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Dastar Bungga c18

A tower like headdress wound blue fabric and featuring a sequence of metal rings decreasing in size towards the top and curved sharp knife like weapons.

Dastar Bungga c18, © © Royal Armouries – Non-Commercial Licence

  • Intro
    Museum's Description
    Teacher notes
    • This is a Dastar Bungga, meaning ‘towering fortress’. These pointed turbans of wound silk were worn by the warriors of a Sikh sect during the 17th and 18th centuries.

      Their name was the Akali Nihangs, which means ‘armed crocodile’ and you can see why. Steel bladed weapons called ‘chakrams’ were carried in the tall caps and thrown at enemies but the Akali also carried swords and even pistols.

      ‘While riding or on foot, the flying movement of the loose end of the turban was like a flag, demonstrating their magnificence.’ Mufti 'Ali ud-Din, Ibratnamah (1854)


      Things to think about:

      • The Dastar Bungga is a rich blue. Why might colour in a uniform be important?
      • The Turbans are very tall and towering, do you think they were designed to intimidate their enemies?
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