Learn the Art of Indian Body Painting

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), September 30, 1998 | Go to article overview

Learn the Art of Indian Body Painting


Byline: Kathy D. Rhine

Mehndi, an ancient Indian body painting art, recently has become popular with celebrities, notably Madonna.

This incredibly beautiful art has captured the interest of television hosts Oprah Winfrey and Jenny Jones, who recently featured it on their shows.

In India, the designs were applied to hands and feet before special events, such as weddings and festivals. In America, people like to have the designs on their arms, legs and torsos, as well as their hands and feet.

Designers use a paste that is made of henna and powders, strained through fabric several times and mixed with oil. The paste is put into small cones similar to cake decorating tubes and is quickly squeezed through a hole in the cone. A beautiful floral embellishment is created right before your eyes.

The paste stays on the skin until it is dry or sometimes is left to dry overnight. The final color is reddish brown and fades over a period of a few days. Extremely dark designs can last up to three weeks.

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