Largest Dumala: Baba Major Singh wears the largest dumala, measuring 400m in length, at the Golden Temple. He even had the record of wearing the largest wearable turban in the Guinness World Records weighing 35 kg.
We’ve all seen Sikhs adorning turbans in different styles and forms. But it is a centuries-old tradition to cover the head in the subcontinent. Tribune Correspondent Charanjit Singh Teja and photojournalist Vishal Kumar traverse the history behind the tradition…
Commonly known as dastaar, pagg, pagri, keski and patki, wearing a turban is a centuries-old tradition to cover the head in the subcontinent as a mark of respect. Generally worn by males, Sikh women and Sadhvis, too, wear turban to cover their head. Traversing different phases of history, it has evolved in style with time. It varies among different regions, cultures, religions, sects, social status and even trades and castes. Though Muslims and Hindus of Punjab used to wear a turban and had different styles of adorning it, it has now been reduced to a few special occasions only. However, in modern era, majorly Sikhs wear the turban, as it is a part of their religious code. Sikhs, too, wear it in different styles, which reflects diversity...
During Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s time, the Sikhs adopted a uniform style of turban under French General Ventura. He formed two battalions in the Maharaja’s army, where this uniform-style of tying turban was introduced. Even the terms — pages and fifty —came from European terminology. As military culture dominates Punjabi society, it became a fashion to wear modern turban styles.
Anglo-Sikh turbans: These turbans were part of the uniform of Sikh soldiers, who fought world wars for the British. There is a huge influence of this style of turbans on Sikhs in the Indian Army. People call it Fauji Pagg.
It is a traditional style of turban which used to be worn by Sikh warriors. Nowadays, Nihang Sikhs, who wear a blue dress of Khalsa Panth, wear it. They use strong fabric and tie it so tightly that it doesn’t open during fights (now, martial arts) or while riding a horse. Elements such as iron chakaras, small swords, barshi (sharp-edged knives), nagni (snake-style), mor-pankh and chan tara are used to decorate the turban. Some Nihangs wear huge and heavy dumala, while some prefer it small and lightweight. The colour is mainly blue. Women also wear a dumala and it is called keski.
The turban is part of the Punjab Police dress code since its formation in 1861. The police have different turban styles in separate wings...