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Sindhi Topi

Sindhi Topi

 

 

 

Sindhi topi (urdu) سندھی ٹويی : 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 one’s 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
Pushtuns and the Baloch. Balochistan, otherwise, is a land of turbans. And very
distinctive turbans, too



History of
Sindhi Topi(Cap)


If we march along the course of history due to opulence and generosity of
Sindh different communities of the world has been moved here, the majority among
out comers were Persian, Greek, Arab, Aryans, Turkhan, Mongols, Dutch, French,
English etc: this cruel course of history is continued even today, because the
advent of nomadic nations and gipsy communities from different parts of the
earth and outside provinces or bordering countries toward Sindh is never
stopped. Sindhi people not only welcomed the wandering visitors used to come
here from different regions of the world through ages but also impressed them
with loving behavior and warm hospitality on such scale that mainstream among
the infiltrators preferred to live here rather than to go back their respective
homelands. Every traveling family, ethnic group or nation which moved around
here, carried their ways of life, like traditions, values, rites, rituals,
culture, folklore, dwelling systems, ideologies, beliefs, philosophies etc:
along with them, the inhabitants of Sindh patronized those all cordially, while
among the guests who went back to their respective native soils sponsored
communal values, spiritual stuffs and cultural principles of Sindh amid them.



    

        



    President Asif Ali Zardari


    Altaf shekh.jpg


    

Sidhi topi2.jpg


    

Arab traders accustomed 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 of
    cultural art is Sindhi Cap which was introduced among Sindhi natives from
    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 wear
    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 be
    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 was
    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 the
    development and maturity of Sindhi cap or its makers, neither any step has
    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
show solidarity and loyalty to the Sindhi culture and land. The day was marked
by rallies, street shows, concerts and cultural events through out the province
to denounce the remarks of a television anchor's criticism of President Asif Ali
Zardari'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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