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[Celtic Knot #2]
[Celtic Knot Title]

The patterns you see at the top and bottom of our home page, as well as the one above, are examples of art designs known as Celtic knots. A slightly condensed version of an explanation of Celtic knots by Stephen Walker is:

    Celtic knots, or Celtic interlace, are ornamental patterns that first became associated with Celtic people in the early Celtic Church, where they were used to decorate Bible manuscripts, monuments (notably Celtic crosses and cross slabs) and jewelry. They probably were used in other media such as wood carving and textiles, but these have not survived. Knotwork tradition in manuscript painting probably came to Ireland with displaced Coptic monks from Egypt, by way of St. Martin's monastery at Tours (in what is now France), in the 4th or 5th century, though this is not a settled issue as far as the art historians are concerned.

    Celtic "rope" knots are complete loops with no end or beginning. Celtic animal interlace is similar in construction, but the cords terminate in feet, heads, tails, etc. Celtic spiral designs are an older design form and have been practiced by the Celts since the dawn of their existence. In recent years Celtic knots have enjoyed a revival. As for symbolism, knotwork designs are emblematic in modern times of the Celtic nationalities. The symbolism that has come down through the ages is as obscure and indirect as much of the speech and literature of the Celtic people. How then can we understand it?

    If that which is not prose must be poetry, knotwork's meaning defies literal translation and should be sought at a deeper level. The repeated crossings of the physical and the spiritual are expressed in the interlace of the knots. The never ending path of the strand represents the permanence and the continuum of life, love, and faith.


For more information on Celtic knots, you may want to visit these sites:



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