Sikh warrior turban is in Tower exhibit

London, UK: A Turban ‘fortress’ once containing daggers, swords and metal throwing discs owned by the Sikh warrior who owned it is on display at the Tower Museum until the end of July.

The fortress turban is on loan from the British Museum following a successful exhibition in 2011. It is known as a Dastaar Boonga, worn by a group of skilled warrior Sikhs called Akali Nihangs.

The exhibition, which runs until July 28, will also include contributions from the city’s Sikh community.

Archivist Bernadette Walsh said: “We are delighted to be able to show this rare and intriguing artefact, which not only tells an international story of Sikhism but reflects on the community of Sikhs living in the city today.”

John Orna Ornstein, of the British Museum said: “The display of the fortress turban at the British Museum generated enormous interest from Sikh and wider audiences.

“We are delighted that the turban will now tour a number of venues in the UK, and particularly pleased that the tour will include Derry’s Tower Museum as the city celebrates the award of the very first UK City of Culture. The loan to Derry is one element in what we hope is a strong and long-lasting partnership including exhibitions and shared expertise that we at the British Museum value enormously.”

The tall conical structure is like that of a tower. This made it effective in battle, protecting both the hair and head from sword blows. It is tied by entwining the long hair with the turban cloth which can be up to 20 yards long.

Source: London Derry Sentinel

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