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Smokey Blossom

The Artist

Tamara Brown of Opal Moon Henna as been an artist from an early age. While attending Ohio University to study photography, she found the medium of henna. She became intrigued by the symbolism used in so many cultures, all connected to this plant, and by the art form that was a millennia-old, chiefly female tradition.  The self taught hobby begun in 1997 became a business in 2002, which flourished upon moving to California in 2009. Tamara began attending HennaCon, a conference aimed at professional and artistic development within the henna community. She added her experience as a Reiki Master since 2005 to henna designs and symbolism, drawing while using the energy healing technique. She calls the practice of combining body art, symbolism, energy work, channeled messages and guidance Ceremonial Henna, and uses in for clients in the Los Angeles area. ​

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The art & rituals of Henna

The art of Henna—called mehndi in Hindi and Urdu—has been practiced in Pakistan, India, Africa, and the Middle East for over 5000 years. It was originally used for its natural cooling properties for the people living in hot desert climates. A paste would be made, in which the palms of hands and soles of feet would be soaked. It was also used for medicinal purposes and applied to the skin to treat such ailments as stomach aches, burns, headaches, and open wounds.

When it was discovered the paste left a temporary stain on the skin—the plant contains lawsone, a reddish-orange dye that binds to the keratin present in skin—Henna’s use progressed to decorative, as it was accessible to people of all socioeconomic levels.

Today, Henna is mainly used in celebration of special occasions such as weddings and birthdays in the joyous gathering of people. The Henna paste symbolizes good health and prosperity in marriage, and in some cultures, the darker the henna stain, the deeper the love between two individuals.

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