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Manlius Pebble Hill students learn all about henna

Eleven Manlius Pebble Hill students in teacher Pam Steeles’s 2D art class participated in a two-part henna workshop conducted by professional henna artist Suzanne Masters this week.

The workshop, for grades 10 to 12, was held in the school gallery so other students and faculty could observe.

Steele said the workshop gave students a chance to study this special art type, get a historical perspective on henna design and broaden their understanding of the ways design in an important art form in other cultures.

Masters discussed the traditional symbolic and religious/spiritual significance of henna body art, and explained that it has played a role in many cultures. She showed students traditional Mehndi designs and photographs of intricate finished designs that had been applied to others.

Students whose parents agreed, along with teachers and staff, could then get a henna “tattoo” on their palm, back of their hand or forearm.

The henna “paint” is actually a paste made of plants, herbs, lemon juice, and essential oils. As the henna paste remains on the skin, it stains the skin with the design for about two weeks.