nd taking their art forms with them and therefore sharing their art with everyone along the way.
Some historical evidence suggests that Mendhi started in India while others believe it was introduced to India during the twelfth century A.D. I personally feel that it would be hard to argue the fact that it appeared as an art form in Egypt first.
Proof has been found that henna (MEHENDI) was used to stain the fingers and toes of Pharoahs prior to mummification over 5000 years ago when it was also used as a cosmetic and for it's healing power. The mummification process took 70 days and as the Egyptians were diligent in planning for their deaths and their rebirth in the afterlife, they became quite obsessed with the preservation process. The Egyptians believed that body art ensured their acceptance into the afterlife and therefore used tattooing and mendhi to please the gods and guarantee a pleasant trip.
The henna used for Mehendi comes from a bush called Lawsonia Inermis which is part of the loose strife family and is grown in the Sudan, Egypt, India, most of the North African counties, The Middle East and other hot and dry places. The bush is also grown in Florida and California for his ornamental appearance and often grows to be quite large, ranging from six to twenty feet in some cases. The lance- shaped leaves from the bush are harvested, dried and then crushed to make the henna powder. Henna is used for hair dye, as a skin conditioner and as a reliever for rashes. The art of mehendi is referred to as henna or mehendi depending on where you are and which name you feel came first. No matter what you call it though :- the art form remains essentially the same as it was centuries ago. It is beautiful the way it stains the skin!
Mehendi is not the huge commitment that tattooing is because of its temporary nature. For people who are too scared to endure the poking of a needle or are too ambivalent to commit to wearing the same permanent design forever :- mehendi is a wonderful alternative. I would suggest that anyone who is hesitant about getting a permanent tattoo :- try walking the streets with a henna design for a couple of weeks first. It helps you discern if you can accept the constant backward glances and whispers that you often hear when you are in public as a decorated person. Henna also allows you to play around with designs until you find one that you are comfortable with and then you can get it permanently etched into your skin if you want to. Some people like permanency while others are much more comfortable with temporary forms of body art. Regardless of how you use henna to decorate your body ; the main idea is to have fun.