Head decoration is an important part of everyday African dress. Headwraps are common cloth adornments for covering the hair. They beautify the wearer and protect against the sun. In a typical African headwrap, a length of plain or patterned cotton cloth is wound around the head to create a variety of different looking styles. Some styles are intended to provide padding to make it easier to carry heavy items on top of the head. Headwraps are most commonly worn by women in the south and west of Africa, but men in some regions also wear headwraps.


Blauer, Ettagale. African Elegance. New York: Rizzoli, 1999.

Kennett, Frances, and Caroline MacDonald-Haig. Ethnic Dress. New York: Facts on File, 1994.

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