In South Africa and Namibia, the Afrikaans word 'doek' (meaning "cloth") is used for the traditional head covering used among most rural elderly Coloured women. In other parts of the continent, terms like 'duku' (Malawi, Ghana), 'dhuku' (Zimbabwe), 'tukwi' (Botswana), 'shweshwe' (Lesotho), and 'gele' (Nigeria) are used. The head scarf is used as an ornamental head covering or fashion accessory, or for functionality in different settings. Its uses or meaning can vary depending on the country and/or religion of those who wear it.
In Ghana opportunity to wear a 'duku' usually falls on a religious day of Friday, Saturday or Sunday, depending on if they are Muslim, Seventh-Day Adventists or Sunday church-going Christians.
In Nigeria they are known as Gele, and can be rather large and elaborate. Most Nigerian head ties are large and colorful.
Malawian head-ties are usually small and conservative compared to the Nigerian style. They are worn downwards at weddings[clarification needed] and at funerals but at celebrations like weddings, ceremonies, and formal parties, they are worn upwards.[contradiction] In addition, they are worn during sleep to protect the hair.
In South African church services women may wear white 'dukus' to cover their heads. At the International Pentecostal churches in South Africa, married women wear white 'dukus'.
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