Week ninety-one: KANGHA (probability 19529), by David Sutton

A KANGHA is a comb traditionally worn by Sikhs in their hair. The word is Punjabi in origin. It should not be confused with KANGA or KHANGA, a word from the Swahili, designating a piece of cotton cloth, often brightly coloured, worn round the body. (I note that Zyzzyva's definition does in fact confuse them).

The KANGHA is one of what is known as the five K's of Sikhism. The other four are the KESH, the uncut hair and beard traditionally worn by Sikhs, the KIRPAN, a small sword or dagger, worn by Sikh men as a symbol of religious loyalty, the KARA, a steel bangle, signifying the unity of God, and the KACCHA (or KUCCHA), the short trousers worn by Sikhs.

Sikhism gives us quite a few more exotic words; I'll save those till next week.


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