The Infamous Gele

Hey everyone

This post is dedicated the the beautiful cultural piece of the amazing Yoruba people named the gele.





The gele is rooted in Nigerian and Yoruba culture. Gele is a Yoruba word that means head tie and is known as “ichafu” in Igbo.

I originally thought the gele was a Yoruba phenomenon, but a little research actually showed the act of tying a headscarf in this way is a West African phenomenon although most prevalent and flamboyant in the Yoruba Land.

Geles can be achieved from a range of fabrics such as Aso Oke, Sego/Zego fabrics, Damask, Jubilee, Swiss, embroidered, Singele (net gele), French lace

An interesting piece I read about the gele is that in times past, your age determined the direction in which you tied your gele. A forward facing gele was meant for young people who had their futures in front of them. A sideward facing gele was meant for a woman in her prime of life. A backward facing gele was for the lady who had lived her life.

I’ve included above a link to a song that has become synonymous with the Yoruba gele. This post wouldn’t be complete without it!

Hope you enjoyed this piece
Until next time



About Memoirs Of A Yoruba Girl

A Londoner rooted in Yoruba culture exploring life behind her personal lenses

Posted on January 12, 2015, in All Things Nigerian, The Randomers and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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