IndoFijian Henna

Fiji is a multicultural country; its population is composed of different communities, including Itaukei (indigenous Fijians), Indo-Fijians, Rotumans, Europeans and Chinese. Fijians of Indian descent are the second biggest community: around 40% of the population. Most of them were brought to Fiji to work on sugarcane plantations during the British Empire.


Many Indo-Fijians retain the traditions of their home country, including the art of henna. Henna is typically used during special occasions, such as weddings, when artists draw henna patterns on the bride’s hands and feet. Henna stains last for a maximum of a few weeks, during which the bride is traditionally exempted from housework.


Henna comes from the Lawsonia flowering plant. Once the leaves dry, they are ground into a powder and mixed with water to make a paste. The paste can be applied to the skin or the hair to stain them. The stains can be orange, red or darker, depending on the type of henna used.