<p>Flush with wealth from its oil fields, the Sultanate of Oman has catapulted from Arabian Peninsula backwater to modern nation—while keeping alive traditions such as <em>lailat al henna</em>, a women-only celebration to honor a bride on the eve of her wedding. Her hands bear fanciful filigrees executed in henna, which will wear off in several weeks.</p><p>—From “Oman,” May 1995, <em>National Geographic</em> magazine</p>

Wedding Henna

Flush with wealth from its oil fields, the Sultanate of Oman has catapulted from Arabian Peninsula backwater to modern nation—while keeping alive traditions such as lailat al henna, a women-only celebration to honor a bride on the eve of her wedding. Her hands bear fanciful filigrees executed in henna, which will wear off in several weeks.

—From “Oman,” May 1995, National Geographic magazine

Photograph by James L. Stanfield

Oman Photos

See Oman photos and pictures of culture, history, and travel from National Geographic.

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