My second favourite head wrap style after The Nefertiti is the one that I affectionately call, The Chimamanda.
Of course, this is for no other reason than that it is a style worn by one of my favourite authors in one of my favourite pictures. No doubt, many of us have seen her TED Talk, The Danger Of A Single Story. In it, she wears a cute top with jeans and a duku. In this picture, she actually has her duku tied like The Nefertiti, but my second go-to duku style is slightly different.
Whenever I wear my hair like this, I think of her. You fold the chitenge in the same way (lengthways, in two or three fold depending on the size of your hair and head). Then, you place the middle on your forehead (front of your head), with equal length on both sides. Then you take both ends and wrap them around the back of your head and around to the front again. Then,take one end and tuck it under the other. I prefer The Chimamanda for fabric which has larger/bolder patterns. The Nefertiti, I use for stripes and smaller patterns with a frequent repeat in the design.
NB: A chitenge is a standard 2 metres in length. The source of chitenges in East, Central and Southern Africa is the Congo (DRC) apparently. In West Africa, they are closer to 2.5m in length and are about 25cm wider. My Mum surmises that this is because women there are on average much taller, so our standard size down here wouldn’t sell there. It makes sense I think.
NB: The pictures below were uploaded on this blog here and added to this post on Thursday, 12th January 2011.