The wrapped cloth head covering known as a turban has been a marker of eminent religious and political status in the cultures of the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent for centuries, and the importance of the turban in the religious identity of the Sikh community can be traced back to the beginnings of the tradition. In all likelihood, the early Gurus wore turbans to denote their status within the community; with the ascension of Guru Hargobind (1595–1644), however, we have specific references to the majesty of his turban representing a higher order of eminence than that of Jehangir, the Mughal emperor of the time.

The turban as a distinct marker of Sikh religious identity took a new turn during the period of Guru Gobind Singh ...

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