TURBAN, the name of a particular form of head-dress worn by men of Mahommedan races. The earlier forms of the word in English are turbant, turband, and tolibant or tulipant, the latter showing that variant of the original which survives in the name of the flower, the tulip. All these forms represent the French adaptation of the Turkish tulbend, a vulgarism for dulbend, from Persian dulband, a sash or scarf wound round the head. The Moslem turban is essentially a scarf of silk, fine linen, cotton or other material folded round the head, sometimes, as in Egypt, round the tarbush or close-fitting felt cap; sometimes, as in Afghanistan, round a conical cap; or, as among certain races in India, round the skull-cap or kullah. Races, professions, degrees of rank, and the like vary in the style of turban worn; distinctions being made in size, methods of folding, and colour and the like (see India: Costume). At the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th century, a species of headdress somewhat resembling the true turban in outward form was worn by ladies of western nations, chiefly for use indoors.
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