Oh, I love your hat!


I hardly tie gele when I wear my traditional outfits here, mostly because you cannot claim to be dressed casually while wearing an elaborate head tie.  I tell you, a gele can make a mundane outfit look festive.

But the few times I have appeared in public with my gele, I have gotten this puzzling compliment: “I love your hat.”

I know it’s an honest mistake.  Some of those head ties look like hats, which is why I am now correcting you:  if it is worn on top of an African outfit, it is not a hat.  It is a head tie.  Big difference.  The amount of work that goes into tying a gele in the first place makes calling it a hat such a slap in the face.  Have you seen a woman tying her gele?  If you stand too close, you could lose an eye.  Or just get a black eye.  You get the point.

So, let’s just agree.  If it looks anything like the one in the picture above, it’s a head tie.  Not a hat.  Your compliments are still welcome. 😀

Picture via Pinterest

10 thoughts on “Oh, I love your hat!

  1. I had to Google this topic to see if anyone is talking about it!!
    It’s NOT a hat!!! It’s a HEADTIE!!! This is what I usually shout at my TV, when the African American woman on Ancestry.com calls our beloved headtie, the incomparable GELE, a hat. I wish there’s a way I could correct her.

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