Throughout European history, mysterious hooded people have caused considerable embarrassment to scientists and historians. An individual shrouded in mystery raised many questions. Who were they and why is it so difficult to tell their gender? Were they inspired by pagan deities, monks or foreigners who still elude identification?
Figures in hoods
The enduring mystery of the Capuchins continues to amaze the curious minds of history buffs even today. Although there is a lot of speculation about them, their true identity remains a well-kept secret.
Evidence of their existence is found in various stone carvings and clay figurines discovered in continental Europe and Britain. Among them is the famous engraving that decorates Hadrian’s Wall. The real mystery is that in most depictions it is virtually impossible to tell whether they were men or women. Only a carving discovered in the Moselle area showing capuchins with mustaches suggests the possibility that they were men. The distinctive clothing, which consists of long cloaks covering them from head to toe, really obscures their gender. The face was often the only visible feature, leaving plenty of room for conjecture.
Carvings of capuchins are often found in a solitary form or in a trio. These mysterious figures often appear near springs, leading some researchers to believe that they may have been worshiped as deities. Water, with its cleansing and healing properties, has been the source of myths and legends for centuries. The association of capuchins with water can thus mean protection against diseases. Another proof may be their connection with the god of healing, Lenus.
Swords, present in some depictions, also raise questions. Historians and experts in mythology believe that the Capuchins could protect something valuable, possibly protect the sanctity of healing places and the deities associated with them. Although the Capuchins resemble the Greco-Roman God Telesoforknown as Asclepius hooded guides, are primarily of Celtic origin.
So who are they?
One of the notable attention-grabbing aspects is the diminutive size of capuchins. This leads researchers to believe that the Capuchins may have been minor gods, demons, or spirits.
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Waldemar Deonna, engaged in the study of Capuchin supernatural beings, suggested that these figures may have been children or dwarfs, with normal-sized adults being the rare exception. However, despite these claims, there is little evidence to support this.
The concealment of their bodies under the cloak makes it virtually impossible to determine whether they were of normal stature or had abnormal physical characteristics. In some cases, depictions of Capuchins next to the Mother Goddess in Cirencester, England, suggest that they were of similar proportions, or may have been larger-than-life figures.
The mystery of the Capuchins thus continues and they carefully guard all their secrets. Perhaps this is also why their legacy in European history continues to attract our attention.
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