A hitchhiker’s guide to the turban

Tiglath-Pileser III, king of Assyria in the 8th century. (source: Wikipedia)

Wall carving (c. 8th century BC) of Tiglath-Pileser III, king of Assyria from 745-727 BC (source: Wikipedia)

The blog A Kaur’s Thoughts presents an interesting condensed survey of the global history of the turban, beyond its relevance to the Sikh faith:

By, “…1000 A.D., the turban had evolved from a strictly utilitarian piece of clothing into something used to connote nobility and power,” said Brannon Wheeler, associate professor of Islamic studies at the University of Washington, (2).

“Just as shoes evolved from a practical foot covering into an item of clothing that reveals a person’s class and origins, so turbans evolved from a simple head covering into something that identifies people along cultural, religious, political and social lines. …In the past, emperors and leaders have worn grand turbans with feathers and jewels added as flourishes,” (3).

Read more here. Part 2 of the series also looks at the turban in its various geo-cultural contexts.


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