Several cultures around the world wear head coverings, including Japanese, Eastern Europeans, Turks, Native Americans, Bangladeshis, Filipinos, Jews, Muslims, and Sikhs. African and African American women have long wrapped fabrics around their hair, for example, iconic women like Aretha Franklin and Nina Simone.
Basically, there are several types of head coverings worn all over the world and they are worn for different purposes – decoration, religion, cultural, fashion and protection from the weather. From head tie, turban, headscarf, a veil, hijab among many other names, head coverings are called a variety of names in different cultures.
In some cultures, headscarves, turbans, head wraps and other types of head coverings are tied loosely or firmly around the head or wrapped around the head in a large manner. For some women, they tie a simple scarf around their head to keep their hair out of their face. People also cover their hair when they are working in the kitchen or simply to look fashionable.
I bet there are a lot of things some don’t know about head coverings. So, I’ve compiled some interesting facts about head coverings in different cultures.
DID YOU KNOW THAT…?
- In South Asia, through the 15th and 18th centuries, turbans were worn only by the elites.
- Around the time of the Reformation, the cap form of head covering became popular in northern Europe in place of a hanging veil.
- During the 1800s, middle and upper-class women generally wore bonnets for head coverings. Sometimes these were more a matter of fashion than of modesty. However, among the common people, caps, and veils were still quite common.
- The Romans had a special head covering custom for brides, as we do today. The bridal veil was a piece of cloth called a flammeum ("flame-colored") because it was dyed bright orange, and it was draped over the bride's head without covering her face.
- Head coverings and turbans are not gender-specific. Men and women alike wear them. Indian men, Jews, Sikhs, and Tuareg wear turbans, whether for devout, cultural or practical reasons.
DO YOU KNOW WHAT HEAD COVERINGS ARE CALLED IN DIFFERENT CULTURES?
Gele is a traditional Nigerian head wrap for women primarily common to the Yoruba tribe which women wrap around their heads. The people of the tribe in Nigeria are known for exquisite clothing and so depending on the occasion, there are many variations to which they wrap gele around their heads. They also have different types of fabrics like aso-oke and Ankara, from which they make their wraps.
In Namibia and South Africa, the Afrikaans word doek is used for traditional head wears used mostly by rural elderly women. It is also used as a fashion accessory by some.
What’s called gele in Nigeria and duku in Ghana is called dhuku in many parts of southern Africa. BaTonga mostly wears dhuku on weekends or for ceremonial futures. These head ties are usually small and conservative compared to Nigerian and Ghanaian head wrap styles.
Tichel is the name of the headscarf worn by Orthodox Jewish women after they marry; showing their real hair only to their husbands is considered a bond of intimacy.
Here, you see that no particular cultural group owns head coverings. Head coverings are for all!
Thank you for reading this article, I really hope that it was informed, helpful and joyful :)
See you next time!