Is All Indian Tattoo Ink Henna?


Quick Answer

Henna is not the only ink used in Indian tattoo and body art. Indian tattoos can also be applied to the body with pastes made from turmeric instead of henna. Both these forms of body art are temporary.

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Full Answer

The henna mehndi, as it is more popularly known, is the more common type of ink used in Indian body art tattoo. Turmeric, which is best known for its vibrant custard-like color and being a common ingredient in various brands of curry powder, is mainly used during gaye holud ceremonies. These are traditional body painting ceremonies of the brides and grooms prior to weddings in Bengal.

The use of these pastes as body art is traditionally symbolic of the Sun. These body designs may last about 2 to 3 months before fading away on their own, or they can be easily washed off at any time prior to that.

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