Sunday, June 5, 2016


Yesterday I had the pleasure of having my hand redrawn with henna by a friend of the lovely lady M who keeps my classroom as spotless as it will ever get (I prefer to think of myself as a bit of a mad scientist in my room, with paints and projects and experiments all over— rather than admit that I clutter). When M saw the abstract result of the henna attack I suffered at the Oudaïa recently (which I worked hard to scrub off), she proudly showed me her beautifully stained hands and feet, and told me her friend was coming to school this weekend for the barbecue we were having— she would give me a much better henna experience. I couldn't resist the opportunity.

We sat on a picnic bench in the shade of a tree, different sized syringes of paste laid out in the sun. I selected an ornate design from the group of images that she had saved on her phone, but then asked her to create what she would like to. When she was finished, I showed it off to the ladies who gave their approval with a delighted "zween"— the word for pretty in Darija.

As you can see, the difference between the previous "design" and this one are massive— it's marvellous! I kept the henna paste on for about eight hours, flicking it with diluted lemon juice as I was instructed (typing my end of the year reports with one hand), hoping for a nice burnt sienna stain. When I scraped off the dried crust, it left behind a bright orange pattern, which I was told would darken over time. Here's how it looked this morning:

It seems as though the back of my hand is not as receptive to staining as my fingers are, though I like the gradient effect that happens as the design moves from my wrist to fingertips. Next time I'd like to have both palms done— I bet it would be zween!


Suzi said...

Gorgeous! Totally zween!

szaza said...

Thank you! Sadly it's all faded now— nothing lasts on these working hands. Nail polish and henna don't stand a chance!