When I was little, my mom sometimes colored her hair with henna. And, if she had some time, she'd draw a star or a heart or a flower on the palms of my hands, which I loved loved. It was like having a tattoo, but cooler because it was this rad natural rusty color. And no one else in 2nd grade had a flower on the palms of their hands that lasted for weeks.

Henna is used for decorative reasons. But the primary use back in the motherland is for brides-to-be on the night before their wedding. It's a tradition with the girls. Shabeh Henna Ban-doon which is the night before the wedding when all the women sit and paint henna "drawings" on the bride's hands (palms and outer hands and arms) and feet (bottom and top and ankles and sometimes calves and shins). It's done where I was born, The Kingdom of Bahrain (where Michael Jackson lived for a while), to this day. It takes a skilled hand to draw these. Henna is thick, like slushy mud. And then they have to sit for HOURS to get the dark dark color and sharp lines. 

 I know it got trendy here in the States to do "henna tattoos"...but it looked pretty weak compared the things the women overseas could and do do. It's done in Arab countries and India, for the most part. But we're Persian. And my mom says some Persians in Iran might do henna on their hands before the wedding, but it's mostly the Persians in Bahrain that keep this tradition alive.

If I was styling a story with these henna hands, my vision would be 1920s Bohemian maxi dresses, geisha-esque hair that's a bit messed up like she slept in her wig and just woke up, girls with caramel skin and these henna-ed hands. 

The woman who did the henna drawings is called Um Mahmood (Ooom Mah-moood). Her phone number is in the photos in case anyone wants to hire her to do this! She's in Bahrain! It's one of the beautiful traditions I've loved about my culture since childhood. And I'm stoked to share it with you. I'll be sharing more Persian and Middle Eastern things in the future. Stay tuned. PS I especially love the peacock at the bottom.♡

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