Lalle Design

24 Feb



Lalle design known as Kunshi plays a vital role in the northern part of the country in beautifying the body. This tradition practice is known for decade in most part of the northern region, even though history has it that it came from North African during the slave trade. Yet this practice is popularly known among the Hausa Fulani and the Kanuri culture in beautifying their skins. The Lalle which is a form of traditional tattoo that they design their arms, hands and legs is not like the white people tattoo that is permanent, this type of tattoo just last for some weeks or a month.
Lalle is acquire from Lalle leaf which is dried and then ground into a power form and mixed with water and other ingredients such as lemon, dye and Bintu Sudan an oil perfume and put in a nylon bag with a tiny hole at the extreme end or at the tip of the nylon. Some use hydrogen solution to wash the stain while some just allow it to dry and just peal it off before washing it with water and apply oil perfume to it so that it will not fade easily. For those that want to their Lalle to be red in color, they use the traditional method of mixing their Lalle power with only water and cover the part they apply the Lalle with nylon for some hours and this time around they make sure the Lalle don’t dry so that the result will be perfect; unlike the modern one which you allow it to dry. While some use Rani Hanne paste that is brought from Arab countries to give them the reddish or orange color they desire.
Lalle design is also celebrated as part of the marriage rites and is widely accepted as a blessings and fertility. A day is specially selected to celebrate the applying of Lalle on the bride’s skin, arms and legs which known as Kamu, this is done by the aunty of the bride and it signifies that she is now a woman and somebody’s wife and the celebrations continue the next day where the Lalle artist will be designing the bride’s arms, hand and legs together wither friends as local musician will be beating their drums and blowing their flute while people dance and cheer at the same time. Unlike before this natural beautiful temporary stain on the body is celebrated with no loud music, the Lalle artist will just design the brides and her friends after kamu which drinks and food will only be served.
Being a lalle artist is not just something you inherit from but is a work of art that you attach passion to it. This Lalle also known as Kunshi in Hausa language is mainly known as practice that is being done during weddings, but is now common thing that is done in most festivities like naming ceremonies, sallah celebrations and the rest. Also it is common among the northerners using Lalle for medicinal purpose too in healing open wounds, burns or rough foot. Sometimes they use it to dye their hair and even the men are not left behind when it comes to that, they use it to also dye their hair and bears.

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Posted by on February 24, 2016 in Art and Culture


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