One of the positives of being a Nigerian is the rich culture, which is expressed in our language, lifestyle and most especially our fashion. Our culture is mostly expressed in various cultural or traditional events and it's such a beautiful sight.
One of the major events where our traditional fashion is prominently expressed is traditional wedding ceremony. The traditional wedding is the event where the couple are joined together according to the bride's customs and traditions(culture). So it is expected that traditional attires would be the order of the day.
One common piece of fashion accessory you'll find in a traditional wedding ceremony is the "Igele"; often shortened to "Gele". The Gele being a head wrap, is a large rectangular cloth tied on a woman’s head in a variety of fashions. The material used to make it is usually of a stiff, but flexible in nature.
The gele should cover the hair completely and must be tied at the back of the neck. A lot of modern-day ladies wear their geles with some of their hair showing, as covering the hair makes the outfit feel and look more traditional. It is said that the gele is used to showcase the facial beauty of the African woman and to take attention away from the body. source
Some weeks ago, I worked with some amazing creatives and vendors to create photographs showcasing a Nigerian bride rocking a gele. The purpose of the collaboration was to showcase each of our various strengths to prospective clients. Everyone worked their part and it was my job to present all the work in a photograph. The session was amazing, as the collaboration was among familiar people.
Check out the results;
Over the years the gele has transitioned, and the people who tie them gave gotten more creative with the way gele can be tied. The style that was tied in this photo is quite rare. According to the stylist, the style just emerged. I feel there would be loads of variations of tying the gele in the future. But it doesn't really matter what new style emerges, the Gele would always be a magnificent piece of African fashion.