hand prints

Bridal mehndi

The fingerprint, the handprint, somehow we feel they make us unique.  However, nothing is like the henna designs on hands, arms and feet found at a Muslim wedding.  I think the picture above is a traditional Pakistani design, a tradition that has exploded across cultures, subject to fashion trends, co-opted by all and sundry as a kind of temporary tattoo.  Arabic designs look to me more like Victorian lace fingerless mittens.  Modern fashions seem to tilt towards floral sprays scrolling away over the body. 

There are zillions of mehndi sites.  The one the picture comes from (above) gives us a look at the extreme decorativeness of Pakistani, Indian and Arabian wedding jewellery, saris and mehndi: ornate, elaborate, fanciful, arduous to produce, signs of great attention and no doubt wealth.

It is all about the hand, our interface with the world, the holder of our fortunes.  The good luck khamsa of Morroco, below, is at once a handprint, a mehndi hand and a hand held up to warn off misfortune.

Morrocan khamsa charm