THE SIGNIFICANCE OF CAPS AND HEADGEARS IN YORUBA LAND BY OLALEKAN ODUNTAN.
The Yoruba culture and tradition are unique likewise our food and fashion despite the encroachment of modern civilization into them that has robbed us of most of our values and norms. In Yoruba land, a young person dares not greet an elderly person standing up because it is not only a taboo but an act of disrespect to such an elder. A male young person is expected to prostrate to an elderly person in greeting while a female young person also genuflects as a sign of greetings to such an elder. If you see an elderly person first thing, you as a young person will be the one to greet him or her. And anything short of that is unacceptable to the elders. And if any young person goes contrary to this norm, punitive measures await such an individual by the elders. The parents of such children face shame and disgrace because members of the society will label them as having not given their children good upbringing. Another important norm held in high esteem is seeing an elderly person carrying a load on his or her head and helping such an elderly person to carry the load to his or her destination which is something becoming a thing of the past in our society today. I will dedicate a whole write up on the Yoruba norms and values as a subject matter in my subsequent write up on this blog. Today, i want to talk about the significance of caps and headgears in Yoruba fashion. Caps and headgears make our native or traditional outfits very unique. And it unethical for a man to wear his Buba and Sokoto outfit without putting the cap known as Gobi on his head to match. Likewise a woman dressed in Buba and Iro outfit without tying the headgear known as Gele to match. There are so many different types of caps for men and headgears for women. This is a particular cap for men called Abetiaja sewn like a flapping dog's ears and this cap is worn to portray tradition and culture of the Yoruba people in any gathering. The Abetiaja cap is worn on the head when the man in question is dressed in a traditional or native outfit called Dansiki and Kembe. Caps for men also go with an outfit called Agbada style comprising of Sokoto, Buba and Agbada to have a complete outfit. A cap known as Gobi is always worn to match this gorgeous and flamboyant dressing. As for women or ladies, Gele or headgears can be tied on a woman head to form any shape or size depending on the name they want to call the style. There are so many styles that a woman's headgear can be used to shape such as Onilegoro, Butterfly, Overhead bridge and so many other names. There are specialized stylists whose jobs it is to tie these different types of headgears on the heads of the women and ladies. Testimony to this is when there is an event or a party that men and women have to attend together, they will all appear there in their different traditional attires with different caps and headgears to match on their heads. This is the best time and place to see the men in their colourful traditional outfits like Buba and Sokoto with a cap known as Gobi to match or Dansiki and Kembe with a cap sewn as a dog's flapping ears to match or Buba, Sokoto and Agbada with a cap also known as Gobi to match while their female counterpart will equally dress themselves in their Buba and Iro with a lot of display in different styles and shapes of colourful headgears on their heads. It is always a spectacle at times like this! The men and women always look like kings and queens when they wear caps and headgears respectively on their heads. In conclusion, men should embrace the habit of wearing caps on their heads whenever they dress in their traditional outfits while women on the other hand should also make it compulsory to tie their headgears whenever they also dress in their native attires because that is only time to market our culture and tradition. And there is nothing about it to be ashamed of. Like i said at the beginning of this write up, our culture and tradition are very unique, and it is up to us to promote them amongst ourselves by uplifting it to appreciable level universally because charity they say begins at home.