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11th September, 2019
Wonderfully Made Woman secures National Lottery support to explore stories of head wraps. My culture, my heritage: Gele the beauty of a Wonderfully Made Woman.
Wonderfully made woman has received a £9,700 grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to raise heritage awareness of the traditional Nigerian head wrap, or gele.
The ten-month-long project will run until May 2020 and aims to teach skills and increase awareness among the diaspora through various activities. A storytelling session will educate the wider community in Manchester about the heritage of the head wraps. In honour of Black History Month, there will be an exhibition in October. In March, International Women’s Day is celebration.
The word gele comes from Yoruba, one of the many languages in Nigeria, and it’s now commonly used to refer to head wrap. The traditional scarf is used as an ornament for women across Africa, particularly in Nigeria.
The wide-ranging colours of the fabric are said to bring out the beauty of the woman who wears it , a must-have in the wardrobe of a ‘true’ Nigerian woman. Gele is commonly used in weddings, birthdays, churches, mosques and festivals.
These head wraps are held in high regard and can be passed down through generations as inheritance, especially if they have been worn during a special occasion.
Ehinor Otaigbe, CEO of Wonderfully Made Woman, said: “ I am pleased that The National Lottery Heritage Fund is giving us the opportunity to explore and share our cultural heritage with a wider audience.”
Wonderfully Made Woman provides invaluable assistance to women from ethnic minority communities, some of whom are survivors of domestic abuse in the UK or back in their home countries before migrating to the UK. The organisation helps them break cultural barriers and come out of isolation through these sessions, enabling them to lead healthier and more active lives.
Notes to Editors
About The National Lottery Heritage Fund
Using money raised by the National Lottery, we Inspire, lead and resource the UK’s heritage to create positive and lasting change for people and communities, now and in the future. www.heritagefund.org.uk.
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