Gele head wraps have been part of Africa’s history and different cultures for well over 50 years. From the days of our forefathers, women across Africa have proudly worn the head wraps, making them one of the fashion’s most versatile and timeless accessory to add to your overall traditional look for weddings or for special gatherings.
Growing up in Nigeria, the tying of the gele was always a sign of an upcoming special occasion. The gele meant more to women than a tiara or an actual crown. It was the ultimate expression of femininity and beauty. Maybe it was the glimmering metallics of the aso oke, or the bright shades of the head wrap, that made women look so glamorous. These head wraps were empowering, beautiful and divine.
Today, the head wrap, much like Nigerian traditional culture has been revamped and celebrated. An explosion of creativity, combined with our innate cultural pride means that women are treating the head wrap not just as an accessory but sometimes as the main focus of their attire.
The head wrap should cover the hair completely and ties at the back of the neck. A lot of modern day ladies love to wear their gele with some of their hair showing, while some like to wear it with all their hair hidden. Which every way it is worn, head wrap makes you feel and look more traditional and well cultured. Also, head wrap has a way of projecting the beauty in our face. With a perfect face beat to go, one will surely look spectacular and dashingly beautiful. Little wonder Nigerian brides go gaga in preparation for their traditional wedding.
So are you heading out today to an owanbe? Then don’t settle for that English dress. Go straight to your mama’s closet and pick out the best of gele. There are head wrap vloggers on Youtube. It’s easy to learn. Trust me, Mr. Right might just be on the way *wink*.
Written By: Omoefe Ohworakpo
Image Credit: Jide Odukoya Photography, Oyinboafricabine