A head tie is a women’s cloth headscarf that is commonly worn in many parts of West Africa and Southern Africa. The names given to head ties vary from country to country: dhuku (Zimbabwe), doek (Namibia, South Africa), duku (Ghana. Malawi), gele, ichafu (Nigeria) or tukwi (Botswana).
The large head ties (gele or ichafu) is worn by Nigerian women. Nigeria has embraced the gele a lot and although they are worn on a daily basis by some women, many pride themselves on their elaborate ceremonial geles that are made of heavier material than normal cloth. The gele is an opportunity to show opulence, wealth and style, and when worn correctly, it covers the hair and the upper part of the ears. Many women choose to co-ordinate the gele with their outfit, while others go for a contrasting look.
The use or meaning of a head tie can vary depending on the country and/or religion of those who wear it. It is used as an ornamental head covering or fashion accessory, or for day-to-day activities. The more elaborate ceremonial ones are worn to weddings, special events and church activities. Such head ties are usually made of a material that is firmer than regular cloth such as the Sego brand of head ties.