There are different things that constitute fashion. Some are generally exhibited and accepted by all, why there are some that are peculiar to a certain culture, tribe, and ethnicity.
Of such fashion is the Henna popularly known as Laali in the local dialect. Henna is a trend that has to do with drawing of art on the body. It is commonly known with the Hausa kinfolk in Nigeria.
Henna is universally linked to the Indians, but can still be found in African and Middle East Asia. Some researchers have dated the use of henna as far back as the 15th century AD in India which is called Mehndi in Hindu.
The use of Mehndi was commonly sought after and used by Hindu brides which represent proffering, happiness, splendour, and divine awakening. These tattoos are more than just mere aesthetics. They stand as the symbol of ‘Solah Shringar” which means the ‘Auspicious mark’’.
The Hindu people take seriously to symbolization and horoscope analysis which connotes how important the henna is. It is believed that the darker the henna, the more love develops in the marriage. Either a Mehndi artist or a relative applies sophisticated designs on the bride’s palms and feet while the names of the groom are somewhere hidden within.
The designer must be happily married, so the bride also would have a happy home. This is done to attract good luck spirits, health, and prosperity. The reddish-brown colour is what is said to attract prosperity. As such, doing the Mehndi design is compulsory. This ceremony is also called the “Rasm-e-Henna”.
Neighbouring countries around India like Pakistan and others in the Middle East also have their traditional significance as regards the henna.
Back here in Nigeria, the Hausa tribe uses this Laali to adorn its bride. The in-depth reasons for this, we can not evaluate yet asides from the fact that it presents the bride in a positive light. We want to believe its usefulness is somewhat like that of the Hindus.
Henna fashion has been adopted by all. People go about with is as it is termed lovely and a temporary tattoo that can be easily washed off. We love how henna looks on its wearer and we are happy it is a part the Nigerian culture.