About the Book
The first published volume on mehndi in the United States was written by author Carine Fabius, creator of Earth Henna body painting kits. This book comes with dozens of practice exercises and sample illustrations. Inside you will find:
- Step-by-step instructions on how to apply your mehndi designs
- Tips from professional mehndi artists
- History of the art form and a discussion of the traditional uses of the henna plant
- 140 beautiful photographs and illustrations
See excerpts from the book below.
Paperback: 112 pages
Publisher: Three Rivers Press (June 1, 1998)
Dimensions: 0.3″ × 5″ × 7.4″
Excerpt from Mehndi: The Art of Henna Body Painting
For centuries, mehndi—the art of henna painting on the body—has been practiced in India, Africa, and the Middle East, where the henna plant is believed to bring love and good fortune, and to protect against evil. Mehndi is traditionally practiced for wedding ceremonies, during important rites of passage, and in times of joyous celebration. A paste made from the crushed leaves of the henna plant is applied to the skin, and when removed several hours later, leaves beautiful markings on the skin that fade naturally over 1 to 3 weeks.
Henna has been used throughout Africa, India,
and the Middle East for thousands of years.
Henna Use in the Past
Besides being the key ingredient in mehndi, henna has also been used to dye the manes and hooves of horses, and to color wool, silk, and animal skins, as well as men’s beards. Studies of mummies dating back to 1200 BC show that henna was used on the hair and nails of the pharaohs. Once the henna plant’s cooling properties were discovered, painting the skin became a way for the desert people of India to cool down their body temperatures.
Until the art of mehndi became hot news in 1996, henna was mostly used in the United States as a hair dye. Widely recognized now as a wonderful way to dye the skin and to achieve the look of a tattoo, traditional henna uses and application processes have gone contemporary. Although some will always prepare their own henna paste, mehndi kits of varying quality, with foolproof instructions and convenient stencils, can be purchased in many retail and online outlets.