Tattoo And Mehendi Culture of Rajasthan
A trip to Rajasthan that has been attracting umpteen tourists since times immemorial would remain incomplete without basking in the culture and traditions of this desert state of India. Some of the world-famous traditions belonging to native Rajasthan are the tattoo or body painting and mehendi. These traditions have been beckoning countless people attracting them to the inherent character of Rajasthan. Tattoo is that art of inserting different pigments into the skin which can be considerably painful. In fact, tattoo art is known as micro pigment implantation.
Ancient Beliefs of Rajasthan
The popularity of Rajasthan’s tattoos has reached all the corners of the globe so much so that umpteen tourists visit this place to experience this. Tattoos represent the traditional tribal characteristics of various groups of people from Rajasthan which is revealed in the unique patterns which are not just enchanting but highly powerful. The tribal women of Rajasthan believe that tattoos not only enhance their beauty and health conditions but these are those marks which would be carried by the soul after death. Some of the popular tattoo designs include circles and crescents on the face, dot pattern, scorpions, parrots, flowers and images of gods and goddesses on the arms.
Tattoo Making Paterns of Rajasthan
A huge variety of floral patterns, trees of eternal life or the Kalpa Vriksha and animals like camel, horse, a pair of peacocks and crocodile are also applied over the calves and between the bosoms of women. Some women folk of Rajasthan prefer to get the names of their husbands tattooed on their forearms as a mark of their ardent love and devotion. Putting a dot on the forehead signifies the goddess of wealth and prosperity, named Lakshmi; again circular clusters of dots with appendages that resemble rays signify Lotus or the sacred wheel. Traditionally in Rajasthan, the horse has been associated with sun, the camel with native God Gogaji and the crocodile with goddess Ganga. When tattooing has been done among the women the designs have been used as a family legacy.
If you ever decide to get a tattoo done, then first you have to decide upon the design on the chosen part of your body. The tattoo artist of Rajasthan would puncture the designed pattern into your skin with the help of a sewing needle inflicting much pain. Once the pattern becomes visible and blood begins to ooze out from the points of pricking, the design is rubbed with the help of lamp black and is subsequently pressed with the help of a thumb.
Mehendi- A Folk Art of Rajasthan
Mehendi has been the ancient folk art of rural Rajasthan signifying prosperity and life. Also known as henna, mehendi is a temporary art work on the skin and happens to be one of the most precious adornments for brides carrying good omen of their married life. Auspicious occasions like engagements, weddings, birth of children and other social festivals are the ideal time to apply mehendi. The art of mehendi has become so popular all over the world that tourists visiting Rajasthan do not miss out on having this experience before they leave the place. The lasting impact of mehendi stays back through the decorative patterns made on the palms of the ladies.
Henna, the other name for mehendi is an ancient herb of healing and grace. Once applied on skin, it acts as a precious medicine and protects the body from germs. Whether applied for headache, violent temper, burning feet and even fever, mehendi keeps body temperature cool and when applied on the hair, gives a beautiful natural color to it.
Changing Trends of Rajasthan Mehendi Art
During the ancient times, mehendi paste used to be applied on the skin with the help of a match stick; but these days, plastic cons have replaced those sticks and paint brush is also found to be used for this purpose. Interesting patters are made with the help of these plastic cones. Once applied, the mehendi is left for drying up. At least for 24 hours, it is wise not to wash it or bring it in contact with water. Once the mehndi becomes dry, it is gently removed and thus gets revealed the beautiful designs on the skin in rich reddish brown color. The Rajasthani mehendi is famous for leaving the darkest hue of red on the skin.
Not just hands, but you could also decorate your feet with mehendi art and bring good fortune to your life. As per popular beliefs, henna was first discovered in Egypt for coloring nails, palms, fingertips, hands and the soles of the feet.
Like many tourists who explore the lands of India and get mehendi done on their skin to take back the marks of their memorable trip, you can also try it out. If you are interested to make the impressions of mehendi darker, then once the paste is applied on your skin, you must leave it exposed in the natural light. After eight hours, you have to remove the dried mehendi by scrubbing and applying mehendi oil subsequently. The beautiful aroma of mehendia nd the lucky charm that it carries along with it, would sure lure you to try it on you and your dear ones! Both mehendi and tattoo are done with ease these days. If you are a bit more adventurous and want a permanent design go for a tattoo, for something temporary, mehendi is always a fun option.