Henna or 'Mehendi' has been used in Pakistan, India, Africa and the Middle East for thousands of years. Henna is a plant of which the leaves are dried and ground. When made into a paste it releases a natural pigment. Henna is grown in numerous places, from India and the Middle East, to even here in Australia.
It has multiple uses from body decoration used in Hindu festivals, fasts and weddings, now to hair dye and medicine. Henna also contains cooling properties, and people of the desert would use it to cool themselves down during the summer heat. It has also been documented to have been used as a sunblock.
Henna is a large part of many Indian special occasions, namely weddings, where the bride is covered head to toe in intricate designs. Many guests will also be covered in henna for decorative purposes, including men. The Henna stain stands for the prosperity that a bride is expected to bring to her new family. Henna also has specific uses within a number of religions, including Islam, and ancient Judaism in places such as Morocco, Yemen and Iraq. (Find out more information on Judaism and henna from Henna By Sienna.) We encourage you to look into the different cultures and places where henna has been used throughout history - you can never know too much!
However, henna is not strictly restricted to any one specific culture or tradition, and it can be used as a form of art and self expression by anyone, where-ever you may be. Our Henna Kit creation stemmed from a trip to India, where the locals, in both big cities and villages, were determined to share their love of henna with us, and for us to embrace it the way they do. It was insisted that Henna should be something that everyone can enjoy for its natural beauty.
We endeavour to share Henna with the rest of the world whilst still ensuring that it's traditional background is always recognised. In a modern digital society, where arts and traditions from all cultures and locations are constantly and increasingly being shared, we want to make sure that it is done right; We want our users to be educated, informed, and appreciate our products in their natural form! We continuously put in to local foreign economies through our ethical suppliers, and we frequently gain advice from traditional users of our products to ensure they are happy with the way we have offered them.
The sharing of traditional art forms is clearly inevitable in a digitally saturated society where word can spread with the click of a button. The important factor that we ourselves therefore focus on is that it is done with RESPECT, and it is done right. We encourage our users to be informed in what they are using, and we ensure that it's history is always recognized and appreciated.
Feel free to get in touch with us via email for any more information, or view out Henna Kit here.