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Franciscan's and Capucin's knots

Two names for two knots hopelessly confused one for the other countless times in books 
and on the Web

This takes its origin in one of my posting on the Igkt Forum which do not hinder  
people to still persist make a confusion between the two in their own posting on the 
same forum. So much for the IGKT educational duty .
% \ ).

This the FRANCISCAN's knot and here is the different CAPUCIN's knot.

There is HERE a correct correspondence between Name and knot illustrated contrary to what you will be seeing 99.99% of the time.

The most compounded error  is the one that describe the so-called "Franciscan's knot" 
(noeud de Franciscain in French) as an alleged French monks knot and showing the 
"Capucin's knot" ; of course then showing under the "Capucin's" label the image of what is in fact the "Franciscan's".

Simple error is inverting the knots with the labels. Medium size error  is inverting the knots labels and stating they are monks (French being forgotten)

Up to now I only found 1 book and 2 web sites giving the correct information.

I do not know what the contamination chain is but there it is.
Just like with cancer, one cell is incorrectly « copied » and it becomes autonomous : 
tumor growth is launched.

I work as I was trained to  in widely different domains) :
when it is not direct, reproducible, observational or logically derived knowledge then  2 independent  (independent from each other ; because 10 power 36 sources linked between them are in fact only one source) sources are the minimum in searching about something, be it knot or other.

Proof or showing  is better than discussion or telling.

First two pictures are of the " true " knots. If "true" can apply!

More than 2 different paintings and sculptures (quite independent from knots publishing whether book or web ; of course it could be suspected that some were 'inspired' by an other, so not independent) show the knot Franciscans are supposed to sport.

Have seen real life Capucin with simple overhand knot instead ; some friars dispense with them altogether.  Symbols are not any more what once they were it seems.
Even went as far as to contact Franciscans to clarify the point ! ! ( Many have abandoned the " rope ")

Mistakes look at one by one :
First The Franciscans are not a monastic order, but a mendicant apostolic order founded in the late Middle Ages.
They are Friars not monks.
It was the decision of St Francis of Assise.
They are more precisely " lesser friars " as was the decision of the Founder to exemplify humility, even in their title they were to be the LESSER of all, that is the humblest.

Not a French order since St Francis was an Italian and founded his order in his country, in 1208 (only verbally accepted by Pope in 1210).
By right of birth it is an Italian order !
St Francis of Assisi real name was Jean Bernardone (John Bernardone) but his father was a great admirer of France so he was dubbed " Francesco "
There are French branches of this Order of Lesser Friars, so some of them are French by nationality but that does not make them 'monks' and the community of the Franciscan is not a French community..

Third :
Capuchin do not use a knot different from the Franciscan Friars.
No need to give them their own 'flavour'. 
There is only one knot formally worn.

Great care should be taken in attributing a name to a knot.

Example :
- "square knot " it is an " indifferent " descriptive naming, but  as soon as  it goes by
" reef knot " then it s assigned to it a very " precise and narrowed " environment. 

Same thing with the so called " surgeon's knot ". Brrrrr Grrrrr !
Same with Franciscan and Capucin's knots.

Fourth :
One can see under the Franciscan's knot designation either one of the 2 knots and vice

My findings :
- the so-called Franciscan's knot is ABOK#517  ( two dressed appearances it has )
- the so-called Capuchin's knot is   ABOK#537 without the tucking of the WE in the SPart (first time I wrote ABOK#535 badly made )


More details for our avid and curious readers .
Yes I know curiosity killed the cat ! May be boredom will do you too ?

Franciscans  were also called " les Cordeliers " that is literally " those with the rope" or girdle.
They  wear a brown robe with a rope as belt ( hence the " cordelier " appellation). 
It was the garment of the poor of the time.

On the rope should be 3 knots symbolizing : humility/obedience, poverty, chastity.
I would not dare to suggest that they had to have knots so as not to forget. (this is from our French : "Fais un noeud à ton mouchoir" / 'Put a knot on your handkerchief', meaning make a not of it so as not to forget : hence making a small knot in one of the corners to be reminded.


Too make it very short and therefore imprecise :

There are 3 branches in the Franciscans
- -  the Franciscans proper ( comprising 3 orders : the franciscans, The Clarisses, they live in convents,the secular or lay members) 
Anyone ready to come up with a Clarisse knot ? or with a Lay knot !
- - the capucins
- - the Conventuals ( any Convent Knot ?)

capucins are a Roman Catholic religious Order of Friars (Brothers).
Some of the brothers  are priests and some are lay men.

