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Mehndi is such a crucial part of an Asian wedding, but have you ever wondered where this beautiful ancient art originated form? Why do we decorate our hands and feet on our wedding day? And what is the purpose of this fascinating tradition? We have searched high and low for these answers so that you can appreciate its beauty even more.

Mehndi has been around for thousands of years, and is practiced in africa, india, pakistan and the middle east . Evidence shows mehndi was used by the Egyptians over 5000 years ago for its medicinal properties. It was said that Indians were inspired from the Mughals, who created intricate designs to adorn their hands and feet. But this is not the sole reason for the application on mehndi.

Mehndi is a plant grown best in hot and dry climates, the hotter the environment the darker the pigment. The leaves of the plant are ground into a fine powder and mixed with a variety of ingredients to form a paste. The pigment ranges from orange to deep brown (almost black) depending on the quality. The pigment is absorbed safely by the keratin in our skin, and the more the keratin the darker the stain. Today extracts from a fruit called Jagua can be added to the paste to enhance the colour. It is said that the darker your mehndi the more your fiance and mother-in-law loves you, so make sure you have a fresh batch of mehndi made with Jagua for your wedding day!

Continue reading the article in the 6th Issue of Maya Magazine.

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Mehndi: Tina’s Mehendi

Designer: Gurtej Matharu

Jewellery: Taaj

Makeup: Ganga Bhambra Make Up Artist