Gele is a fashion piece that cannot be mentioned when talking about Yoruba fashion. It is an ancient part in Yoruba cultural attire that will never go out of fashion. Gele tying can be considered an art because the styles defy the laws of physics, they beat the possible. Every day new techniques on how to tie gele emerge. Every holiday thousands of people register for gele tying courses and add their own signature touch to the mastery. Gele is a mood on its own. The gele is so important that how to tie gele is one of the most searched queries on the internet in Nigeria. Each year come with some of the latest gele styles, more beautiful than the previous ones. You can have the most beautiful hair tie in the world, all you need is the material and a few pins. It is common to want to know how to tie gele step by step, it is even more common to want to learn how to tie infinity pleats gele style. This is why you search how to tie gele tutorials on youtube,. To tie the gele you must understand the gele.
History of Gele
The phenomenon that is gele did not emerge from thin air. Just like every other thing on earth, there is a story behind it. History records that black women in African colonies were obliged to cover their hair with scarves. In most parts of Africa, it was stated by law. It was believed that exotic-looking local women distract European men or leave them “confused.” Time passed, ridiculous demands were forgotten, but wearing head ties is still as popular among Nigerian women. As a young girl geles only caused headaches, they were itchy and heavy. However, as you turn 18 and attend your first Lagos wedding as an adult, you want your gele to be the most unique of them all. Wearing gele is a tradition common to all women in Nigerian culture. Nevertheless, the representatives of Yoruba and Igbo cultures wear this attire more often than others. Foreigners may think that wearing gele is limited to weddings or other big occasions, however, the occasion depends on the style. As there are gele styles to turn heads, there are also minimal styles that can be worn casually. Long before now, gele was worn ass headgear by women to church, while visiting guests, even attending markets, it was normal everyday wear. Traditionally, wearing gele varies throughout West and South African regions. Head wraps similar to gele are worn in Ghana on religious days, Malawi to protect hair, South Africa, Zimbabwe for a stylish look.
Gele is tied with different types of fabrics. This headgear is so important that for special occasions such as weddings, brides get custom designed fabric for a uniform gele look. There is a basic way to tie gele, but the treatment of the hair tie depends on the fabric, as they all have different textures. Gele can be tied with jubilee, brocade, sego, aso-oke, and African print, ankara, Bazin, damask, jubilee and brocade.
How to Tie Gele
- Begin by folding the gele into two to have a seamless and smooth fit/base at the front of your head which is the crown of your head. This is important for comfort and a beautiful finish.
- Take both ends of the gele and bring them from the back to the front of your head. Ensure both ends are equal. This is of utmost importance because this will affect how well and easy the gele will be tied.
- Wrap the end of the gele in your left hand to the right making sure it is well secured at the back of your head.
- Wrap the end of the gele in your right hand over that layer to the left tightly securing it.
- Tie both ends of your gele at the back of your head tight enough to stay on the whole day but not tight enough to give you a headache.
- From the side to the back begin to arrange your gele into your desired pattern. Ensure that the leave outs of your gele is small enough for you to grip into place.
- Using pins, pin the fans of your gele into place forming your desired pattern.
- Repeat the pining on both sides and adjust the gele’s fitting on your head if need be.
Latest Gele Styles
The infinity pleats gele style is the most popular style today. It also never disappoints because it looks good on everybody. This lovely style is simple having uncountable pleats round your gele. It is even more glamourous when the gele is embellished or bedazzled.
The side rose is the same thing as the rose style. The only difference is that the rose of the gele is placed to the side of the head as opposed to the front.
The fan style is named the fan because it looks like a hand fan. Wings of the gele are folded to form pleats and are pinned in place to form a fan.
The rose gele style features the gele as a head wrap with a sprout in front. This sprout is twisted and tucked like the inside of a rose. It is almost impossible to tell the beginning from the end and it spirals inwards
The peacock style is a special one because the style is so complicated. The peacock style has the head wrapped but one big wing extends pleated from ear to ear like a peacock showing off its beautiful feathers.
The antenna style is the oldest but still golden style of all time. The style is just like its name, big. The antenna gele is wide and extends just like an antenna. Usually, the celebrant or mother of the celebrant is the one who wears such gele style.