You may think you should get a henna tattoo kit because that one box can deliver anywhere from 15-30 beautiful henna designs that make you look pretty and special. But I’ll let the Moroccans tell you why you really want a henna tattoo! Here’s an excerpt from my book Mehndi, The Art Of Henna Body Painting.
“Seven months after the wedding, the new Moroccan bride visits her in-laws, who rejoice in her visit, offering her many gifts, including a henna session. When she returns one year later, the henna marking offered to her, always in the palm of her hand, represents a symbol of stability, a symbol often found in jewelry worn to ward off evil spirits.
Pregnant Moroccan women in their seventh month seek out well-respected henna practitioners called hannayas in order to have certain symbols painted on their ankle, which will then be encircled with a corresponding amulet. The henna and the amulet are meant to protect both the mother and child through birth. Once the baby is born and the umbilical cord severed, a plaster of henna, water, and flour is placed on the newborn’s belly button in order to ensure beauty and wealth.
The Berbers, ancestors of Morocco’s first inhabitants, live today much the way they did centuries ago, as herders, farmers, potters, ceramists, and weavers. Among this race of simple nomadic peoples, faith in the supernatural is a way of life, and Baraka, the positive power of the saints, is said to exist in animate and inanimate objects, like amulets, jewelry, textiles, and plants. The henna plant especially is believed to be permeated with Baraka. It is common for a bride’s hair to be dressed with a henna paste on her wedding day by a “woman who is happy,” who informs her in singsong ritualistic fashion that she is being painted with the “plant of happiness” so that she will be able to rule happily as the lady of the house.” (See our Morocco photo gallery here!)
So there you have it, if you aspire to be a symbol of stability who can shoo away evil spirits and call in protection, beauty and wealth, now you know you can use your Earth Henna tattoo kit to harness the positive power of the saints, who will ensure you live a lucky, happy life!