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Geles: A Nigerian Woman's Must Have. The History Behind Geles - Culture - Nairaland

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Geles: A Nigerian Woman's Must Have. The History Behind Geles by Nobody: 6:51pm On Nov 21, 2011
I've always wondered how Geles became as colorful and flmaboyant at they are now. Going through historical pictures, they were not always like that.

I'll be too forward by claiming that there is a Yoruba influence behind, but any other explanation is welcomed.
Re: Geles: A Nigerian Woman's Must Have. The History Behind Geles by Nobody: 6:53pm On Nov 21, 2011
Yoruba women are known for their highly flavorful geles

Re: Geles: A Nigerian Woman's Must Have. The History Behind Geles by Nobody: 6:55pm On Nov 21, 2011
A famous Nigerian "Gele Artist"

Houston, Texas (CNN) -- Segun Gele, or to use his full name Hakeem Oluwasegun Olaleye, is a man making a name for himself in a woman's world.
The Houston-based businessman has made an artform out of tying a gele -- the gravity-defying headwraps worn by Nigerian women.
To meet him is to understand how he became a celebrity in a field only a few years in the making. He's not only a vivacious self-promoter; he's also clearly thrilled to find himself making money doing something that comes so naturally to him.
Watching Segun Gele whip the material into graceful folds and arcs in less than five minutes, you know he is the master.
Geles come in different fabrics such as damask, brocade and "aso-oke" (hand-woven fabrics popular for Yoruba special occasions in Nigeria). The most popular fabric among Nigerian women is a metallic fabric made from jacquard.
Gallery: Segun Gele, the master headturner
They have been worn by Nigerian women for generations, but in recent years has become the ultimate fashion accessory for important parties and events in the U.S., something that Segun Gele partially credits himself for.
He says when he moved to Houston, Texas in 2003 from Nigeria, many Nigerian women had stopped wearing their gele because it was just too difficult to tie by themselves. To Segun Gele, this was a great tragedy.
"I mean, you would not find a woman wearing a good headwrap," Segun Gele said. "They would rather wear pantsuits to a Nigerian party. They would rather wear their jeans to a Nigerian party. And when they had the headwrap made, it was just okay."
He first noticed he could turn his skills into a promising business when he offered to tie a woman's head wrap at a friend's wedding.
Within minutes, he had whipped the two-yard fabric into a headturning, vertiginous shape that left other women at the party impressed. Before long a queue had formed and he started charging $7 a piece to tie gele at the wedding, Segun said.
Over time his rates grew to $10, then $15, and now he rarely ties wraps at parties but reserves his services for weddings or other special occasions.
"In the past, I used to have so many people. I think I had about 20, 30 people standing in the line to have their hair tie tied. But it got to the stage where it was overwhelming," he said.
Segun Gele now charges $650 to tie wraps for brides and their party for Houston weddings, and $1,000 plus hotel, rental car and airfare for out-of-town weddings.
This wedding season he's already flown to Georgia, New Jersey, California, Massachusetts and Maryland. Knowing brides reserve him a year in advance, well aware of his popularity.
It's the only business he's done since he moved to the U.S., and one that's showing no signs of slowing down. He has students that pay to train with the master, flying in from around the U.S. and London.
So long as gele remains a fashion statement for Nigerian women, Segun Gele is sure to remain king of his domain.


Watch video on CNN homepage http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/africa/07/16/segun.gele.nigeria.headgear/index.html#fbid=HltbHDVHgJZ
Re: Geles: A Nigerian Woman's Must Have. The History Behind Geles by Nobody: 7:00pm On Nov 21, 2011


Re: Geles: A Nigerian Woman's Must Have. The History Behind Geles by Nobody: 7:03pm On Nov 21, 2011
They come in different textiles, different designs, and different colors in order to fit into the Yoruba's cultural attires.






Re: Geles: A Nigerian Woman's Must Have. The History Behind Geles by Nobody: 7:10pm On Nov 21, 2011
We all know that Segun Gele is globally recognized for this gele designs, and has helped women all over the continent. This we can say is the modern diffusion of the gele designs.

Re: Geles: A Nigerian Woman's Must Have. The History Behind Geles by NegroNtns(m): 8:36pm On Nov 21, 2011
Yoruba women are exotic!

Two-storey high gele,
rose-petalled gele,
phantom-stacked gele,
the black one,
the pink one,
the fuscia,
the brown,
the yellow,
the blue one,
the indigo,
the purple gele,
the red one,
the gold labalaba-winged gele,

Oh my God, ileke, no one does it like una! cool
Re: Geles: A Nigerian Woman's Must Have. The History Behind Geles by Nobody: 11:39pm On Nov 21, 2011
LOL grin
Thanks.

