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To celebrate Vikings Live, we have replaced our Roman alphabet with the runic alphabet used by the Vikings, the Scandinavian ‘Younger Futhark’. The ‘Younger Futhark’ has only 16 letters, so we have used some of the runic letters more than once or combined two runes for one Roman letter.

For an excellent introduction to runes, we recommend Martin Findell’s book published by British Museum Press.

More information about how we have ‘runified’ this site


Exhibition consultations

Sikh fortress turban

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In 2011, the British Museum worked together with the Sikh community to put a 19th century Sikh fortress turban on display.

This partnership involved members of the Sikh community supporting the Museum with the conservation, display and interpretation of this object of faith.

A key part of the consultation was the contribution of contemporary thoughts about the role and significance of the turban past and present. These were recorded and formed part of the audio playing within the exhibition. Here is a selection of these interviews:

Download mp3 – 4 minutes, 4MB

Sikh Akali-Nihang turban

Sikh Akali-Nihang turban (dastaar boonga), blue cloth (21st century) with steel blades and quoits, Punjab, India, 19th century.

About the object

About the object

Sikh fortress turban, Punjab, India, late 19th century

This Sikh fortress turban is a rare object of which only five exist in Britain. This particular one is wrapped around a wooden cone and was made for a ceremonial purpose rather than every day wear.

The turban displayed weapons, including two double-edged swords, six throwing discs, one dagger, and a badge of the 45th Rattray’s Sikh Battalion, which eventually became the 3rd Battalion Sikh Regiment of the present-day Indian Army.

Read more about this object 



The turban was on  display at the Museum from April to July 2011

Sikh Akali-Nihang turban

Introducting the exhibition 
Unravel the stories of this warrior’s turban

Sikh Akali-Nihang turban

Tying a traditional Sikh turban 
How to tie a traditional Sikh turban


Touring exhibition

Touring exhibition

On tour until November 2014

The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Coventry 
24 August – 17 November 2013

Cartwright Hall, Bradford 
22 February – 18 May 2014

New Walk Museum, Leicester 
24 May – 17 August 2014

Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens 
23 August – 16 November 2014

See all UK tours and loans