Henna at the festival: Beyond face painting

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Stratford henna artist Ameira Hernandez and her team join us on the green this weekend. We could not be more thrilled.

Body painting is art without a doubt, and henna, in particular, is both artful and historical.

The Ancient Art of Henna

Henna is a plant which grows in the tropical climates of Africa, northern Australia, and southern Asia. Its leaves contain a pigment called lawsone which combines with proteins to cause staining. Because of this staining quality, Henna has been used throughout the ages to dye hair and create body art designs.

Henna or "mendhi" design by Stratford artist.
Henna or “mendhi” design by Stratford artist, Ameira Hernandez

The art of henna (called mehndi in Hindi & Urdu) has been practiced for over  5000 years in Pakistan, India, Africa and the Middle East. According to silknstone.com, there is some documentation that it is over 9000 years old.

Because henna has natural cooling properties, people of the desert, for centuries, have been using henna to cool down their bodies.

Historically, henna was a popular adornment for both the rich but also poor, who could not afford jewelry. Traditionally, henna decoration is used for special occasions, particularly for brides on their wedding day.

Since the 1990s, henna, which is a temporary stain, has become popular at fairs and festivals as a beautiful, artful alternative to face painting.

Come visit the henna tent for beautiful adornment this Sunday at Artists & Artisans in Paradise. August, 28, 2016, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. See you there!