Turban (pers. dulbend, ital. turbante), the customary headwear for men in India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Middle East, parts of North and East Africa, South Asia, the Philippines and Jamaica. In India and Pakistan the turban is called pagri; Sikhs refer to it as dastar or dumalla. Muslim turbans commonly consist of strips of white muslin or silk cloth wrapped around a cap (Kullah). The Kullah is usually red, although some native muslim troops of the British-Indian Army wore blue, black or green Kullahs, matching their regimental facing colours.

Green and black turbans were reserved for sharifs and sayyids, respectively. Ottoman sultans wore very large turbans with three aigrettes studded with many diamonds, rubies, and other precious stones. Grand viziers had two aigrettes on their turbans; lower-ranking civil officials and military officers, pashas and the like received one aigrette as a distinction. In 1829 Sultan Mahmud II of the Ottoman Empire banned the wearing of turbans and ordered his civil servants to wear the plain fez. In Persia the turban was superseded by the Kullah, but it continues to serve as the offical headwear of the mullahs (priests).

Pashtuns of the Wasir and Afridi tribes preferred dark red and dark blue turbans, whereas modern Taliban fighters are often seen with black and grey turbans, sometimes including white pinstripe patterns.

From 1883, sepoys of the British-Indian Army wore khaki turbans with a strip in the regimental facing colour and khaki fringe.

The fur or cloth wrappend around 18th and 19th century cavalry or light infantry helmets is often called a turban.

Military Glossary