In Western Africa, Nigeria to be precise, the "gele" is an accessory worn with a traditional Nigerian outfit. It is usually worn by females with a traditional attire, for specail occasions like weddings, naming ceremonies, burials, church services, and religious celebrations.
The gele can be tied with different textures of cloth material, but it is usually tired with an aso-oke.
The aso-oke is a hand woven material , it is popular amongst the western part of Nigeria and varies in colors and texture.
The aso-oke is usually found in fashion stores in Nigeria and in other parts of West Africa.
For foreigners who do not live in this country, there are websites that sell them online,
I have never used any of them, hence I can not vouch for their authenticity, below is a url of one of
such websites : http://www.africastyles.com/Accessory/aso-oke2.shtml.
For all those culturally diverse and broadminded females out there, this is a great skill to learn! So hop on and let's go on a fashion journey through a diverse culture.
Step 1: Spreading Out the "gele"
The first step is to spread out the aso-oke, and tie on the head firmly, like you would tie a typical head scarf.
The aso-oke can vary in texture and length. As a beginner,it is advised to use a "gele" with medium length and texture, to prevent things from getting too complicated.
To stand out in the crowd, use a multicolored aso-oke, if you are comfortable with just looking nice and not making a statement with your "gele", then a plain colored aso-oke will do just fine.
Step 2: Tying the Base of the "gele"
For a "gele" to come out looking good, it needs to have a very strong base.
To ensure this, place the aso-oke firmly on your head and tie the back of the scarf ( the two ends),into a knot, like you would tie a typical headscarf.
Make sure it is tight enough, but be cautious not to make it too tight, because you can get a headache if it is too tight.
Step 3: Securing the Base and Rolling the Tips.
Once the scarf has been placed on the head and the knot firmly tied, take the material hanging from
the left side of the head scarf and start rolling it from the back of the head/scarf all the way to the front,
repeat step for the material hanging from the right hand side.
Step 4: Tucking in The"ends" of the "gele".
After rolling both ends of the "gele", gently tuck them in at opposite sides to secure them from getting loose.
Try to do this applying as little pressure as possible, you do not want to make it too tight.
Good job! A few more steps and you will create an ideal "gele"!
Step 5: The Final Step
After the ends have been tucked in, adjust the front and the back of the "gele", by ensuring both sides sit well on the head. Only make adjustments where necessary.
After this is completed,congratulations! You have just tied your first Nigerian "gele".
Kudos for a job well done!
Wear the "gele" with a traditional beads to make it stand out and look cultural, below is a url containing pictures of Nigerian traditional beads;
Please bear in mind that I am not endorsing these website as I have not used their services yet.
If you cannot afford to purchase new beads, a nice beaded necklace or a very simple silver necklace and earrings will do just fine.