You’ll find them on an Irish processional cross made in the 12th century. They decorate glass beadwork, crowns and masks made by people in West Africa in the 1800s. They can be seen carved in the wood above the door of a church in Bergamo Italy that was built almost a thousand years ago. They’re embedded in the mosaic floor of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. At the Powell Library in Los Angeles the ceiling beams are covered with them. They’ve been discovered in the textile designs of the Kuba people of Congo and in the ruins of a synagogue found near an ancient Roman seaport. They’ve been woven into prayer rugs in Central Asia and are included in the leaded glass windows of an American mosque.
They are Solomon’s Knots. Named after the Biblical King Solomon known for his wisdom and knowledge, the knot is a design with two closed loops that are linked twice. There are four places where the loops weave over and under each other. The loops extend out in four directions and can be ovals, squares or triangles and sometimes even be in the shape of things like leaves or wings.
You can find references to Solomon’s Knots everywhere. There are You Tube videos showing you how to crochet a Solomon’s knot and other videos featuring performances by a highly acclaimed group of British singers and instrumentalists called Solomon’s Knot who perform Baroque music.
I was researching a lesson on King Solomon for a curriculum I’m writing when I came across the Solomon’s Knot. I’ve created an art activity for the lesson using the knot. I’m curious about how many other places I’ll find Solomon’s Knot, now that I know about it.