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Shifting Globalities—Changing Headgear: The Indian Muslims Between Turban, Hat And Fez

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Chapter Summary

Focusing on the Indian Muslims, this chapter shows the translocal movement of headgears and thereby to identify shifts in the boundaries of the global systems as well as in their cultural centres. It first looks at the early Mughal turban and tries to situate it in its Persian and Central Asian context. Secondly, it follows the loss of political and cultural hegemony of the Mughal Empire in the eighteenth century through the emergence of local traditions in headgear, which served to identify ethnical factions and rising provincial powers. Thirdly, it looks at the advent of the British colonial power, bringing with it a different sartorial history and reference system. Finally, it follows the search for an Islamic identity on the part of the Indian Muslims under and after colonial rule, leading first to spreading an unostentatious and plain turban, then to the adoption of the Ottoman fez.

Keywords: British colonial power; headgear; Indian Muslims; Islamic identity; Mughal turban; Ottoman fez; shifting globalities



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