Swahili woman from Kenyan coastal town of Lamu With nice henna designs! In Lamu, many women put the veil to avoid boys bothering them!
(Used for several millenaries for its dying proprieties, the henna became famous for the temporary brownish tattoos it allows to make harmlessly on the skin. Extracted from the homonym plant by crushing its fresh leaves, Henna is broadly used in Africa, Southern Asia and the Middle East. Cleopatra and Nefertiti are known for having used henna and in Egyptian beliefs, it was part of the afterlife journey preparation, since it has been discovered on several mummies' toenails by archeologists.
A more superstitious tradition is henna averts malevolent spirits and the so-called Evil eye in Africa, the Arabian peninsula and the Levant. It is also supposed to attract or repel helpful or harmful Jinns, sort of supernatural creatures in Arab folklore. Black Henna is alternately used to talk about Indigo blue, a natural dye used in the same manner than the henna, and about a harmful chemical that can leave lifetime scars and have heavy after-effects.)
BY: Kweku Darko Ankrah