But what is the history behind it? People always ask, and I usually tell them that it's a Yoruba thing.
Re: Geles: A Nigerian Woman's Must Have. The History Behind Geles by anonymous6(f): 12:04am On Nov 22, 2011
head wrapping is from africa(which region it originated from in particular I really don't know but I feel it originated from West Africa) but the Gele material & genesis it self came from Nigeria particularly the Yoruba tribe, the name Gele is a yoruba word itself

"“Gele” is a Yoruba word for a female head wrap. The Yoruba people live in Southern Nigeria and are the largest ethnic group south of the Sahara. Yoruba women are known for wearing the impossibly intricate Gele head dresses, and although head dressing can be found in almost every African culture, the Gele is more than just head covering, it is an art form.

I was a child living in Nigeria, I often marveled at the tall, elegant and exotic head wraps that were so artfully constructed, it seemed hard to believe they were made out of cloth. The type of cloth best suited for the Gele is the Aso Oke and Ankara. These fabrics are traditionally Yoruba, but are now worn all over the country. For more information about the history"

http://ayannanahmias.com/2009/12/29/naija-style-gele/

"So What Is A Gele?
Gele is the Yoruba word for (A woman’s) Head wrap.  In the Igbo culture it is called Ichafu.
It is a large rectangular cloth tied on a woman’s head in a variety of fashions.  The material used to make the gele is usually of a stiff, but flexible, nature e.g. Aso-oke (thickly woven silk), Brocade (cotton) and Damask. These materials come in a wide array of colors, patterns and textures.  The bigger the cloth (and the greater the skill) the more elaborate the look.
Gele tying is an Art form that takes practice, patience and often times a well-toned arm, but once tied, a Gele can make any woman look regal. Every Gele is unique and there is no true formula to achieve the exact look twice. If you take a closer look, you will see that no two Geles (once tied) are alike.
We absolutely love Gele’s because not only are they tied in various styles but they are an aspect of culture that make women feel beautiful no matter the occasion. The style and color of the Gele can be a reflection of your mood, style or personality. Creativity is key ;-)"

http://africanweddingsus.blogspot.com/2011/08/gele-other-crown.html

""Gele" which is a Yoruba word for a female head-wrap is a very important part of a woman’s outfit particularly for the Yoruba tribe. It is a beautiful crown of glory, and today they come in amazing colours, patterns and designs. For glamorous events such as weddings, birthdays, christening, inaugurations or even funerals – a woman’s appearance is considered to be incomplete without one. Gele-tying is an art, and like every other art, its success depends on creativity and mastery. Unfortunately, it could be a head-ache and most ladies struggle with it. A properly tied ‘Gele’ can be a head turner, however, on the contrary, if wrongly done can become a disaster. So many ladies still have sleepless nights over “who’s gonna ‘save’ me for tomorrow’s party?” "
http://www.gele-fabulosity.com/headties.html
Re: Geles: A Nigerian Woman's Must Have. The History Behind Geles by Nobody: 12:11am On Nov 22, 2011
^^^ tells me who wears them, but not how the style began.
This "typical" Yoruba gele style can be seen across Nigeria and some part of West Africa.
Did the style spread within Nigeria (and from which region) or did it spread from a region in West Africa to Nigeria?
Re: Geles: A Nigerian Woman's Must Have. The History Behind Geles by anonymous6(f): 12:21am On Nov 22, 2011
Ileke-IdI:

^^^ tells me who wears them, but not how the style began.
This "typical" Yoruba gele style can be seen across Nigeria and some part of West Africa.
Did the style spread within Nigeria (and from which region) or did it spread from a region in West Africa to Nigeria?



Well the head wrap style is worn all over africa but not the Gele material itself & the the "gele" head wrap style, that is more Nigerian; to me I feel that spread within Nigeria because many west africans(non-Nigerians) I have bumped into are not culturally aware between the differences between "gele" materials, like jublee is considered a high qaulity "Gele"(it is mostly Nigerian women that know this) then other types of Material of "gele", plus most that are advanced in ting in that material are Nigerians. I don't see the "gele" in use really in east or southern africa, just the african head tie style(NOT Gele though) but in west africa I see it at times, but from my experience I see it's prevalence mostly in Nigerian parties. I have been to Liberian, Cameroon, Ghanian, Seirrea leone parties and you don't see the "gele" in use to much. In Ghanian parties I see the kente in use more then the "gele" but if I do see a Ghanian with a "gele" they tend to be from the Ewe tribe
Re: Geles: A Nigerian Woman's Must Have. The History Behind Geles by anonymous6(f): 12:29am On Nov 22, 2011
Ileke-IdI:

