Learning how to tie ‘gele’ is art. Have you ever considered learning the art of tying a ‘gele’ on your head?
If science rules the world, art comes a close second. In West Africa, the process of tying gele is valuable. It has become a business that brings in respectable income to many of Nigeria’s mothers, wives, and daughters. It is a close second to the number one art in Nigeria, which is the art of preparing a face beat to pepper them.
The most notable thing in a wedding in Nigeria is the bright and flashy dresses or wrappers around the girths of Nigerian women and the gele on their heads. A typical Nigerian woman takes pleasure in the bright and flashy colors of her gele. No woman worth her salt over the age of twelve will go to a party without a well-tied gele. It is tradition and it is very attractive and a coming of age thing.
The dress style of Yoruba speaking people
The people in Western Nigeria are known as the Yoruba’s and tie a ‘gele’ as an accessory to their outfit of Aso oke, Ankara, lace, or other assorted kinds of materials for making Yoruba styles of dress for the Nigerian Yoruba female. These are the kind of headdress worn for special occasions such as child naming ceremonies, weddings, birthday parties, burial ceremonies, and religious celebrations.
You can use different textures of materials to tie gele but in the Western part of Nigeria, the Aso oke is often used in tying gele. The Aso oke is a hand-woven cloth and often custom-made clothing and is very popular amongst Yoruba-speaking individuals and those who love them. You can find them in fashion stores in Broad Street, Lagos Island and many tourists who visit Nigeria often buy pieces of Aso oke to use as mementos to their visit in Nigeria.
They are beautiful, and of excellent quality as an Aso oke will often last for many years because the material is not damaged easily. You can also find them for sale online.
How to tie gele – Unique styles of tying gele
A Nigerian woman would love to look gorgeous as well as her clique of ladies who attend a wedding or event with her. Her gele will never look the same as the gele of another woman. Her gele must be unique. When a professional accessory designer ties the gele of five different women, they all look different. It will never remain the same.
Usually, a woman with a specially tied gele will take a picture or two to mark the event where she is having fun with all of her ladies. It is almost a crime to go for an event with a badly tied gele but if you can’t find a professional, you can follow these steps to help you learn how to tie gele excellently.
How to tie gele – spreading out the gele
When you want to tie a gele, the first thing you do is spread out the Aso oke on a flat surface. It is somewhat similar to how to spread out a scarf. Often the different Aso oke scarves will vary in texture and length but it is always very attractive.
When you are a beginner, it is better to start tying your scarf using a gele that has medium length and a soft texture. This will help you avoid complications.
If you want to make a fashion statement, you should choose a multicolored Aso oke but if you are going for a simple and elegant look, a plain colored Aso oke would be perfect.
How to tie gele – Tying the base of the gele
Sometimes you can be at a wedding and notice that a young woman’s gele has collapsed. That is when a visit has to be made to the ladies for a hasty retying of the collapsed gele. To avoid such embarrassment, the gele has to have a strong base.
When tying gele with the intention of creating a strong base, place the Aso-oke firmly on your head and tie the back of your scarf into a knot. It is similar to tying a simple scarf to church during the weekdays. Make it tight enough to be strong and firm but not loose to avoid headaches.
How to tie gele in Nigeria – Secure the base and roll the tips
When the scarf has been placed on your head and the knot tied firmly, you should pick the material hanging on the left side and roll it from the back of the head all the way to your front. Carry out this same step for the material on the right side. Secure it firmly.
How to tie gele – Tucking in the ‘ends’ of the ‘gele’
After you have rolled both ends, gently tuck in the ends of the gele at opposite sides and secure them so that it does not come loose. Apply minimal pressure so that the scarf is not too tight. If not firm, it will come loose. If too tight, it will result in headaches for you and you will have to remove it yourself. Next is the final step that guarantees your beautiful gele.
The final step
When you have tucked in the right and left end, adjust the front and the back of the gele until it is a perfect fit. When it looks right, examine your head in the mirror and give yourself a pat on the back. You have successfully tied a Nigerian gele.
Well done and enjoy your party. You have done a great job. Nigerian traditional wear looks great with gele and a string of beads if you are a young girl. If you are a woman in your fifties, three strings of beads will set off your looks perfectly.
Many tourists to Nigeria can find traditional wears, varieties of gele, and beads in the local markets. You can also purchase Nigerian attires online. Recommended vendors are the best companies to make your purchases.