|Henna Artist at Work at Last Year's CIES Summer Festival|
The art of henna has been practiced for over 5000 years in Pakistan, India, Africa and the Middle East. There is some documentation that it is over 9000 years old. Because henna has natural cooling properties, people of the desert, for centuries, have been using henna to cool down their bodies. They make a paste of henna and soak their palms and soles of the feet in it to get an air conditioning affect.
They feel its cooling sensation throughout the body for as long as the henna stain remains on their skin. Initially, as the stain faded away, it left patterns on the skin surface which led to ideas to make designs for decorative purposes. In the ancient Egyptian times mummies wore henna designs and it is documented that Cleopatra herself used henna for decorative purposes.
Henna was not only a popular adornment for the rich but the poor, who could not afford jewellery, used it to decorate their bodies as well.It is traditionally used for special occasions like holidays, birthdays and weddings in Africa, Pakistan, India, and the Middle East.
More details of the 2016 CIES Summer Festival coming soon!