For years now I’ve wondered the meaning of some of the headwear that people (mostly men, come to think of it) wear around my town. I know some of it has a religious belief behind it, but I can’t tell which is which and what is what, and whether some of them are simply a fashion statement.
Yarmulkes, I get, although I don’t know if different “designs” have significance. I know some jews wear a kippah, but I see some people wear a very similar style of hat, one of whom I know is muslim. Does his non-kippah have a special meaning?
There are also men who wear turbans, some with a topknot. Does that designate a Sikh?
Is there a website with this stuff on it? Anyone want to run a quick “Headwear 101” course for me?
Sikhs don’t cut their hair, so Sikh men wear turbans to keep their hair in. Sikh boys wear a little cloth topknot — a kind of pre-turban, if you like. It’s the uncut hair (kesh) rather than the turban itself that has religious significance. However, members of the Khalsa (a Sikh order of the pure) always wear turbans.
Muslim clerics often wear a turban. The Muslim turban tends to be fatter and wider than the Sikh turban, and is wound around either a skullcap or a hard fez-like hat.