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Mehndi: The Traditional Art of Henna Painting

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Saturday, March 9, 2013 - 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Code: 1K00YC

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Temporary body art such as mehndi, or henna painting, has become very popular in the last decade. Worn by pop stars and fashion trend-setters such as Madonna and Demi Moore, Westerners are just discovering the art form that the women of India have practiced for thousands of years. Mehndi is spiritual in nature, used by Hindus in marriage ceremonies and for other religious and special occasions as both a form of prayer and a way to celebrate.

In this hands-on workshop, students are introduced to the rich history of the mehndi tradition, as well as the best methods of application. Learn about materials, proper preparation of henna, the making of an applicator, painting techniques with henna paste, and ways of treating the designs to make them last.

Using a variety of basic traditional designs, students may practice on their own hands or on paper (if they do not want a tattoo themselves). Designs may last for up to two weeks.

Supplies are provided. For the workshop please bring a smock to protect your clothing. It is also recommended to exfoliate the skin you wish to decorate prior to the first class for best results.

Instructor Savita Jain has been practicing henna painting since she was 12 years old. She specializes in bridal henna and teaches at the India School in Bethesda.

One session, 3 hours

To learn more about traditional Indian folk music, listen to clips from Smithsonian
Folkways recordings>>

Smithsonian Connections

Mytical India

Learn more about this part of the world on a journey to 
Mystical India.

Visit the Smithsonian Journeys page to see more
exotic trips.




S. Dillon Ripley Center
Room 3040
1100 Jefferson Drive, S.W.
Metro: Smithsonian (Blue/Orange Lines)