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History of the Turban

Sikhs of all ages should be very proud of their rich heritage, and be proud to wear the turban, bestowed upon us by our Gurus. Sikhs have been wearing turbans since Sikhism was founded by the first Guru, Guru Nanak, around the year 1500, bearing important religious significance.

The English word ‘turban’ or ‘turband’ (also ‘tulband’, ‘turbante’, ‘tulipan’ in other European languages, ‘sarik’ in Turkish) can be traced back to the old-Persian ‘sarband’. Punjabi calls turbans ‘pagree’ (possibly from the ancient Egyptian ‘pjr’) or ‘dastaar’. Clearly, turbans have been worn for thousands of years. Interesting, the Old Testament mentions that God commanded Moses “to wear turban as the symbol of prophethood, holiness and divine power, a command which was obeyed by the Jews and the Muslims for centuries, and ignored or forgotten by the Christians” (Dr. T. Singh). In his book “The tuban and the sword of the Siks”, Dr. T. Singh lists many references from the Bible to the turban, for example: "Once they enter the gates of the court, they are to wear linen vestments, they shall wear linen turban, and linen drawers on their loins." (Ezekiel 44:18-19)

For more about turbans (and Sikh turbans in specific), see also http://www.sikhiwiki.org/index.php/Turban.