Hindu Cut And Restored Turban

There is a difference of opinion as to the origin of this trick. Some say it came from India, while others contend that it came from Egypt originally. However, where it started makes no difference. It is a good effect and can be presented as either a Hindu or an Egyptian effect. It may be adapted to Chinese or Japanese Magic by presenting it with just a piece of cloth and not emphasizing the fact that it is a turban cloth.


Performer removes a turban from one of his assistants, unrolls it, and has two assistants hold it by the ends. Magician then take turban and has assistant cut it in two in the middle. The two cut ends are then burned for a while. The fire is extinguished and the burned ends are evened up with a pair of scissors. An instant later the turban cloth is made whole again and is spread out between the assistants.


1--A piece of cheese cloth, about ten or twelve feet long. It may be used full width, but half width is usually better and easier to handle.

2--A pair of sharp scissors.

3--A box of matches.


Come forward with turban cloth and scissors. Have three spectators come up to assist you. Have one stand at your left and the other two at your right.

"This is a Hindu mystery which I am about to perform in exactly the same manner as the Hindu does in India. He takes his turban, unrolls it, and spreads it out before him."

Hinduski Turban

Give one end of cloth to assistant at your left and other end to one of assistants at right. Have them stand far enough apart to stretch cloth out full length between them. Have third assistant come up to middle of cloth and give him the pair of scissors, Figure 69.

Look from gentleman at your left to gentleman at your right and then back again and say:

"The distance from the gentleman here to the gentleman there is the same as the distance from the gentleman there to the gentleman here."

Now gather up the cloth across the width and have assistants drop ends. Grasp right end of cloth and bring it up in front of middle of cloth. Hold in left hand.

Figure 70 shows view as seen from audience.

Figure 70 shows view as seen from audience.

Figure 71 shows diagram of cloth as held in left hand. This view is as you see it, away from audience. Right end A is brought up in front of middle of cloth C. B is the looped part and D is the end going out to right hand.

Pull middle part of cloth out with right hand toward the right.

"This, I believe, is the center of the cloth. The center is usually in the middle."

Drop end of cloth from left hand so that audience can see plainly that you hold middle of cloth between your hands. Pick up right end of cloth again and hold as in Figure 71.

Let D drop from right hand. Place two upper fingers of left hand on D and two lower fingers on B to separate the two parts, Figure 72.

Say to gentleman with scissors:

"I suppose you do not mind going through a psychological test before we begin operating. Did you ever hear of the famous Dr. Roosen-woofle of Europe who made mental tests? Perhaps not. When I count three, tell me quickly what you have in your hands. One - two - three!"

As you begin to count, place right hand on B and bring it back toward yourself and up around D. This move links end A and B through C and D parts of cloth, Figure 73 and 74.

Figure 75 is a diagram, showing the linking of A and B through C and D. The left fingers cover this linking. To the audience it appears that you hold the turban cloth as you did at first—see Figures 70 and 71. They are not aware of your substitution of B for D.

Upon this move, the whole trick depends. Spectators are led to believe that you hold middle of cloth in your hands, but in reality you hold only a piece near the end.

When you have counted three, assistant says, "Scissors." You repeat it after him.

"Scissors. Ah, sir, you are mentally qualified. I shall have you cut this turban cloth right through the center."

Assistant cuts the cloth through B. The short end A and B extends upward and the rest of B falls to the floor. To the audience it appears that the turban has been cut in half and that the two ends are the ends of each half, Figure 76.

"In the words of the poet--' It was the unkindest cut of all.' "

Give left end on floor to assistant at left and right end to assistant at right.

Strike a match and light the ends of the short piece A and B. The flames have a pretty effect for stage work, so let the ends burn off a little, Figure 77.

(If performing in a home or any place where fire is not practical, omit this part of experiment.)

Cut off burning ends of cloth with scissors—or if you prefer, extinguish the flames with the scissors before cutting ends.

"When the old Hindu Magician taught me this experiment he emphasized particularly the point that I must have the two ends even."

Cut one end off shorter than the other.

"Just look at that! The other is longer now."

Cut off short pieces from each end, and as you do so, say to the gentleman at the right: "She loves me—she loves me not—she loves me."

Finally cut A and B away entirely. This leaves the whole piece of cloth C and D in your hand. Wrap turban around your hand several times.

"As I explained in the beginning, the distance from the gentleman here (point to man at left) to the gentleman here (point to man at right) is the same distance as from the gentleman here (point to man at right) to the gentleman here (point to man at left). All of which may account for the fact ..."

Unroll turban from hand and allow it to fall stretched out between the two gentlemen.

"That the turban is whole again and in one piece."

Have two assistants stretch turban out again full width as in Figure 69.

NOTE: The turban effect works nicely in pantomimic style in a Hindu or Chinese Act, but for ordinary performance, it works better with patter.

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