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Traditional Henna Tattoos

Tattoos have nowadays lost their initial signification: they are no longer tribal identification marks (except for a few secluded tribes of the valleys of the High Atlas) or magical insignias, they have become purely decorative. It is performed – by needle infiltration or, more frequently, by simple drawings – during religious feasts or family ceremonies.

The most common tattoos are on the hands, the feet or the face, and they represent zellige or black lacework that underline the whiteness of the skin. They are always geometrical, and they never recreate scenes of daily life or represent animals, in accordance with Islam. Made with “harqus”, a stick soaked in charcoal ashes and spices, these tattoos only last for the duration of a party, before peeling off like any other makeup. Other than traditional tattoos, the kohl is also used a lot. It is a black powder of antimony sulphide that highlights the eyelashes and the eyebrows. The Coran alludes to it, and gives it therapeutic values: “it fortifies the eyesight and makes eyelashes grow”.

The kohl flask is the essential accessory to any woman who wants to make herself beautiful, and the tattoo is one of the favorite creations of artisans who can express their talent though original designs. Kohl flasks can be found in every souk in Morocco.

How long do henna tattoos last?

Henna tattoos gradually fade over with time; they don't last longer than 3 or 4 weeks.

Is it Safe?

The traditional pure henna is safe. However, the "black henna" isn't safe and might cause allergic reaction.

Henna Designs

Henna Designs

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