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Bana - Sikh Spiritual Attire


Sikhs garbed in traditional spiritual attire.

Sikhs garbed in traditional spiritual attire.

Photo © [Khalsa Panth]

Bana is a word which means vocation, or calling, and refers to traditional Sikh spiritual attire worn by a man, or woman, whose calling is Sikhism. Full Bana includes:

  • Turban
  • Five articles of faith.
  • Modest attire such as a loose knee length top with long sleeves and a full drawstring trouser, or the traditional multi-paneled skirt of the chola
The very devout usually wear simple solid color clothing and turban. The most popular colors are:
  • Blue - considered a Khalsa color worn by Sikh warriors of old.
  • White - considered the color of one who renounces worldly ways.
  • Saffron / Orange - a color representative of showing devoted allegiance.
  • Black - a neutral color for a turban which goes with everything.
Color is a personal choice. What a Sikh wears may reflect the mood of the day, or an occasion such as a commemorative Sikh holiday.

Some Sikhs feel that color choices are reminiscent of Harmandir, the Golden Temple:

  • White represents its marble walls.
  • Saffron is suggestive of its golden domes.
  • Blue is symbolic of the water in the surrounding tank.
  • Black signifies the death of martyrs.

Pronunciation: Baa Naa - B sound has no air - the aa has a long sound like awe - the tongue touches the roof of the mouth when pronoucing N

The tradition Sikh spiritual attire and of the turban as bana is reflected in the words of Guru Arjan:
"Mai gur mil ouch dumaalarraa||
I met with the Guru, and I have tied a tall, plumed turban." SGGS||73

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