The capucins, whose origins date from 1525, began as a reform Order of the Franciscans. Capucin do not use a knot different from the Franciscan Friars

Anecdotally :
it is to St Francis that we are indebted to for " la crèche de Noel " ( Christ child's crib), since he made the very first recorded one in 1223 in the hamlet of Greccio

- - - - - - -- - -
Famous Franciscans from Great Britain :
- - Roger BACON
- - Willian of OCKHAM ( should never forget  this man's razor !)

Famous Italian Franciscan :
- - Padre PIO of many alleged miraculous deeds.

- - - - - - - - - - -
Some call the alleged capucin Knot the monkey-tail knot ( le noeud de queue de singe).

There is in fact a monkey named in French : singe Capucin ( Cebus Appela or Sajou brun ) for you English speaking that is the capucin Monkey or Sapajou.

From a non-existent capucin MONK to existing capucin MONKey the saltation is possible to the imaginative ones.
End of rambling.

In the case in point not only the name is wrong (wrong as in "not exact", "not adapted": not French, not monk...) but more than that you can play with mirror image of the 2 knots till End Of Times and you will not get one with the other. 

They are not equivalent. 

They are quite different knots 

Under the same vocable are shown 2 quite different "cunningly made kinks in a rope" 
(to steal words from someone on the forum : Jimbo hello !).

More : the knot that is in fact used by Franciscans in real life  is not illustrating the 
"Fransciscan's"label/caption in 99,99 % of instances. The one shown instead is the so-called Capucin's.

How one can retrieve (fast, sure, unambiguous, repeatable retrieval) something without a pretty severe procedure? Or I am missing something?

It is not because a "faulty" notion has been and still  is "almost religiously" repeated like some God sent words for years on end that there is no justification in putting a stop to that.

That is only my opinion, I am not there stating a hard fact.[ONF - Opinion Not Fact]

Making good a mistake is not slandering the author or sullying his/her reputation.

The more you respect someone the more you have the duty to tell when he/she is erring. 
At least that is my feeling.
I would hate that someone should find a mistake in what I say and would not make me the grace to correct it.
That is the mistake that is banned ( or perhaps not banned, just clearly "flagged" as such, since it could be interesting to keep the full curriculum ) not its "progenitor";

When I find in a book or on a site, a fault that I am able to diagnose, I always wonder how many more there were that I was not able to detect.  
Am I the only one having that response to "error found" flagging ?
When that happen I am quite like the proverbial scalded cat that feared cold water ever after.

In some answer to my post someone wrote

"Just as an example, the two knots you mention are, to me, with a long 
nautical background (1) a Multiple Overhand Knot and (2) a Heaving Line Knot.".

I rather think that strengthen my point: instead of demolishing it :
why go to the extraordinary length of "creating" new appellations, quite restrictive and narrowing at that, in their connotation, when there exist  perfectly good "descriptive" or "functional" naming?  "with rank seniority".

If one must do something one should take pains to make it an "evolution" and not a 

Too many great mistakes ( killing and sometimes mass-killing mistakes ) were made only for the fact that 2 persons were not using the same fixed and agreed upon frame of reference.

Past errors should not be "respected", (respected as in "let them live and grow").
(ONF) :  errors of the past should be branded "interesting historical data" and unmercifully put right ( till the next revision...). 
Branded and left in the past and certainly not accepted in the  present lest they are propelled in the future.

I received a mail from a Franciscan lesser Friar
[Begin quote]
"Voici la réponse à votre question :

Les frères capucins et franciscains que j'ai approchés sont unanimes pour me dire que le noeud utilisé dans l'ensemble des branches de l'ordre franciscain est le noeud A1.
Quant aux soeurs Clarisses, elles ne semblent guère être préoccupées par cette question : dans le monastère que j'ai contacté, chacune a sa méthode et ne se soucie pas de savoir s'il y a un modèle à suivre : s'il y en a un, elles ignorent lequel !!!!"
End quote]

That is
" Capucins and Franciscans Friars that I have contacted unanimously told me that the knot in use in all the branches of the Franciscan Order is Knot A1 ( note : I sent pics and this A1 was the one I say is the "right" one in my post). As for the Clarisses Sisters they do not appear to have preoccupation about this question : in the monastery that I contacted everyone do as please her and no one bother with which model they use, if there was ever one they do not know about it"

This answering post was from a sharp poster : Brian_Grimley

[begin quote]
Thank you for posting the letter from the Franciscan lesser Friar. I am convinced that
ABOK #517, a "Threefold Overhand Knot" is the answer to the question: what knot is
used in a Franciscan rope belt?
I would like to refer to your photograph named the "So-called Franciscan Knot" that you
show here: ....(dead link now ; so here is the original pictures in a Picasa - knots are mine
but not the pictures of St Francis)
The knot on top can be dressed in two ways, the way you show (Franciscan form) and the
way shown here: .
The two tied "knots" can be transformed into each other by rolling the outside bight or
the outside turns. Neither are theoretical, that is, both appear in historical knot work:
one on the Franciscan rope belts, the other in the Inca (Inka) Quipus (khipus).

