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Sindhi Topi (Sindhi Cap)

Sindhi Topi (Sindhi


Sindhi Topi (urdu) ????? ???? : Sindh has one distinctive cap, which
stands out for its colorful embroidery and glasswork; the Sindhi Topi. It is round
in shape except that a portion in front is cut out to expose the forehead (for the
same reasons as explained earlier) which represents the Islamic culture of Minbar
and Mihrab. It comes in two varieties - hard and soft. The hard variety will keep
its shape when not worn but the soft variety can be folded and even put into ones
picket. Most Sindhis, rich or poor, own a Sindhi cap.

All Sindh celebrated 6th December, 2009 as Sindhi Topi Sakafat (culture)
day. The Sindhi cap is also used in Bahawalpur and Balochistan, both by the and the
Baloch. Balochistan, otherwise, is a land of turbans. And very turbans, too

History of Sindhi Topi(Cap)


If we march along the course of history due to opulence and generosity of
different communities of the world has been moved here, the majority among comers
were Persian, Greek, Arab, Aryans, Turkhan, Mongols, Dutch, French, etc: this cruel
course of history is continued even today, because the of nomadic nations and gipsy
communities from different parts of the and outside provinces or bordering
countries toward Sindh is never Sindhi people not only welcomed the wandering
visitors used to come from different regions of the world through ages but also
impressed them loving behavior and warm hospitality on such scale that mainstream
among infiltrators preferred to live here rather than to go back their respective
Every traveling family, ethnic group or nation which moved around carried their
ways of life, like traditions, values, rites, rituals, folklore, dwelling systems,
ideologies, beliefs, philosophies etc: with them, the inhabitants of Sindh
patronized those all cordially, while the guests who went back to their respective
native soils sponsored values, spiritual stuffs and cultural principles of Sindh
amid them. Sugar candy in Sindh and took horns of rhinoceros from here to sell in
China . Al-Mehlib (the Arabian tribe) transported Hens and Buffaloes of Sindh
toward Iraq and China , Arabs also carried prey dogs from Sindhi soldiers as a
tribute. These people furthermore carried betel leaf from here and harvested in
Oman whereas they brought seeds of taramid tree from Basra . People of Sindh
learned honey making process, agriculture of dot tree and making of sweet meal with
dot palms from Arabs. The Persians brought perfume, olive and water lily from
Khurasan, pomegranate is also Persian gift and they in addition gave us seeds of
bringal. Grapes have been planted here during the era of Abbasid dynasty, British
carried kernel of orange from here In divine book Touret is written that Suleman
brought Peacock, musk, gold and rhinoceros from Sindh. In 808 AD a doctor named
Manik has been called upon for treatment of incurable disease of Abbasi Caliph
Haroon Rasheed, after completing successful treatment, Sultan appointed him chief
supervisor of the royal hospital at Baghdad.

During the era of Yehya Bermki a Sindhi physician named Ibn-e-Dhanna had
been appointed an administrative officer at the hospital of Baghdad, this man
introduced there Sindhi method of treatment. During invasion of Alexander the
great on Sindh the king of Alor gifted him medicine of snake bite whereas a pair of
yellow pigeons was presented him by a monarch. During this era Greek learned the
treatment of poisons and herbal knowledge from Sindhi doctors. They also carried
Sindhi cotton (cloth) from here of which they praised in their books as Sindhin,
whereas method of teaching and art left by Greeks is part of Sindhi culture even
today. In this way due to exchange (which extracted through the ages) of different
customs, traditions, things, assets, national and religious values of guest
companies Sindh became lodging of complex civilization and ideologies. Though such
happenings smashed up the original characteristics of Sindhi culture but also
became beneficial with the exchange of rich cultural heritages of the different
nations of the world. Such changes and exchanges were not bound only with overseas
or distant populations but were usual with bordering nations, among such other
civilizing interactions a beautiful piece cultural art is Sindhi Cap which was
introduced among Sindhi natives neighboring Baloch people. A reason regarding the
convey of Balochi cap among Sindhi people was that northern areas of Sindh is
bordered with Baluchistan, for that basis the replacement of every aspect of life
was order of the day. That time Balochi people used to wear turban upon the cap,
copying them Sindhi people also patronized the method, though this has been ended
now but in few remote regions of the both provinces same style is still prevailing,
whereas in some areas cap has been taken away from turban and on some vicinities
load of turban has been suspended. Unfortunately by and large both nations has now
thrown away turban and cap from the head thinking these unreasonable weight or out
of fashion thing what were once sign of respect, personality and pride.

