Unfortunately, when African women first arrived in the U.S., the head scarf became a sign of their enslavement. However, as African American women and men began fighting for freedom and equality, the traditional scarf reemerged as a symbol of pride and Afrocentric celebration.
What does the African scarf mean?
A Royal Beginning. Originating from sub-Saharan Africa, these headwraps were initially worn by women during the early 1700s and often indicated their age, marital status and prosperity.
What is the purpose of a head wrap?
Headscarves may be worn for a variety of purposes, such as protection of the head or hair from rain, wind, dirt, cold, warmth, for sanitation, for fashion, recognition or social distinction; with religious significance, to hide baldness, out of modesty, or other forms of social convention.
What is an African headwrap called?
In Nigeria a head tie is called a gele — that’s the word used by the Yoruba, one of the country’s many ethnic groups. But the wearing of head wraps is traditional for all Nigerians and indeed for most African cultures. An artfully folded gele is part of everyday wear and de rigueur for special occasions like weddings.
Why did slaves wear head wraps?
In the antebellum South, enslaved black women were forced to wear kerchiefs or headwraps as part of their uniform. While the cloth protected their hair from lice and perspiration as they worked under the blazing sun, it was also used to designate their inferior status.
Is it inappropriate to wear a headscarf?
No. Too many cultures wear head scarves for too many different reasons for anyone to have appropriated the practice from anyone else. No. This is because there is no such thing as Cultural Appropriation.
Why Africans cover their head?
African women have worn headscarves for many years for religious, cultural reasons and even as a fashion statement but they were traditionally worn by older, usually married women. They are a common feature in ceremonies such as weddings and even funerals.
How do you wear an African scarf?
Place the center of the scarf at the back of your neck and bring the ends to the front center. Tie the scarf into a double knot at the center of your hairline above your forehead. Tuck the ends of the wrap underneath the headband. The ends will be positioned near the back of your neck.
How do you tie a silk scarf on your head?
Pull both corners at the folded ends of the scarf along your hairline towards the top of your head. Keep the scarf taut so the long side stays firmly along the nape of your neck. Then, tie the ends into a knot and pull until the knot rests near your forehead.