ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Fashion and Beauty»
  • Clothing

Gele: The Traditional Nigerian Head-Tie

Updated on March 12, 2015

Image courtesy; pilotafrica.com

Woman wearing a red and white dotted Gele
Woman wearing a red and white dotted Gele | Source

The Gele head tie

The Head ties come in various applications like the bandana, headscarf, head wrap or other traditional head covering. Head ties because of its practicability and functionality has become not only a convenient way of covering the head but a fashion statement.

The head tie is common to most African countries like Ghana, Gambia, South Africa, Kenya, and Nigeria. African women have evolved the head tie tradition making it an integral part of their outfit.

The head tie could be simplistic, elaborate, impractical, or functional dependant on the wearer and purpose. Rural women wear head tie for their practicality and functionality adding the headpiece to their outfit as a rule.

A head tie is usually the same material as the dress, blouse, bubu, or loincloth referred to as the iro in western Nigeria. By using the same material for the head tie, it gives the outfit uniformity and elegance.

Although wearing the same fabric head tie is the usual practice, the head-tie does not have to be identical to the lower outfit.

Image Courtesy: Nairaland.com and Going-natural.com

A beautiful golden colored Gele head tie
A beautiful golden colored Gele head tie | Source

Blue Gele fabric.

Blue colored Gele fabric
Blue colored Gele fabric | Source

What exactly is the Gele-head tie?

Most Gele head tie start their journey as a flat plain piece of material, either tough and rigid like the Damask or light weight like paper. The weight and density of the flat piece of cloth mostly depends on the fabric such as sego, tie and dye, net fabric, brocade fabric, velvet fabric even jean fabric.

The wearer then skillfully designs the flat fabric into amazing shapes by bending and twisting it on the head. The turgidity of the fabric also affects the type of shape the person is able to create if an underlay is not included.

On special occasions, a professional head tier is hired to fashion the head tie into something astounding and usually does the elaborate makeup as a total package. A notable actor in the eighties known by her stage name Madam Kofo designed elaborate and amazing head tie pieces for her character.

This singular act increased awareness of the beauty and potential of Gele head-tie making it a must in today’s social gatherings

Head tie fabrics and shoes

Head tie fabric come in various colors and materials
Head tie fabric come in various colors and materials | Source

Gele fabrics

Gele material include some of the under-listed fabrics

1 The beautiful Sago fabric

2 The turgid fabric Damask

3 Light flirty and elegant French lace

4 Amazing embroided fabrics

5 The old reliable Aso-Oke

6 Seductive and light material the Net fabric

7 Swiss Fabric used for Gele

8 The Jubilee fabric

9 And many more fabrics

Head tie fabrics

The head tie comes in various colors and fabrics like gold, white, African print, yellow, pink, blue and any variant you can think of. The material used for Gele head tie is vast like the Aso-oke, sego head tie, embroidered materials, and brocade.

Top Gele types is the African print Gele, Gele with fringes, patterned Gele, brocade Gele, Aso-oke, crowntex(super net), plain Gele, monochrome Gele and paper fabric Gele.

Modern head ties

Head ties come in all shapes and sizes and have become fashionable at weddings, engagement ceremonies, and traditional outings especially in Nigeria. The dress code for weddings in Nigeria is native outfit that is the blouse and skirt/iro complete with matching head tie.

The head tie chosen on such occasions might be the fabric of the iro/skirt or the blouse. Sometimes the color combination is a deliberate mix and match for greater effect.

Image Courtesy:pinterest.com

Stunning beauty
Stunning beauty | Source

Gele head ties styles

Gele head tie styles are too numerous to mention because the art of tying the Gele material is limited only by the artistry and imagination of the person tying the Gele. The styles range from simple to complex geometric patterns and they may be plain or glamorous dependant on the occasion or purpose of the wearer.

The type of fabric used also accounts for the style the Gele, harder fabrics stand at the edge while softer fabrics cannot. Harder fabrics used for Gele are more difficult to bend and shape than softer fabrics but the harder variety offer greater dramatic effect.

Gele fabric

color variants
style
fabric
monochrome
romantic
silk/lace
multicolored
elaborate
damask
gold
layered
sago
blue and red
simple
french lace

How to tie aso-oke Gele

Tying the perfect Gele

Gele tying is rather difficult and complicated but with practice or in the hand of an expert it looks real easy. To tie the perfect Gele you need to start by folding the end horizontally.

Then wrap the fabric back to front around the head making sure both ends are equal. The fabric is tied Left to right and right to left with the longer side round the back.

The next step is to arrange the layers, squeeze the edge firmly from middle, and repeat the process. Secure grip by tying both ends equally-arrange the layers….lets say it’s very complicated (SMILLING)

Conclusion

The Gele head tie has become a status symbol, an important aspect of native attire and the fashion item noticeable in weddings and engagements. It gives the African woman a fashionable identity and would be around for a very long time.

poll

On what occasion is the Gele usually worn?

See results

© 2015 femi

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Vic Dillinger profile image

      Vic Dillinger 3 years ago

      The models in the pics you selected for use here are absolutely gorgeous. It's also refreshing to see something that spotlights and celebrates women of color and the couture of another culture. Good piece.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)