The head-wrap has been exclusive to women of African descent.
The head-wrap originated in sub-Saharan Africa, and serves similar functions for both African and African-American women.
In style, the African-American woman’s head-wrap exhibits the features of sub-Saharan aesthetics and worldview.
In the United States, however, the head-wrap acquired a paradox of meaning not customary on the ancestral continent.
During slavery, white overlords imposed its wear as a badge of enslavement!
Later it evolved into the stereotype that whites held of the ‘Black Nammy’ servant.
The enslaved and their descendants, however, have regarded the head-wrap as a helmet of courage that evoked an image of true homeland – be that of ancient Africa or the ‘newer homeland’of America.
African-American woman sometimes ties the fabric at the nape of the neck, her form of styling always leaves her forehead and neck exposed; and, by leaving her face open, the head-wrap visually enhances the facial features.
The African head-wrap thus works as a regal coronet, drawing the onlooker’s gaze up, rather than down.
In effect, African women wear the head-wrap as a queen might wear a crown.
Ankara fabric from Ghana , hand sewn and hemmed. This wrap is 17 inches wide and 59 inches long.