The origins of turbans are uncertain. Some of the ancient civilizations such as those of Ancient India, Mesopotamia, Sumerian and Babylonian evidently used turbans. A style of turban called a phakeolis continued to be worn in that region by soldiers of the Byzantine army in the period 400–600, as well as by Byzantine civilians as depicted in Greek frescoes from the 10th century in the province of Cappadocia in modern Turkey, where it was still worn by their Greek-speaking descendants in the early 20th century. The Islamic prophet, Muhammad, who lived 570–632, is believed to have worn a turban in white, the most holy colour. Shiah clergies today wear white turbans unless they are descendants of prophet Muhammad or Sayyid, in which case they wear a black turban. Many Muslim men choose to wear green, because it represents paradise, especially among followers of Sufism. In parts of North Africa, where blue is common, the shade of a turban can signify the tribe of the wearer.
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