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Helmet with mail neck guard
Place of Origin: Pakistan, probably Lahore, Punjab province
Date: 1820-1840
Materials: Iron, gold, brass
Dimensions: H. 15 3/4 in x W. 7 in x D. 9 in, H. 40 cm x W. 17.8 cm x D. 22.9 cm
Credit Line: Gift of the Kapany Collection
Department: South Asian Art
Collection: Arms And Armament
Object Number: 1998.69
On Display: Yes
Location: Gallery 6

Description

Label:

The unusual shape of this rare helmet was dictated by the needs of the Sikh warrior, who wore it into battle with his uncut hair rolled into a topknot beneath it. Uncut hair was among the five emblems (also known as the “Five Ks”) of solidarity adopted in the 1600s by Sikhs suffering from religious persecution. Traditionally associated with South Asian ascetics, uncut hair came to represent Sikh religious devotion.

The iron and brass links of the helmet’s chain-mail neck guard are arranged in a diamond pattern that is said to reflect the churning waters at the confluence of the Ganga (Ganges) and the Yamuna, India’s greatest rivers.


More Information

Exhibition History: "The Arts of the Sikh Kingdoms," AAM (9/22/1999 - 1/9/2000), Royal Ontario Museum (5/25/2000 - 8/20/2000)

"Saints and Kings: Arts, Culture, and Legacy of the Sikhs", Asian Art Museum, 3/10/2017 - 6/18/2017
Label:

The unusual shape of this rare helmet was dictated by the needs of the Sikh warrior, who wore it into battle with his uncut hair rolled into a topknot beneath it. Uncut hair was among the five emblems (also known as the “Five Ks”) of solidarity adopted in the 1600s by Sikhs suffering from religious persecution. Traditionally associated with South Asian ascetics, uncut hair came to represent Sikh religious devotion.

The iron and brass links of the helmet’s chain-mail neck guard are arranged in a diamond pattern that is said to reflect the churning waters at the confluence of the Ganga (Ganges) and the Yamuna, India’s greatest rivers.


Exhibition History: "The Arts of the Sikh Kingdoms," AAM (9/22/1999 - 1/9/2000), Royal Ontario Museum (5/25/2000 - 8/20/2000)

"Saints and Kings: Arts, Culture, and Legacy of the Sikhs", Asian Art Museum, 3/10/2017 - 6/18/2017