Caqueux (or Cacoux)

views updated

Caqueux (or Cacoux)

A former caste of rope makers dwelling in Brittany who in some of the cantons of that country were treated as pariahs, perhaps because the ropes they manufactured were considered the symbols of slavery and death by hanging. They were forbidden to enter the churches and were regarded as sorcerers. They did not hesitate to profit by this evil reputation and dealt in talismans, which were supposed to render their wearers invulnerable. They also acted as diviners. They were further credited with the ability to raise and sell winds and tempests like the sorcerers of Finland.

It was believed that the Caqueux were originally of Jewish origin, and they were separated like lepers from other folks. Francois II, duke of Brittany, enacted that they should wear a mark composed of red cloth on a part of their dress where it could be readily seen. (They are mentioned in Jaques de Cambry's 1799 book Voyage dans le Finistére.

About this article

Caqueux (or Cacoux)

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article Share Article