Developing Guidelines on Henna

Developing Guidelines on Henna:
a Geographical Approach
(Masters thesis)

“Though many anthropologists and botanists have mentioned henna tangentially, there is currently (2006) no systematic study of the history, traditions, art and science of henna. “Developing Guidelines on Henna” proposes that there is a need for an orderly investigation of henna because there are conflicting claims of ethnic ownership of henna, and misunderstanding of what henna body art is and how it is created. This has caused injuries, and import seizures of henna, as well as unfounded popular speculation about henna.

In “Developing Guidelines on Henna, A Geographical Approach” is a set of criteria for investigating henna, so that both modern and ancient evidence of henna body art can be systematically evaluated and mapped into geographic contexts. This would enable the study of early henna body art, poorly understood at present and usually dismissed as “lost in the mists of time”. These criteria also enable analysis of changing geographic patterns of henna during periods of immigration, cultural and climatic change to initiate an orderly investigation of the history, science and legal status of an ephemeral art: henna.

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