Mehndi

DEFINITION

The traditional art of hand and foot painting in India, and parts of Africa and the Middle East, especially for weddings, festivals, and other celebrations. (Literally, mehndi is an Indian word meaning myrtle, a plant important to many Indian people, especially those of Rajasthan.) Among the most common motifs in the design of mehndi in India are: kairi (meaning mango) or paisley ? portraying a slice of the fruit, rupee (the currency of India), peacock (the national bird of India), singhada (water chestnut), rice, lotus creeper, mehndi (myrtle) plant, sakarpara (a sweet Indian pastry), chopra (a board game), kumbh kalash (sacred urn), tulsi plants, bajot (ceremonial table for serving special meals), and bijani (fan).Also see body art, Hindu art, and tattoo.

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