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Volume 6 Issue 4 ISSN# 1708-3265

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The Return of the Tribal Body Adornment Kit
Inner Traditions
ISBN#: 9780892817924

My level of excitement upon receiving this kit was about eleven out of ten. Creative, fun, artistic expression in a box!

The kit is composed of fourteen bindis, six body paints with applicators, five tribal tattoos, a clip on nose ring, henna, a henna stencil and a henna applicator. Also included is a sixty page book with five chapters of history and instruction on each of the adornments included in the kit. The book was written in plain and simple English - no big fancy words: it was very helpful and extremely interesting with it's easy to follow instructions. All the items came enclosed in a handy, sturdy cardboard box.

The bindis were so fun to wear. I had no idea what they were for before I got this kit; but, I quickly found out they are mostly used in a spiritual context representing clarity, wisdom and perception - the third eye. In India, the bindi is also used as a focal point when talking to a woman since making eye contact with a woman is disrespectful in their culture. Also, some bindis are worn by children as protection from evil. My daughter and I each put one on and felt very pretty and special.

I clipped on the nose ring, which was very easy to do and entirely painless. I walked out to our shop where my husband and our friend were working and announced my presence. They both looked up with astonished looks on their faces and my husband made a comment about me being a masochist having pierced my nose myself. We all agreed it looked very real. I also went grocery shopping with the nose ring on to experience the stigma of a facial piercing in our culture. I was really surprised by all the stares. I got one compliment from a young woman and three disapproving head shakes from elderly women: one elderly woman visibly avoided me in the produce section.

The tattoos were easy to apply and lasted longer than the wet-the-back-and-peel variety. The body paint was super fun! I explored creative painting on a whole new canvas.

The henna came with a cool stencil and handy applicator. The book had a lot of ideas for henna designs as well as a lot of henna history that previously, I hadn't known about. While I love henna, and the idea of an impermanent tattoo, it was my least favourite part of the kit. It was poorly packaged: the thin stiff baggy it was contained in had ripped and spilled, covering the rest of the items with henna powder. While I salvaged most of the henna powder it really made quite a mess.

All in all this kit was great fun. It was a wonderful hands on learning experience, letting me and my family explore different cultures in our living room! I like that the kit includes enough material for several uses. I recommend this kit to all creative souls.

Reviewed by
Amanda Bugeaud

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