Henna aesthetics designs and symbols are the Berber's early cultural traditions and are applied with Henna, they are Baraka.
The Henna decorations and designs hold a supernatural power for the Berber, the North African Moroccan tribes. A power known as Baraka, Henna Baraka permeates all natural objects and it exists in silver jewelry, Moroccan tribal talismans even manufactured objects, such as pottery, Moroccan ceramics and cotton or wool and silk textiles. The power of the Baraka is transferred only by using particular symbols, designs, motifs, colors and techniques that is to protect anyone in connection with that Henna Barak designed artifact.
Baraka is commonly sought and used by the Moroccans, to deal with the social aspects in Moroccan occasions and events, to cure all kind of illnesses and vastly to protect against malevolent spirits and the evil eye.
These motifs appear in almost all of the Berber artisanal art and artifacts, including Berber pottery, Moroccan leatherwork and Moroccan textiles.
Because tattoos are forbidden by Islam, the Berber women place their protective Baraka Henna motifs in textiles, silver and tribal jewelry with which they adorn themselves and their loved ones.
Those designs drawn in henna on the hands, feet and body of a mother in a postpartum or childbirth events or at a bridal shower on the bride-to-be are the same protective, comforting symbols that have the same symbols and meanings since centuries of tradition and use.
The design vocabulary of the Berbers includes magic numbers, magic squares, verses from the Koran, Arabic script, geometric shapes (triangles, squares, crosses, eight-pointed stars, six-pointed stars, spirals, circles and diamonds), as well as motifs representing plants, flowers, humans, eyes and hands. Odd numbers are important motifs to the Berber and they are often embed in the designs.
What is HennaThe Moroccan Henna is a natural skin dye applied topically on the body similar to a tattoos but it's not permanent and it will fade away in one to four weeks at the most. Henna design patterns is an art in itself and when applied it is safe and painless. The color varies from dark shades of red to brown depending on the skin chemistry.
Henna comes from a shrub 8-15 feet high, hawsonia inermis, that thrives mainly in tropical climates like in Morocco.
To get to make Moroccan Henna, the leaves of the plant are carefully hand picked, dried in the sun and then gently crushed to powder. The powder is then mixed with drops of Eucalyptus oil, black tea, lemon juice or an infinite combination of other natural ingredients thus forming the Henna paste.
Here are some of the Moroccan Henna Symbols.
Mehndi, just like Moroccan Henna is also a safe way to temporary tattooing, that has been practiced in the East for centuries. Just like Moroccan and Arabic Henna, there is a whole history with traditions and cultural beliefs to it's application and the symbols of it's patterns. Also since the Mehndi is a natural herbal blend it soothes and conditions the skin.