A turban (from Persian دولبند, dulband via Middle French turbant) is a type of headwear based on cloth winding. Featuring many variations, it is worn as customary headwear by people of various cultures. Communities with prominent turban-wearing traditions can be found in the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, the Arabian Peninsula, the Middle East, Central Asia, North Africa and the Horn of Africa. Wearing turbans is common among Sikhs, including women. The headgear also serves as a religious observance, including among Shia Muslims, who regard turban-wearing as Sunnah Mu'akkadah (confirmed tradition). The turban is also the traditional headdress of Sufi scholars. Additionally, turbans have often been worn by nobility, regardless of religious background. They are also sometimes donned to protect hair or as a headwrap for women following cancer treatments.