I have not seen the Quipus knot shown in Ashley and both could be said to be
"Threefold Overhand Knots". This might make an interesting example to consider and
discuss under the topics of and rules for knot definition and knot names.
How are they to be distinguished?

I have always wondered about the validity of labeling knots as decorative or practical.
Decorative and practical are surely a description of the application and not the knot. 
The "Franciscan form" of the "Threefold Overhand Knot", on the belt, could be argued to be
However, if the knot contains symbolic meaning and communicates that meaning, it could be
argued that it is practical. As a stopper knot, the "Franciscan form" is certainly practical - it is
both! The Quipus form is certainly practical as it is (was) used for record keeping.
By the way, in works on the quipus, that I have seen, this knot is called a "Long Knot".

Just some thoughts - Brian.

[end quote]

From Brian again

[begin quote]
I would like to refer to the photo that you named "So-called Capucin Knot" that you show
here: ......(dead link now )

You note that the "So-called Capucin Knot" is a badly made ABOK #535. I would say 
that it is not ABOK #535.
I have not found it in Ashley - has anyone else?

In my previous post, on the "Franciscan Knot", I mentioned rolling the bight or turns to transform one "knot" into another. If one "rolls" the "So-called Capucin Knot", the result is the "Stevedore Knot", ABOK #522. I am tempted to say that the "So-called Capucin Knot" is a badly dressed, or if you prefer, a badly tied "Stevedore Knot".
Just another thought and comment - Brian.[end quote]

My answer was :

[begin auto-quote]
Yes! I have seen (once) this 2nd dressing under the label 'Franciscan's'. It  is not the knot (or rather dressing) the lesser Friars use. At least as far I have been able to ascertain so far.

Yes! Right about the quipus & Inca, right down to their spelling varieties.
This sort of 'note' would be good to put in the Knot'S Individual File ( KIF) when available under its 'verified' form as here is the case ( the 'note' I mean).

Quipus not in ABOK, yes. ( new or missed?( Hi Dan_Lehman) in any case 'not in ABOK').
But were they widely known, outside universities, at the time Ashley wrote?

A tangent now. ( still have one point of contact with the bigger figure as all tangent of good pedigree have).
In my trade exist 2 notions :
- genotype : the code program for heredity
- phenotype : the outward "shape" of the outcome of genotype execution

About the 2 dressings : I would say same genotype ( fundamental) and different phenotypes (epi-phenomenal).
So :
- - either put them in the same 'drawer' in the big chest of knots, but with labels having a differentiating letter index
- - or (better my mind) one drawing of the 'undressed' knot ( pity it is not a pretty young girl! being undressed, I shockingly mean- sorry Ladies. ;-)), that is the knot just as it is put in place before any dressing attempt and one number only. Put the information about the dressings options in the paragraph headed "MethodS".
Must take care to have the least ambiguity as is possible in illustrations ( photo-drawing) and at the same time keep the most extensive collection of information on "methods"

That is what I meant to signify while giving some 'anchoring' from ABOK.
Yes it is not #535 since the omission of the first fold modify the whole knot #535 in 
another one.

Nobody at this time put an ABOK# for the so-called capucin's and I have yet to find 
one for it. But thanks to your input I may have one ( subject to a slight modification).
Imagine ABOK#1119 the Hangman's knot with the standing part  put out of the 
"cylinder" of what is a capucin's knot.
Does it comes from here ? Your guess is as good as mine.....

My first working hypothesis before your input, was "bastardized" #535 due to lack 
of knowledge of this knot.
Capucin's does not have the 'wholesomeness' of #535.
I find your hypothesis have a " a more natural, easier, more economical and fluid"
feel. I was  trained to go to the simplest hypothesis ( at least as a first approach 
before being forced by experimental ( or observational ) result to modify it).
Ockham's razor is 'transcultural' good practice. ( contrary to an also transcultural 
but very bad practice : following Procrustes 's very bad bed side manners, too oft 
used by 'not so good' thinkers).
Good experimenting that, collapsing the Capucin's into Stevedore's #522. 
Will try it.Wish I had thought of it!
Envious no end I am. ;-)
[end auto-quote]


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Copyright 2005 Sept - Charles Hamel / Nautile -
Overall rewriting in August 2006 . Copyright renewed. 2007-2014 -(each year of existence)

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