NAIJA GOOD: “GELÉ“
Happy International Women’s Day!^^
2022 IWD THEME: #BreakTheBias.
Whether deliberate or unconscious, bias makes it difficult for women to move ahead. Knowing that bias exists isn’t enough, action is needed to level the playing field.
GENDER EQUALITY TODAY FOR A SUSTAINABLE TOMORROW.
There are two stories regarding the protest that led to the UN government declaring IWD a public holiday in 1917.
1) The Russian women’s March for ‘Bread and Peace’.
2) The New York women in 1857, from a textile sewing and shoes factory demonstration for the same rights as men.
Textiles. Women. GELÉ!!!
GELÉ, as the Yorubas call it.
When i hear the word ‘Gelé‘, I picture a long, wide, crispy, HAZARDOUS, elegant material on a woman’s head.
Have you seen one of those things?
They are usually worn by women on their heads to an event or church.
When you see a Nigerian Woman bring out her ‘Gelé’ know it’s about to go down, know she is ready to look fly, show off and you shouldn’t be surprised to see other women come out dressed like that. You would have to pick your jaw from the floor if you happen by the location of the gathering.
These textiles are flashy, tied round her head and stylized to become a close replica of a flower. They could come as polythene materials, others are Ankara wrappers and the most recent —and expensive— ones are Asó Òke :which is a hand woven cloth created by the Yoruba people. That’s how you know it’s really about to go down.
The different types of GELÉ are:
- Ankara Gelé.
- Aso-oke Gelé.
- Avant Garde Gelé.
- Flowery Umbrella Gelé.
- Infinity Pleats Gelé.
- Perfect Rose Gelé.
- Casual Gelé
- Bling Gelé.
- Couture Gelé.
She wears it on her traditional wedding ceremony,
child’s naming ceremony,
and friend’s party.
The “Gelé is always loud”. It looks loud and sounds loud. And yes you guessed right, the event she is going to is loud!
Have you had a “Gelé” tied on your head before? You might need to cover your ears.
But that inconvenience, the time you spend sitting through the rigorous process of tying, the amount you spend to have it on, and the numerous office pins are worth your reflection from a mirror. Then you add the never-ending looks. Top it off with the compliments and you have made huge profit already on your investment.
Nigerian women use it as a uniform. Whenever there is a gathering, association or celebration of women there is unity in their attire.
They try to make their outfits and Gelé stand out from each other but they normally pick a color, accessorized with their different jewelries, shoes and style results in a beautiful sight.
There are other materials women use to cover their head, scarfs, ibórún, dhuku, hijab and so many others..
And if creative, can be used to make different designs on the head..
But ‘Gelé’ is the most elaborate of them all. It is pulled out occasionally. For classy occasions. And stuns all the time.
“Gele tí áwé sùkú sùkú bam bam, éni tó ba wun ko bé!..” That’s a line from a popular Yoruba song which in english means -OUR HEAD TIES ARE ELABORATELY GALLANT, WHOEVER IS ENVIOUS CAN BURST!
There is no ‘ Owambe‘ without a magnificent GELE.
_Naija Is Good._
"This article is dedicated to the women all over the world. Beauty is what we represent whether deliberately or not. Beauty is natural, creative and time. A woman's beauty shouldn't be hidden, she should have a say and choice, given opportunities and no more 'Sit Still, Look Pretty'. To the Nigerian woman, don't let society cage you, encourage the young ones, show solidarity for each other, continue to stun and keep passing down the torch. LET YOUR GELÉ BE LOUD!"