A famous Nigerian "Gele Artist"

Houston, Texas (CNN) -- Segun Gele, or to use his full name Hakeem Oluwasegun Olaleye, is a man making a name for himself in a woman's world.
The Houston-based businessman has made an artform out of tying a gele -- the gravity-defying headwraps worn by Nigerian women.
To meet him is to understand how he became a celebrity in a field only a few years in the making. He's not only a vivacious self-promoter; he's also clearly thrilled to find himself making money doing something that comes so naturally to him.
Watching Segun Gele whip the material into graceful folds and arcs in less than five minutes, you know he is the master.
Geles come in different fabrics such as damask, brocade and "aso-oke" (hand-woven fabrics popular for Yoruba special occasions in Nigeria). The most popular fabric among Nigerian women is a metallic fabric made from jacquard.
Gallery: Segun Gele, the master headturner
They have been worn by Nigerian women for generations, but in recent years has become the ultimate fashion accessory for important parties and events in the U.S., something that Segun Gele partially credits himself for.
He says when he moved to Houston, Texas in 2003 from Nigeria, many Nigerian women had stopped wearing their gele because it was just too difficult to tie by themselves. To Segun Gele, this was a great tragedy.
"I mean, you would not find a woman wearing a good headwrap," Segun Gele said. "They would rather wear pantsuits to a Nigerian party. They would rather wear their jeans to a Nigerian party. And when they had the headwrap made, it was just okay."
He first noticed he could turn his skills into a promising business when he offered to tie a woman's head wrap at a friend's wedding.
Within minutes, he had whipped the two-yard fabric into a headturning, vertiginous shape that left other women at the party impressed. Before long a queue had formed and he started charging $7 a piece to tie gele at the wedding, Segun said.
Over time his rates grew to $10, then $15, and now he rarely ties wraps at parties but reserves his services for weddings or other special occasions.
"In the past, I used to have so many people. I think I had about 20, 30 people standing in the line to have their hair tie tied. But it got to the stage where it was overwhelming," he said.
Segun Gele now charges $650 to tie wraps for brides and their party for Houston weddings, and $1,000 plus hotel, rental car and airfare for out-of-town weddings.
This wedding season he's already flown to Georgia, New Jersey, California, Massachusetts and Maryland. Knowing brides reserve him a year in advance, well aware of his popularity.
It's the only business he's done since he moved to the U.S., and one that's showing no signs of slowing down. He has students that pay to train with the master, flying in from around the U.S. and London.
So long as gele remains a fashion statement for Nigerian women, Segun Gele is sure to remain king of his domain.


Watch video on CNN homepage http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/africa/07/16/segun.gele.nigeria.headgear/index.html#fbid=HltbHDVHgJZ

I just want to add to your info about Segun Gele


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FI-xfeCrRf8

p.s. love your thread Ileki
Re: Geles: A Nigerian Woman's Must Have. The History Behind Geles by Nobody: 1:22am On Nov 22, 2011
Thanks dear smiley
anonymous6:

Well the head wrap style is worn all over africa but not the Gele material itself & the the "gele" head wrap style, that is more Nigerian; to me I feel that spread within Nigeria because many west africans(non-Nigerians) I have bumped into are not culturally aware between the differences between between "gele" materials like jublee is considered a high qaulity "Gele"(it is mostly Nigerian women that know this) then other types of Material of "gele", plus most that are advanced in ting in that material are Nigerians. I don't see the "gele" in use really in east or southern africa, just the african head tie style(NOT Gele though) but in west africa I see it at times, but from my experience I see it's prevalence mostly in Nigerian parties. I have been to Liberian, Cameroon, Ghanian, Seirrea leone parties and you don't see the "gele" in use to much. In Ghanian parties I see the kente in use more then the "gele" but if I do see a Ghanian with a "gele" they tend to be from the Ewe tribe

This is interesting, and where do you think it started in Nigeria?

PS: I need your help here: http://www.nairaland.com/nigeria/topic-808442.0.html#msg9605354
Re: Geles: A Nigerian Woman's Must Have. The History Behind Geles by anonymous6(f): 1:44am On Nov 22, 2011
Ileke-IdI:

Thanks dear smiley
This is interesting, and where do you think it started in Nigeria?


