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The henna tattoos have become an alternative for those who do not want their skin to be pierced with needles or having a permanent tattoo.
Henna comes from a plant called Alheña and its leaves, after being dried and crushed, have the property of dyeing. It is for its ability to color, which has been used since ancient times, that this product was known in ancient times from China to Morocco (previously known as Mauritanea). In China, it allowed Chinese women to paint their nails while the Egyptians dyed the hair of the mummies and the Assyrians were tattooed sacred symbols to benefit from magical protection.
In addition, henna is used in many villages in India and Africa to make convoluted ethnic designs that are very impressive and delicate, at the same time complex and ephemeral, since they only last two or three weeks depending on how many times the water gets wet. It is still used this way in Morocco, and berber women from the most traditional or rural parts of Morocco still use it to mark the symbols of her tribe. They are also used especially for rituals at important religious festivals for the community such as weddings.
But now henna tattoos have surpassed the purely religious and cultural, becoming a fashion where more sophisticated and daring designs are made in any part of the body, although they have nothing to do with the designs or the original intentions of these temporary tattoos .
In addition, these tattoos are totally harmless, dyeing the skin in a red-orange color whose intensity varies depending on the type of skin, the location of the tattoo on the body and the time of exposure.
The natural henna is a greenish – brown powder having a chalky texture and dissolves well in water or aromatic oils. It is essential to dissolve the henna correctly.
Then you must decide if you want your henna tattoo of the traditional color, that is, its natural coloration that when applied is greenish, but that the imprint left on the skin is a much more beautiful reddish hue.
The color of the henna tattoos will depend on the type of pigmentation of the skin and its location on the body being the most common tones coffee, ocher, brown, red toasted, crimson… and orange.
You can also use henna dyes and change the henna’s color with only a few grams of dye.
Henna tattoos for many cultures are not just a decoration, since they are filled with symbolism such as protection from the evil eye, protection from witchcraft or promoting fertility. These patterns contain a power known as the Baraka. The baraka has many meanings in Morocco, but basically here it means a kind of positive and protective power. These motifs appear in all aspects of the Berber artisan tradition, such as ceramics, leather and textiles, not to mention all kinds of personal adornments.
In some culture when a lady makes a henna checkerboard design she seeks to explain that marriage is a game of two where strategy is fundamental.
But if is the drawing made represents an animal, it may have different meanings depending on the species; for example, the turtle symbolizes fertility, the peacock stands beauty, butterflies represent transformation, fireflies signify rebirth, snakes are used to represent enlightenment and, for protection against the evil eye, the scorpion symbol is often used.
Those who want to show their happiness and joy draw flowers and their stems, representing the union of marriage.
In henna tattoos you can make zigzag lines that represent rain and waves are human emotions.
In almost all the tourist spots in Morocco, you will find ladies who offer women Henna tattoos, normally they carry a small catalog with patterns and designs so that you can choose which one fits more to our liking .
The henna tattoo is made with a syringe (evidently without a needle) with which different flowers and patterns are drawn on our skin. They are quite fast and in a few minutes you can have your henna tattoo ready.
It is important to negotiate the price before you start with the tattoo, try to haggle, since probably, seeing that you are a tourist, the tattooer may try to give you a very high price. Once you have started to make the tattoo it is very complicated to negotiate, so it is important to do it before.
Once you have finished, let it dry for several hours, try not to touch it with anything and do not wash the area until it has dried, this will make the tattoo stay longer.
The black henna used sometimes for temporary tattooing, may contain chemicals that are very harmful to health. The natural henna is not black. However, there is a variety of products marketed as such, and others that are believed to be, some of these products are extremely dangerous and others are harmless.
Henna tattoos are an art that you can use if you are not ready to get a permanent tattoo or if you are afraid of needles, but you want to have a wonderful work in your body.
It can be a very enriching experience to do a henna tattoo among a traditional Berber family, still with nomadic roots in the middle of a secluded and secret oasis. There you can learn about the symbolism of henna drawings first hand and see for yourself some of the tribal ancient henna drawings. You can have this experience in our tours, by going to a stunning oasis, where ancient traditions are still alive. You can also see the production of henna from its roots.
More activities, see our activities.
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