Full dress kurta, 1st Duke of York's Own Lancers (Skinner's Horse), 1902-1914
The distinctive full-dress kurta (long coat) was worn by both British and Indian officers of Skinner's Horse. The garment is faced with black velvet and the decoration is of gold lace and russia braid, some of which is on red cloth. The adoption of distinctive yellow kurtas on the regiment's formation in 1803 prompted the nickname 'the yellow boys'. The son of a Scottish father and a Rajput mother, Skinner is believed to have chosen this colour after an ancient Rajput custom. The tradition held that warriors riding into battle would vow to win or die in the attempt. They would then anoint their faces with saffron and put on 'Clothes of the Dead', yellow robes tied over their armour with yellow sashes.
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National Army Museum, Study collection
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