Re: henna plant

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Posted by Catherine Cartwright Jones on June 3, 2002 at 00:35:46:

In reply to: Re: henna plant posted by Natasha Papousek on June 1, 2002 at 17:21:17:

Your henna plant offspring are still doing well in Ohio!
I think we've finally had our last frost, so I gave them big new pots
and put them outside in the sun.

They had relapsed back to something like toothpick sculptures, and I
trimmed them way back, hoping they'd recover. Today they're filled
with dozens of tiny leaf pairs all keen to become new branches.

Henna's finicky habits, according to my Pakistani Prof, are celebrated
in folk songs: its habit of dying back to withered twigs, then
bursting forth in lush growth with rain and warmth is compared to
melancholy lovelorn angst changing to passionate exhuberace with the
coming of love. Other songs compared the pounding and shredding
necessary to bring out the dye to the emotional battering reqired to
embrace true love. I found 3 books pre-1970, Rajasthan and Gudjarat,
with dozens and dozens of "henna songs", alas, nothing I could get
translated. Interesting that the patterns in those books, pre-1970,
looked NOTHING like what's considered "Indian Mehndi" Navneet-style
patterns. They were all like the ones I've got in HJBA, folk patterns
adapted from Rangoli.


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