an art form today, while some might not see it as that there is much to argue about it. Like you said Art doesn’t always have to be on paper it can really be on anything as long is there is some meaning to it along the way. I always thought that henna looked interesting and the more that I have seen it the more custom it becomes to me. I would in fact put henna designs on my body if there was a meaning to it that I can relate to in my life. The fact that there are so many different forms of it only brings my interest to it more. I think that henna should be available to all people if they found that they actually enjoy what it is and means it shouldn’t only be restricted to women if other people are fond of it they have the choice to put it on their bodies

  9. I love henna! I never thought of it as an art form though! I have put it on my hands before and I really enjoy it. However, the newer henna they sell in the markets nowadays has a lot of chemicals in it to make the color seem darker. This addition of chemicals seems to make the henna last for a shorter time.

  10. I would definitely consider this art, however I would not have this done on my body. I wouldn’t recommend nor discourage men from having this done to them, it is their decision after all.

  11. For me this is art. It holds meaning to people and like you said, its part of ones life. The art form itself depending on the design and viewer is quite beautiful. Compared to getting tattoos this seems like a breeze. Yet the designs are lovely. Of course men can get henna it doesn’t harm in them anyway. If they want to they should be able to. The only thing I think could be stopping men from getting henna would be societal judgments placed on them. Interesting topic, didn’t think about seeing this ever.

  12. I would definitely consider henna and any other type of tattoo a piece of art. It is art that is using the body as the canvas. The tattoo that is being put onto the body is telling a story of the event that is occurring or the story that has something significant that happened to that person. When I see those pictures it is art that stands out to me because it seems like it would be very hard to do and not a lot of room to mess up. It is very detailed art. I would definitely consider trying henna, the designs are very beautiful.

  13. I think this is considered art, I think it is beautiful. I have gotten henna done on myself a few times and I always feel beautiful when I have it and I love when people ask me what it is.

  14. I would consider this art, it takes immense skill to get the beautiful intricate designs with henna, I have tried and couldn’t do more than a smiley face. I would get it done I think it would be a fun way to get a design like a tattoo but with out the pemanate effects.

  15. I was raised with arabic friends and this is totally their culture, and hobby. They are the maestros of body henna art! Seriously , I was always so amazed by the attention to detail…. Its realy hard to paint with hen though. I think henna is way better than tattoos because it can go away.

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