To be honest, up until this point, I’ve never actually worn a turban. Turbans are used throughout the world to serve various purposes. They are considered to be a fundamental part of traditional dress in a variety of cultures.
The term “traditional” is problematic for a lot of reasons, but that’s for another time. Historically, Cherokee men wore turbans. Sikhs, Akurinu Christians, Bobo Shanti Rastafari, Shi’i Muslims, and countless others all utilize the turban for religious reasons – and to be sure, they aren’t only worn by men.
Of course, as the personal is political, dress has become a political statement drawn from one’s identity. Globalization and capitalism have transformed the notion of identity. Everything has become a reflection of the dominant culture and, in turn, the turban has taken on a certain multivocality, saying different things to different people.
“All that once was directly lived has become mere representation.” –Guy Debord, Society of the Spectacle