During the eighteen and nineteenth century AD, covering head with turban,
cap or cloth was considered as a sigh of soberness among the people of Sindh and
Balochistan, while uncovered head was measured as social indulgence, therefore
according to their status people always keep their heads covered. In most few areas
of both provinces the men with uncovered skull had been prosecuted, fined or
socially boycotted, even today in many regions around Pakistan the concept of head
covering is respectfully accustomed. During its early phase two type of caps has
been used to cover heads, one made by sewing two folds of white cloth, its four
sides had been circular with which complete forehead could be covered, pious and
religious people like to that. Second kind of cap was prepared by silk and golden
fibers (threads),curved with beautiful embellishment and ornamented with pieces of
glasses to extend its sober attire. This cap has been incised from forehead in the
way (like half moon) that both curving corners touches right and left mandible. By
the time many changes has been commenced into style plus crafts of cap, hardness
and softness of cloth etc:, keeping the seasons of the year in view numerous
alterations has also been brought in, like some times increasing pearls with
glasses and some times decreasing those. Transaction of cap from Baloch to Sindhi
people also seen several innovations seemingly correlated with Sindhi culture and
the time came this cap has merged with particular Sindhi dress, sober structure,
walking style etc: and called Sindhi Cap. In any part of the Pakistan if you see
some one worn Sindhi cap he must thought Sindhi or resident of Sindh. Making of
Sindhi cap is like constructing a building where there is base, walls, floor, roof,
color, plaster etc: plus the periods of polish and shining also. There are five
styles of cap, round (circular), four cornered, fancy, betel leaf shaped and the
cap having different designs. Prevailing style of cap has been passed from three
different phases of its evaluation.
Silky Era
Before the partition of sub-continent best kind of silk had been imported
from Kashmir with which Sindhi cap makers designs the cap and decorated
ornamentation of different things as pieces of plastic, pearls, glasses etc: to
create fine-looking caps. Such caps have been mostly worn under the turban in such
style that cap peeps out of the turban like hump of bullock or camel. That was not
similar to the rounded cap prevailed today but was cut from forehead like half
moon, this kind of cap has almost been outdated.
Phase of Collyrium
The cap of this period was different than that of silky one because
collyrium has been used instead of glittering golden threads or pieces of glasses.
Cap producers create such beautiful lines, decoration and flowering designs with
collyrium on cloth (mostly silk) of different color that having seen their art
heart filled in high spirits. Lines of collyrium glittered in the light of sun as
strips of phosphorus written behind the vehicles, reflects back the beams when head
light of other vehicles thrown on those during dark. Top (roof) of the cap had been
decorated with interesting geometrical figures like, half, circular, rectangular,
four-cornered, oblique, moon, sun, and stars etc. These caps were not very durable
because after became dirty if washed, the grayish color and shining went away, in
this way after three or four time cleaning no where to found its beauty.

Phase of Golden threads

Two or three folds of cloth have been used in this kind of cap which made
inflexible by using hard cloth between the folds. The cap had been incised in
orchid shape at its opening, in a way that complete head covered whereas the
forehead remained open. With the passage of time keeping in view the disposition of
wearer plus needs of modern world, new styles and designs has been introduced, as
some times striking with national movements designing the map of Sindh, national
slogans plus flag, figures of national heroes, axes, mosques, tombs, old and new
geometrical shapes, Ajrak (Sindhi shawl) etc: has been designed. Though many
changes have been introduced in the industry of cap making but not much difference
can be found between old and new Sindhi cap.

like other cultural heritages of Sindh nothing has been done for
development and maturity of Sindhi cap or its makers, neither any step been taken
by government missionaries nor private institutions or social organizations did
anything, rather they has been denied and distorted by the authorities. Forgetting
the cultured character of our cap in sociology, history and literature we bounded
its use only on special occasions or gatherings like marriage. In spite of this
state of rejection regarding this art, cottage industry of Sindhi cap making is
with us winning all interferences in the travel of times, present life and
conservation of this skill goes to the genuine struggle of Sindhi and Baloch women
whose are more effective and active than male artists. Nonetheless, due to
introduction of modern technology manual work has effected on great scale even
though a class among new generation of cap lovers mostly like to wear the cap made
of hand. Wherever is education around the globe, the nations of world are busy to
save their national and cultural heritages, whether it is in form of archaeology,
history, dress, language, literature, land etc: but among us where rays of
education reached, our cultural and traditional heritages has been ignored and
destroyed there. Thus the tradition of cap wearing has mostly remained only in less
educated and northern districts of Sindh like Larkana, Jacobabad, Dadu, Shikarpur
and Nawabshah, but the percentage of its use has been decreasing day by day. Though
the past of Sindhi nation is excellent but present is alarmingly worse, its current
generation has became prey of Europe like other nations of the Pakistan . Due to
infiltration of borrowed schooling syllabus and conquest of foreign media and being
victim of downfall against foreign civilizations we are destroying our national
heritages and cultural legacies with our own hands Sindhi cap is also among those.
In this connection we should have to be grateful the poor and amateurish section of
our society who has protected this cultural heritage because they think it sin to
uncover their heads, in this state of affairs the cultured legacy of Sindhi cap can
be claimed by this group because they are not only makers of the cap but also
protectors of expertise and exercise.

Sindhi Topi Day

The Sindhi Topi Day was celebrated for the first time on 6th December 2009
to solidarity and loyalty to the Sindhi culture and land. The day was marked
rallies, street shows, concerts and cultural events through out the province
denounce the remarks of a television anchor's criticism of President Asif Ali s
donning of traditional Sindhi attire on his state visit to Kabul a 'cheap political
tactic.' Later the day was declared an annualized event by the Government of
Pakistan.

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