By Oluatoyin Williams
It may be seasonal, but Africa’s head wrap is something persistent in Guyana though many who step out in the headwear are more enamored of the fashion than the culture and tradition.
Guyanese women would not normally be seen walking down the street wearing head wraps, but according to designer Anetha Daniels, who specializes in creating African dress for women and men, many would choose the wraps for events such as weddings and funerals.
During August, and especially on August 1 when Enfranchisement Day is celebrated, Guyanese can be seen sporting their African dress, along with the head wraps.
This headgear is not only worn by women in many African countries but is also popular with African Americans.
“You know, these head wraps have meaning and I don’t want to look silly because I don’t know the meaning,” says Anetha, and had it not been conditioned it might have brought the interview to end there.
It seems that many people who create African head wraps in Guyana do not want to speak on the subject, because they do not know the historical / cultural meaning involved.
In the case of Anetha, who also owns Anita’s Elegance Africa Boutique on Charlotte Street, and learned the art of African head wrapping in London, many times the wraps are improvised and may have no traditional meaning.
When one sits in front of Lana Rutherford, who is employed by Anetha specifically to do head wraps in Africa, she inquires about the function they want to attend and then wraps to suit.
Lifestyle she saw it in action recently and the dexterity of her hands was incredible as she quickly folded the cloth, and in a jiffy, the model sat with a delicate head wrap resting on her head. She was taught the trade by Anetha, who wrapped heads in London and Georgetown for over 20 years, but since Lupus was diagnosed, Lana has moved to the front and has been treating herself well.
Even as rain pelted outside, Lana moved from cloth to cloth, all purchased from authentic stores in Africa, says Anetha, creating style, elegance, royalty and beauty all rolled into one , sitting on top of her commander who performed the duty. of a model.
Anetha recalled that while in London she had an African friend who introduced her to the head wraps because at the time she was designing African clothing but not accompanied by a head wrap.
“He said you either use the same fabric they wear or you like Nigerians and use a different cloth to wrap,” Anetha recalled, adding that that friend who taught her how to wrap.
Pointing to various pieces of cloth neatly packed on a shelf, Anetha boasted that they all originated in Nigeria.
“But you see what we do, we make our own styles when wrapping a head. We don’t know the precise meaning because you see with these types of Nigerian head wrappers there are some to say when you’re single; there are those to tell you that this woman is married; there are those who tell you that you are a widow; some say you’re a virgin, ”says Anetha.
Her daughter is married to a Nigerian and his mother has noted that the younger generation is unaware of the significance as the older generation did not pass down the tradition.
And while Nigerians would use any cloth to wrap their heads, Anetha said Ghanaians – she has visited Ghana – would use the cloth of the uniform they wear to mostly wrap their heads.
“But not so with Nigerians, they are crazy with fashion and if you go to a function in Nigeria you get an eye twist with all these different colors blending in,” he said.
While Lana and Anetha charge $ 1,000 per wrap head (appointments must be made) they revealed that the wrap can be slipped, held in the box and worn again.
Anetha Daniels is also a fashion designer specializing in African dress.