Naija Style Gele | Nigerian Fashion

Ayanna Nahmias, Editor-in-Chief
Last Modified: 17:50 p.m. EDT, 29 December 2009

Nigerian Gele“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 of these fabrics and where they can be purchased, visit the Ladybrille Blogazine.

  • To learn how to tie a Gele view the tutorial video here.
  • Watch the video “African Queen” which celebrates beautiful African women and the Gele.

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About Ayanna Nahmias

Ayanna Nahmias was interviewed on Radio Netherlands Worldwide program titled 'The State We’re In,' about her life in Africa and her determination to transcend her past. She started the Nahmias Cipher Report to provide information to readers about life in emerging economies, and to provide alternative insight into the challenges faced by women and children living in these countries. The blog features stories from around the world to inspire other people to persevere and triumph in the face of great adversity. She blogs about current events in emerging economies, international politics, human rights abuses, women’s rights and child advocacy.

View all posts by Ayanna Nahmias

19 Comments on “Naija Style Gele | Nigerian Fashion”

  1. Jamaal Says:

    Hello Ayanna:

    Great Blog! Great Content. These African head wraps are just so elegant. We, African Americans need to really adopt our African Heritage. Thank you for the information. Your article made me do some research on African Clothing to see where i can purchase some, i stumbled on a website called They have some really cool stuff. What do you think?


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