The Hangman’s Knot
I as well as many people don’t understand the symbolism of the the hangman’s knot or the history behind its uses. I have always came to understand that it was an offensive knot to others because of the lynchings going on during slavery time period. Even today the hangman’s knot still plays a role in modern hate crime acts; However the hangman’s knot dates back to as early as the 16th century. The brutality portrayed by the knot brings out many feelings among many different people, And with that causes many acts of violence and rage toward others. The hangman’s knot, or also known as noose is a hard subject for many African Americans to talk about or discuss. Because at the time of these crimes the African American race was looked down upon. They were treated like animals and were never given the least bit of respect, they were tortured, beaten, and then hanged. I can agree that if this happened to my ancestors I would be offended by the many things that used to happen, and the symbols that are used in hate crimes today.
The hangman’s knot is designed to be a slipknot that can be easily tightened but difficult or somewhat impossible to loosen depending on the number of friction wraps made into it. While researching this knot I’ve found out its very similar to a fishing knot used to tie hooks to microfilament line called a uni-knot. The hangman’s noose is also used on most marine watercraft as a life saving devise, which makes it very convenient to throw with the large mass on the end. Which other variations of this knot, say with only one horizontal loop called a slip-knot is often used to tie down a lot of objects. The original design for the hangman’s knot required it to have six to eight horizontal wraps, but urban legend says it should have thirteen horizontal wraps. Which dated back to be a false legend because any more than eight wraps in the knot would cause it to become sloppy and defeat the original purpose of the knot.
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