|Bedouin Tattoos and Markings|
Most of these tattoos and markings were dots or lines or geometric in shape; and mainly around the lips or the mouth; sometimes they are at the center of the forehead, between the eyes. Or on the nose. All these ancient tattoos are either black or blue in color. And the marks are permanent. The way the traditional Hadhrami tattoos were done, was by injecting kohl or some other dye in to the skin; or was done in a rudimentary method of pricking the skin and then rubbing in a mixture of smoke black or indigo. Milk was some times used in the mixture, oftentimes, to give an esoteric benefit. In Islam, it is haraam (forbidden) to either perform or have permanent tattooing or adornment marking of the skin; and that is the main reason, with the spread of Islamic knowledge and values among Bedouins, why such practices have disappeared.
Most Bedouin women of Hadhramout, and some men, still love using kohl around the eyes. Many use mascara, too. But it is the henna, which is recommended for Muslims and which is in fact a temporary form of tattooing - which is now most preferred by women of all ages; be they Bedouin or modern women. To quote my previous post on the use of hinna: I do not know of any where else, except around Khartoum in Sudan, and some parts of India - where henna, botanical name lawsonia inermis; is so regularly used and highly regarded as here in Hadhramaut.