Sikh Fortress Turban exhibition

Chamberlain Square, Birmingham, B3 3DH

A Spotlight Loan from the British Museum

The magnificent fortress turban is a distinctive symbol of Sikh faith and history. This exhibition will explore the story of this warrior’s turban and includes contributions from Birmingham’s Sikh community explaining why the turban remains important to them today.

This turban is a rare example of a distinct type known as a dastaar boonga, literally meaning a ‘towering fortress’. This style of turban was worn by a group of Sikhs called Akali Nihangs.

These skilled warriors used this type of turban to hold their weapons, including daggers, swords and deadly throwing discs. Some Akali Nihangs still wear this type of turban today as a symbolic representation of this tradition.

Image: Sikh Akali-Nihang turban (dastaar boonga), blue cloth (21st century) with steel blades and quoits, Punjab, India, 19th century. © The Trustees of the British Museum

The magnificent fortress turban is a distinctive symbol of Sikh faith and history. This exhibition will explore the story of this warrior’s turban and includes contributions from Birmingham’s Sikh community explaining why the turban remains important to them today.

This turban is a rare example of a distinct type known as a dastaar boonga, literally meaning a ‘towering fortress’. This style of turban was worn by a group of Sikhs called Akali Nihangs.

These skilled warriors used this type of turban to hold their weapons, including daggers, swords and deadly throwing discs. Some Akali Nihangs still wear this type of turban today as a symbolic representation of this tradition.

Image: Sikh Akali-Nihang turban (dastaar boonga), blue cloth (21st century) with steel blades and quoits, Punjab, India, 19th century. © The Trustees of the British Museum

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