Last Sunday, I attended the Wrapped In Love headwrapping workshop at the Detroit Public Library. The headwrap group is founded by Love Rose. She stayed busy at the event with wrapping headwrap styles for ladies and teaching them how to create styles on their own.
Despite how busy the workshop was, Love Rose stayed smiling throughout the entirety of the event. From time to time she would remind the women “you are wrapped in love.”
A FEW DIFFERENT HEADWRAP STYLES
The term “headwrap” is really a general term because there are a few different types of headwrap styles.
- Geles — Nigerian
- Dukus — Ghanaian
- Doek — South African and Namibian
According to Naturally Curly, the reasons why men and women wear headwraps vary. One may wear a headwrap for religious reasons while another may simply choose to wear a headwrap as a fashion accessory.
“The History of Headwraps: Then, There, and Now” by Chelsea Johnson for Naturally Curly
“Where, when, and how headwraps are styled may represent wealth, ethnicity, marital status, mourning, or reverence. Despite the dispersal of African communities due to the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, emancipation, the Great Migration and globalization, this black hair fashion has stood the test of time and space. The headwrap materially links black women of the West with the traditions of their ancestors, and with their cousins across the Atlantic.”
CREATING A BIG HEADWRAP BOW STYLE
There was a nice turnout at the event with women being the majority of the guests. As soon as I walked into the multi-purpose room, I saw so many ladies wearing beautiful headwraps in various styles.
I first met Monica Benford Echols who was creating a bow headwrap style for Sandra O’Neal. A small group of women was gathered around Monica and Sandra with their cellphones to take pictures of the bow style. While a few others recorded Monica creating the headwrap style.
Monica told me she has been creating headwrap styles for years. She first learned how to wrap by watching her mother, and over the years she got better at it.
The headwrap Monica was wearing was a skirt. She also had a purple sheet tied around the wrap and draped over her shoulder.
EMBRACING THE BEAUTY OF OUR HERITAGE
Later, I met Tracy Smith-Anderson who had on a beautiful green headwrap with a circular knot tied in the front. “I like it because it helps me to embrace the beauty of what my heritage is and it’s so versatile,” Tracy said to me. “It’s limitless! You can do anything with it.”
To create her headwrap style, Tracy told me she used one of her mother’s dresses. I was amazed! I never would have thought her headwrap was a dress.
That’s what I love about
TRACY CREATES A HEADWRAP STYLE FOR ME
Before the workshop ended, I asked Tracy if she could create a headwrap style for me. I had brought with me two headscarves so I could learn new headwrap styles.
As Tracy wrapped the scarf around my head, she explained each step to me. Travis recorded it on my cell phone so I could look back on it to practice the style at home.
Tracy even shared with me a tip on how I could add a little volume to my headwrap. All you do is use another scarf or fabric and roll it into a ball. Then place it on top of your head. It will go under the main piece of material you use for your headwrap.
BEAUTIFUL QUEENS CONNECTING THROUGH CULTURE
Toward the end of the workshop, the women and children who were wearing headwraps gathered together for a group picture.
A professional photographer was on-site to take photographs of the event and the group photo.
I had a big smile on my face as I started snapping photos of the group. It made me happy to see all of the beautiful headwrap styles and to connect with my culture in this way.
Tracy felt the same way. She said it made her happy to find other women who loved
“I love this,” she said to me as she gave a proud smile and looked around the room.
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All photographs are courtesy of Jennifer Hamra for Good Life Detroit.