Sindoor, Tilak, & Henna Body Art
A Tilak is a mark worn on the forehead and other parts of the body. Tilaks may be worn on a daily basis or for special religious occasions only, this depends on different customs and choice. This mark is created using the red powder, Sindoor. Although Tilaks are more commonly worn by women, men often wear them as well. Women wear them on a daily basis usually and men only on special occasions. The red stripe in the part of the hair is commonly worn by women as a symbol of marriage, if the woman is widowed she no longer wears the Tilaks in the part of her hair or her maang. While often single women wear dots different colors of Tilak, to symbolize that she is not married or with someone. There are 19 different types/formations of Tilaks, the most common is the Bendi of the red dot in the center of the forehead, worn by mostly women.
Henna Body Art
Henna is made from Mehendi, a small tropical shrub, whose leaves when dried and ground into a paste, give out a rusty-red pigment. This pigment is what is then used for making the intricate designs on the palms and feet. At Hindu weddings Henna is required since it is considered beneficial and lucky, and always regarded as beautiful and blessed. Henna is popular among both men and women, used as not just for body art but also as a hair conditioner and hair dye. Henna is applied on many religious holidays and Gods/Goddess are seen to be wearing such designs on their bodies.