My guess is the Yoruba's
Re: Geles: A Nigerian Woman's Must Have. The History Behind Geles by Nobody: 2:19am On Nov 22, 2011
I see.
Re: Geles: A Nigerian Woman's Must Have. The History Behind Geles by Nobody: 2:21am On Nov 22, 2011
More designs



Re: Geles: A Nigerian Woman's Must Have. The History Behind Geles by htajz: 2:30am On Nov 22, 2011
gele is head tie in yoruba ,others groups have a name for femal headties, asking who started wearing head tie is a dumb question and its just like asking who started using boats. women wear head ties all over the world with different materials and design
Re: Geles: A Nigerian Woman's Must Have. The History Behind Geles by Nobody: 2:31am On Nov 22, 2011




Re: Geles: A Nigerian Woman's Must Have. The History Behind Geles by Nobody: 2:32am On Nov 22, 2011
htajz:

gele is head tie in yoruba ,others groups have a name for femal headties, asking who started wearing head tie is a dumb question and its just like asking who started using boats. women wear head ties all over the world with different materials and design
Read carefully. The thread asked about who started the modern flamboyant head tie. Not who started wearing head tie.
Abi you sef tie head gele ni?
Re: Geles: A Nigerian Woman's Must Have. The History Behind Geles by htajz: 2:51am On Nov 22, 2011
apart from the materials which is not even produced in nigeria what is modern about them?
Re: Geles: A Nigerian Woman's Must Have. The History Behind Geles by ijawgirl: 2:53am On Nov 22, 2011
Ijaw women also repping

Re: Geles: A Nigerian Woman's Must Have. The History Behind Geles by Nobody: 2:55am On Nov 22, 2011
htajz:

apart from the materials which is not even produced in nigeria what is modern about them?

Compare those head ties to the olden days

There was a period when head ties were not used. Then they started being used. Then the materials made with the headtie changed. Which also changed their styles. Many historic books have the pictures of Nigerian women with olden headties, but I find it hard to find online.
Re: Geles: A Nigerian Woman's Must Have. The History Behind Geles by Nobody: 2:56am On Nov 22, 2011
ijaw_girl:

Ijaw women also repping

Welcome smiley
Re: Geles: A Nigerian Woman's Must Have. The History Behind Geles by Nobody: 2:58am On Nov 22, 2011
htaz

When I say flamboyant, I mean those owanbe time gele, not the dialy ones like the one below

Re: Geles: A Nigerian Woman's Must Have. The History Behind Geles by Nobody: 3:03am On Nov 22, 2011
Even in the 70s, it wasnt as Flamboyant, still toned.








Re: Geles: A Nigerian Woman's Must Have. The History Behind Geles by htajz: 3:15am On Nov 22, 2011
i think your just delusional
Re: Geles: A Nigerian Woman's Must Have. The History Behind Geles by Nobody: 3:15am On Nov 22, 2011
htajz:

i think your just delusional

My doctor think otherwise. Thanks for the diagnose cheesy
Re: Geles: A Nigerian Woman's Must Have. The History Behind Geles by strangest(m): 11:51am On Nov 22, 2011
@op are you selling headtie?
Re: Geles: A Nigerian Woman's Must Have. The History Behind Geles by BCuZiMBlaCk(m): 12:09pm On Nov 22, 2011
What of asoke
Re: Geles: A Nigerian Woman's Must Have. The History Behind Geles by Floxyluv(f): 12:36pm On Nov 22, 2011
Nice thread. Really nice!
Re: Geles: A Nigerian Woman's Must Have. The History Behind Geles by DidiLove1: 12:45pm On Nov 22, 2011
htajz:

i think your just delusional

The reason for the cussing is lost one me. Very silly post.


@Ileke-Idi

Very enriching thread and great pix. Our heritage is something we should forever be proud of. Please keep this up.
Re: Geles: A Nigerian Woman's Must Have. The History Behind Geles by shesi(m): 2:40pm On Nov 22, 2011
lovely thread. the nigerian head scarf (i'm just now learning of the name gele) is my favorite of all head coverings african women wear. it's graceful, stylish, and elegant in equal measure.

I think younger nigerian women taking an interest in the gele has contributed to the stylishness of the scarf. In Ghana, where i'm from, head scarfs are typically worn by older women. Most young girls would not be caught dead in a head scarf. they prefer to showcase their weaves as a result, the ghanaian ones look bland. Judging from the 70s pictures i'm seeing here, perhaps this used to be the case in nigeria too.

i think more african women should adopt the nigerian head scarf. it could become the quintesential african fashion statement. A way for our women to wear their african-ness with pride and style.

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