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Turbans

Turbans

From ancient times until the present day, the most common headwear for Indian men has been a turban. A turban is a length of cloth wrapped in a specific way around the top of the head. Most commonly worn outdoors, turbans can also be worn indoors.

Woven of cotton, silk, or wool, turbans can be simple or very ornate. The type of fabric, patterns or colors on the fabric, length of fabric, and wrapping technique used for the turban indicate the wearer's social status, religion, ethnicity, and, in some cases, profession. Followers of the Sikh religion, a religion based on the belief of one God and many paths, for example, are required to wear a starched muslin, or cotton cloth, turban made from a cloth about five or six meters in length. (Sikh men never cut their hair out of respect for it as God's creation and wrap it in these turbans.) In some regions, Sikhs wear white turbans while in others dark blue turbans are worn. Turbans worn in different regions of the Rajasthan Desert include the leheriya, or wave, a patterned turban that is worn especially during the monsoon season; the panchrang, or five-color, turban worn for celebrations; and the more simply designed bundi, or small dot patterned, and mothro, or small square patterned, turbans worn for serious, somber occasions.

Turbans can be decorated in a variety of ways. Often the fabric is dyed one color and bordered with a contrasting color. For more intricate designs, everyday turbans are block-printed or tie-dyed. Festive turbans or those worn by wealthier men are made of more expensive fabrics, such as silk, and even woven or stamped with gold thread.

In most parts of India turbans are worn wrapped directly around the bare head of the wearer. However, in modern-day Pakistan and especially the areas near Iran, Afghanistan, and central Asia, turbans are wrapped over the top of a soft cap called a topi or a rigid cap covered with embroidery called a kulah.

There are many different styles of wrapping turbans. Two common ways include one continuous swirl around the head to form the turban or twisting the fabric into two parts and securing one end as a band around the forehead and then arranging the two segments into a diagonal tie on top of the head. Some wearers leave one end of the turban fabric hanging for decoration or for use as a head towel.

Turbans continue to be worn by men throughout India and by many Sikhs and Muslims throughout the world. The style is also worn by women in some cultures, such as the nomadic group known as Kurds living in parts of Syria, Iraq, and Turkey. A prewrapped version of the turban became a popular hat with European and American women in the 1960s. Some older women continue to wear it in their homes as a casual covering for hair rolled in curlers.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Askari, Nasreen, and Liz Arthur. Uncut Cloth: Saris, Shawls, and Sashes. London, England: Merrell Holbertson, 1999.

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"Turbans." Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Turbans." Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/fashion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/turbans-0

"Turbans." Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/fashion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/turbans-0

Turbans

Turbans

Aturbanor hat made of elaborately wrapped, finely woven fabricadorned the heads of women as early as the Sumerian civilization, which began in 3000 b.c.e. The Sumerians lived in the fertile valley between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in modern-day Iraq. Skilled weavers used their own hands and machines called looms to make the delicate, lightweight fabrics that turbans required. Sumerian sculptures, statues, and royal tomb remains depict women wearing turbans so elaborate that they must have required help in wrapping them. Sumerian turbans draped around women's heads in many different complex decorative ways. Turbans represented one of the many intricate styles for dressing hair that Sumerians practiced.

Though little is known about the earliest turbans worn in Mesopotamia, the area in which the Sumerians lived, we do know that the turban became an important form of headwear for men in the Middle East, the Far East, and Africa for much of recorded history. They were common from the earliest years of civilization in India before the third century c.e., and they became popular among Turks after the decline of the Byzantine Empire in 1453 c.e. They are now worn by members of the Sikh religion, as well as by some Muslims and Hindus, in order to show their religious faith.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Payne, Blanche. History of Costume: From the Ancient Egyptians to the Twentieth Century. New York: Harper and Row, 1965.

[See also Volume 1, India: Turbans ; Volume 2, Byzantine Empire: Turbans ]

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"Turbans." Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Turbans." Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/fashion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/turbans

"Turbans." Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/fashion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/turbans

Turbans

Turbans

A headdress with ancient roots, the turban is made from a long strip of cloth, most often cotton or silk, which is wrapped around the head, usually in a specific pattern. The turban frequently covers the whole head, concealing the hair from view, and sometimes the cloth is wrapped around a turban cap rather than directly around the head. Some experts believe that the turban originated in Persia, modern-day Iran, while others think that it was invented by the Egyptians. However, the use of the turban first became widespread during the years of the Byzantine Empire (4761453 c.e.), and since that time turbans have been strongly identified with Eastern cultures and religions.

The Byzantine Empire was characterized by a blend of Eastern and Western cultures, and one symbol of this blending was the adoption of the Persian turban by Emperor Constantine (c. 285337 c.e.). The turban was worn by both Byzantine men and women, and in 1453, when the Byzantine Empire was conquered by the Ottoman Turks, the Turks, too, began to wear the turban. Though turbans often have great religious or political meaning in the cultures in which they are worn, during various periods certain Westernized turbans have become popular as women's fashion accessories.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Houston, Mary G. Ancient Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Costume and Decoration. Lanham, MD: Barnes and Noble, 1977.

Tulips, Arabesques, and Turbans: Decorative Arts from the Ottoman Empire. New York: Abbeville Press, 1982.

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"Turbans." Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Turbans." Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/fashion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/turbans-1

"Turbans." Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/fashion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/turbans-1

turban

tur·ban / ˈtərbən/ • n. 1. a man's headdress, consisting of a long length of cotton or silk wound around a cap or the head, worn esp. by Muslims and Sikhs. 2. (also turban shell) a marine mollusk (Turbo and other genera, family Turbinidae) with a sculptured spiral shell and a distinctive operculum which is smooth on the inside and sculptured and typically patterned on the outside. DERIVATIVES: tur·baned adj. ORIGIN: mid 16th cent.: via French from Turkish tülbent, from Persian dulband.

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"turban." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"turban." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/turban-0

"turban." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/turban-0

Turban

Turban (Pañjābī, ‘pagg’, ‘pagṛī’). Headdress of male keśadhārī Sikhs from boyhood. Although not one of the Five Ks, the turban distinguishes male khālsā Sikhs as the keś (uncut hair) must be covered in this way.

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"Turban." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Turban." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/turban

turban

turban Eastern headdress of Muslim origin. XVI. Three main types are repr. by tolibant, tulipan, turban(t) — F. †tolliban, †tulban, †turbant (mod. turban), It. †tolipano, -ante, Sp., Pg., It. turbante — Turk. tülbend — Pers. dulband.

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"turban." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"turban." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/turban-1

turban

turbanBrian, cyan, Gaian, Geminian, Hawaiian, ion, iron, Ixion, lion, Lyon, Mayan, Narayan, O'Brien, Orion, Paraguayan, prion, Ryan, scion, Uruguayan, Zion •andiron •gridiron, midiron •dandelion • anion • Bruneian •cation, flatiron •gowan, Palawan, rowen •anthozoan, bryozoan, Goan, hydrozoan, Minoan, protozoan, protozoon, rowan, Samoan, spermatozoon •Ohioan • Chicagoan • Virgoan •Idahoan •doyen, Illinoisan, IroquoianEwan, Labuan, McEwan, McLuhan, Siouan •Saskatchewan • Papuan • Paduan •Nicaraguan • gargantuan •carbon, chlorofluorocarbon, graben, hydrocarbon, Laban, radiocarbon •ebon • Melbourne • Theban •gibbon, ribbon •Brisbane, Lisbon •Tyburn •auburn, Bourbon •Alban • Manitoban • Cuban •stubborn •Durban, exurban, suburban, turban, urban

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"turban." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/turban