I first became interested in henna when I lived in Zanzibar. Weddings and other celebrations involved lavish henna application to hands, arms, legs and feet.
Henna has been used for centuries as a part of many cultural traditions and thus the symbolism within the art is varied. It has become an important part of the expression of culture and has daily and ceremonial use. Henna has traditionally been regarded as having blessings and was applied for luck as well as joy. It has also more recently become a form of body art and way of expressing body image.
My daughter as a young teenager found she had a natural gift for henna art, which also gave her an income. Recently a friend undergoing chemotherapy asked my daughter to do a henna crown. The results were stunning…
My friend said it allowed her to go out of the house without self-consciously covering her head – she felt ‘dressed’.