Author Topic: Schwabian or Swabian Knot  (Read 13714 times)

JodieLove

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Schwabian or Swabian Knot
« on: August 14, 2005, 11:54:26 PM »
Hi, 8) my name is Sara, and I am looking for a specific kind of knot. Please bear with me as this is going to sound a little convoluted and weird. :-/ My father is an avid reader and found some information on a corpse :P that was found in a peat bog. It was a man, very well preserved thanks to the tannic acid and lack of oxygen in the bog, and he was dubbed "the bog man". In a description of the unfortunate fellow allong with what kind of threads his clothes were made of and whatnot,*NPI* it was mentioned that his hair was tied up in something called a Schwabian Knot (I have since learned another spelling, 'Swabian'). This was the only reference given to his hair (except that upon further research, most of the other "bog people" seem to have had their hair cut off not long before death) and the knot was not mentioned again or described except to say that it was fashioned in such a way as to not need a fastening device of any kind. No pins, sticks or ties. My reasearch led me to a book called Germania by an historian, Tacitus in which there is supposed to be a detailed description of said knot. I can't find it. >:(
I am in cosmetology college in the study of hair and my favorite part is braiding.  I do not, however, like to use pins if it's possible. If you could find this knot somewhere and point me in the right direction I would be eternally grateful, as would my father. :) Thank you so much.
P.S. I have appreciated exploring all of your web sites and will visit again soon.
Thanks again. :)

Brian_Grimley

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Re: Schwabian or Swabian Knot
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2005, 03:46:13 AM »
Hello Sara,

Thanks for the Tacitus (56 - 120) reference. If one goes to the Gutenberg Project's catalogue here, http://www.gutenberg.org/catalog/ , and enters the word Germania in the title search, there are several books and translations online of his book. The downloaded text can be searched using CTRL F.

Two examples of the descriptions of the knot are:

The Oxford translation says: "It is a characteristic of this people to turn their hair sideways, and tie it beneath the poll in a knot. By this mark the Suevi are distinguished from the rest of the Germans; and the freemen of the Suevi from the slaves."

Thomas Gordon's translation says: "This people are remarkable for a peculiar custom, that of twisting their hair and binding it up in a knot. It is thus the Suevians are distinguished from the other Germans, thus the free Suevians from their slaves."

Unless the translators are lousy, I think it can be said that Tacitus is no help on how to tie that knot. He makes nice observations though!  :)

On the google group forum, alt.religion.asatru, there is a thread on the Sueviian knot (Swabian Knot) starting on March 26, 2002.

In this thread, "Dirk Bruere" posts a link to pictures of the Swabian Knot: http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~vanrcwisner/histglob.html .

"Roo" posts a link to his best guess: http://www.geocities.com/roo_two/swabianguess.html .

"Dirk Schmitt" posts this reference:  "The Osprey Military Warrior Series book number 17 - Germanic Warrior 236-568AD by Simon MacDowall and Angus McBride depicts on Colour Plate A (after page 32), how to tie a Swabian Knot (Sueviian Knot).  Its' ISBN is 1-85532-586-1." This book is still in print.

Which reminds me: I have a note somewhere to remind me to find that book ... hmm ...  :-[  I can not vouch for Schmitt's reference.  Will you post an evaluation of this book when you find it?  :)

Sara, with your research and post to this forum, I now understand why I occasionally see beautiful braids walk by me. Does your cosmetology college provide web space for you to show pictures of your hair designs?

I hope the above helps with your search.

Best wishes,
Brian.

Willeke

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Re: Schwabian or Swabian Knot
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2005, 07:22:27 PM »
Sara,
Having had rather long hair, and often the need to pile it on top without pins or ties available, I searched my memory as well as studied the photos.

I used to take my hair in a pony tail and twist it a lot. (In spinning I would have called it over twist.) When I then folded the tail double the fold would start twisting. I would often just wrap it into a small bun and let the friction do the job. But if you fold the tail, wrap the end round the base and then pull in through the fold you will get a knot like that in the picture Brian found for us.
http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~vanrcwisner/histglob.html .

When I let my hair grow long for some time so there are no cut ends it worked best.

I have noticed that some hair will stay in any braid, knot, without extra help and some people will always have to use a lot of pins and so on.

Willeke
« Last Edit: August 15, 2005, 08:05:53 PM by Willeke »
"Never underestimate what a simple person can do with clever tools,
nor what a clever person can do with simple tools." - Ian Fieggen

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Jimbo

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Re: Schwabian or Swabian Knot
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2005, 12:59:10 AM »
How about "Suebian"?  Or "Suevian"?

There are a few different spellings of this word, which is the old name for -- uh... -- (Geographically challenged) the Elbe river, IIRC...

Anyway, what about this pic:

?
It comes from this page: Reginheim about everyday life amongst the Barbaric Germans.

Bottom line, it's a Very Good Question!!  If you have the resources, the newsgroup "rec.crafts.knots" had a pretty good thread on this a year or so ago.  One of the "failings" of the computer age is computers' inability to figure out (e.g.) the difference between "Schwabian" and "Swabian" and "Suevian" and "Suebian" and ... well, you get the picture.  Sometimes you just gotta fall back on "hair knot" and "germany".  That could lead you to The Knots Of Death and a lot of other goodies...
« Last Edit: August 16, 2005, 01:06:58 AM by Jimbo_The_Kinky »
Thank you all, for everything.  As of 6/6/6, I have changed my password to a random string (which I forgot), thereby assuring that anyone posting as "Jimbo" in the future will NOT be me.  Good luck!!!

Brian_Grimley

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Re: Schwabian or Swabian Knot
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2005, 04:16:10 AM »
Thanks Jimbo!

Hair twine and a "Slip Knot"! I burst out laughing when I think of the convoluted tangles I tried for the Swabian Knot.  A clear case of KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid).

From the graphic, I think I can make a case, looking at the hands, that the hair twine was "properly" made. That is, S laid with Z twisted strands. I wonder if laying the hair twine properly helps the knot to hold? I am afraid that will be more than a couple of years until I can experiment with my hair! ;D

In addition, with help from Tacitus, we have a knot and its symbolism: "freemen of the Suevi".

Has anyone seen "The Osprey Military Warrior Series book number 17"? Do the methods here agree?

All the best - Brian.

drjbrennan

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Re: Schwabian or Swabian Knot
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2005, 11:40:40 PM »
To see another representation of this hairstyling, take a look at
"The education of the children of Clovis" by Alma-Tadema.

http://www.artrenewal.org/asp/database/image.asp?id=13478

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Willeke

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Re: Schwabian or Swabian Knot
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2005, 12:05:10 AM »
Of topic but maybe also of interrest to people who are into hair is this website.
http://www.dreamweaverbraiding.com/braid_examples/braid_examples_basic.htm

Willeke
"Never underestimate what a simple person can do with clever tools,
nor what a clever person can do with simple tools." - Ian Fieggen

Writer of A booklet on lanyards, available from IGKT supplies.

roo

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Re: Schwabian or Swabian Knot
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2013, 07:06:31 PM »
"Roo" posts a link to his best guess: http://www.geocities.com/roo_two/swabianguess.html .
Since the link is long dead, I'll attach the image in question here.
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