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The Infamous Gele

Hey everyone

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

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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

MemoirsOfAYorubaGirl
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