Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Long Locs & Headwraps - Learn to tie the perfect African Headwrap

Part II

Yesterday we discussed a little bit of the history of the African headwrap.  There’s much more. If you want to read more history please click here.

Here are some headwraps being worn by women in Guinea Bissua at my renaming ceremony. Most of these women are Muslim
Today let’s discuss how to tie the headwrap.

During slavery headwraps were required to be worn by both men and women. Today headwraps are worn primarily by women.

The Yoruba were among the first to wear head wraps as adornments and they call them ichafu'.  In West Africa they are called 'gele'.
In West Africa where fine cloth was produced, women traditionally wore head wraps, scarves or ties over their hair (which was traditionally worn in short cropped style). The gele is wide and has several folds. These were large squares or long lengths of patterned fabric that were folded and tied in arrangements that varied according to local custom, her marital status, or the occasion. Ordinary women generally wore simple wraps. Young, unmarried girls often went bareheaded. Married women wore head scarves or wraps as a symbol of their status.
High, wide or complicated ties and designs were a sign of wealth and community status, and worn by women who did little manual work. The styles and folds and the fabric used for the Gele all served to identify the woman wearing them as a particular social status, area of origin, or the ceremonial occasion at which it was worn.  Source
In Muslim areas, it is a requirement for all females, young or old, in addition to or in lieu of the flowing scarf head cover.

Moreover, just like the red dot sported by women in India and a couple other East Asian countries, the scarf is sign of marital status. Women in several west African countries are required to wear a head wrap at all times -except in their own room or within the familial house - once they get married. Still widely respected, this practice nevertheless is being less and less observed by the younger generations.    
Today in many parts of the world we are free to wear any type of headwrap we desire regardless of social or marital status. Whether you are African or African American, head wraps can be worn in the same way. There is really no one correct way to wear them. You cannot wrap a bad headwrap!! The basics are pretty simple and allow plenty of room for creativity. There are a wide array of colors, shapes and fabrics.  How you wear a headwrap is an individual choice.

Check out the basics of how to tie a headwrap and then feel free to experiment to create one that fits your style and personality.

You may have to practice a little but eventually you will get it.

I was very happy to find the video below which shows how to tie a headwrap for people with long locs.  I am in search of additional videos illustrating how to cover the hair with the headwrap.

Here's me in another headwrap and top whcih was made for me in Senegal. The headwrap was done free style "before" I watched any videos. 

I will post those as I find them. Also I will post some more photos soon of me in my headwraps.

In the meantime, try out a headwrap and feel like a regal queen.

 watch the video tutorial

Happy wrapping!

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