Thursday, August 31, 2006

Henna Sunflower Hand

Henna Sunflower Hand
Originally uploaded by SideShowMom.
Not been doing much art lately...unless this counts. Dance is an art. Middle Eastern dance is the victim of much mis-information. In the eyes of most Westerners, it's a dance of semi-naked gyrations and bellyrolls, seen only in Greek, Middle Eastern or North African restaurants or, lately, Renaissance Festivals. Women in the Middle East and North Africa often dance among themselves to entertain themselves at family celebrations or at the end of a long day to relieve tension. It is celebratory. It is feminine. It is physically challenging and has many health benefits.

I am more comfortable in my body than I have been in a long time. My belly is stretched and pouchy from having my two babies and I bare it proudly. I am a Mother.

The henna that stains my hand in this photo is a paste from a plant that grows in the Middle East and India and used to decorate hands, feet and bellies of women for Islamic holidays, weddings and pregnancies. Mehndi has become popular in the US also. I've been doing Mehndi for a while, a girl I knew in school from Pakistan gave me a tube of henna and I tried some designs with it. Now I use mylar cones to apply the paste and get very intricate designs this way.

A week ago, some friends and I met for a video/henna party and there was some left-over paste that I've been playing with...

So, here's my latest art-work!

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