The Nigerian ‘Gele’


The head tie is a common women’s cloth in many parts of Africa. In Nigeria, the head tie is popularly called ‘Gele’. The Nigerian Gele is an ornamental head covering or fashion accessory used for different occasions and events.
The word ‘Gele’ is a Yoruba (a tribe in Nigeria) word for a female head tie. The Yoruba women are known for wearing Gele head dresses to parties and events. However, the Gele is not only peculiar to the Yoruba tribe in Nigeria. Other tribes such as the Igbos who call it ‘Ichafu’ ;  the Urhobos call it ‘Urofo’ ; Bini call it ‘Ukiofon’ ; Akwa ibom call it ‘Afung Iwod’ ; Kwale call it ‘Okpu’ to mention but a few, also have their unique way of tying theirs.


The Nigerian Gele exhibits the rich culture of our African heritage. The history behind the head tie in Africa dates as far back as in the 1700s before slave trade began. For some culture, the head tie was a sign of affluence and wealth, while in some other cultures it was a sign of respect and spirituality. In our modern world today, Gele can be used to correct a woman’s face feature making her look younger and more beautiful. The Gele is like a crown of glory for the Nigerian women. It is more than just a head covering, it is an art that creatively showcases beauty.
The Gele can be tied in various styles they include:
1. Ayaoba
2. Double Gele ( popular with the Niger Delta region)
3. 1000 pleats
4. Turban
5. Avant garde
Gele fabrics are usually rectangular in shape and a little bit stiff but not too soft. They are chosen subject to the wearer’s choice and they include:
1. Asoke
2. Embroidered Gele
3. Net Fabric popularly known as Singele
4. French lace
5. Sego
6. Damask


In conclusion, the Gele is a rich Nigerian culture that stands every Nigerian woman wearing it out. Its creativity can never be over emphasized.
Having given an elaborate description of the Nigerian Gele, its significance and history, why don’t you enroll with us for Gele training @ Marez Beauty Academy. Call us: 08060262474; 08159936063. Email us: You can also reach us on Facebook @MarezCreationz; Instagram @MarezCreationz ; BBM: 7E1EB22E. See you soon.

Live & Stay Beautiful.

Photo Credit:
Angiezglam Academy
Marez Beauty Academy


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