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Re-Inventing Gele

Yoruba traditional head-tie worn by Yoruba women popularly known asGele is now gaining global acceptance among different groups of people who have no historical connection with the Yoruba culture. Gele is just a piece of special fabric that could be tied in different ways to give different gorgeous upshot.

It is known to have existed in Yorubaland as far back as pre-slavery era. In the past, It was commonly used with Yoruba traditional attire ” Iro & Buba ” but the recent re-invention of Gele with the touch of exotic styles in various extraordinary sizes took fashion to another level. Presently, Gele is found being combined with different types of attires. Gele has achieved mastery over the rest of the dress as it now speaks for the clothes you put on in any event. In a big occasion in Yorubaland, one can easily see women flying different exotic Gele styles which add more beauty to occasions.

Some Gele are as big as skyscrapers and will make one begin to wonder how a woman can actually wear such however, it won’t take long before the essence begins to manifest as the effect on the dressing will undoubtedly give aesthetic delight. If you knew Madam Kofo Eleru Gele, you would understand where i was coming from.

The difficulty involved in tying Gele is the major dilemma facing the gelelovers. Tying Gele is an art itself and It takes great patience and precision to achieve a desired outlook. One gele lover shared her secret about this ” I tie my gele days or sometimes weeks before any big occasion, I just need to put it on when that day arrives ”

The skills, difficulty and the endurance involved in tying gele has aroused the curiosity of the Yorubas from time immemorial, which led them to the adage: ” Gele o dun bi ka mọ we, ka mọ we o da bi ko yẹni ”. This adage is used when Yorubas are trying to relate somebody’s skills with the general outcome.

The great need of gele and the tying difficulty in it has also led to emergence of the gele experts across the world such as American based Yoruba born gele tying expert ” Segun gele ”. The present wave of geleamong the Yorubas and non-Yorubas across the globe indicates that Gelecan still live for centuries.

Source from: Proudly Yorùbá By: Raymond Ajeigbe

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