The perak is a very heavy headdress typically worn by the old aristocracy in the Himalayan Ladakh region of India. It is composed of black lamb skin and a strap of leather studded with semi-precious stones, such as lapis lazuli and turquoise, covering the head like a cobra's hood and tapering to a thin tail reaching down the back. The perak is a symbol among the Ladakhis of the rank and economic status of the woman wearing it. Traditionally, the number of front-to-back rows of turquoise signifies the status of the wearer.
"A turquoise given by a loving hand carries with it happiness and good fortune."
(Arabic proverb, acc. to Judy Hall)
By the way, the turquoise stone crowns of the local village queens during the annual Mehta Festival in the Himalayan Mustang District of Nepal do look like smaller versions of the more sophisticated Ladakhi perak...
Street portraits of Ladakhi people in their traditional costumes in Matt Hahnewald's
Street portraits of Gurung women with smaller turquoise stone crowns in Matt Hahnewald's