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Knot of Stone unfolds like a travel journal along familiar coastal roads, mountain passes and river valleys, while following the entangled lives of Sonja Haas and Jason Tomas between June–December 2010.

Map of Sagres showing the School of Navigation established by Prince Henry in the mid-15thC. Courtesy of (?)During these six months the two travel through Portugal, France, Switzerland, Holland and England, and then back to South Africa hoping to unravel what happened five hundred years ago. Their road trip is as much a journey through the diverse histories of Europe as it is one that unravels their own individual life stories. On the surface, moreover, Knot of Stone describes epic voyages of discovery, world trade routes and the quest for a Terrestrial Paradise. On a deeper level, it examines the emergence of a mystic Christianity that came from over the mountains—from beyond the forest, lake or river—and one that was meant to be independent of Rome.

Historical Parallels
Knot of Stone
 is a tale of entangled lives, legends and relics: from Aristotle to Averroës, from Prester John to Shaka Zulu, from Jason’s Argonauts to Henry’s Navigators, and from the sacred ark of Menelik to the blood-relic of Joseph of Arimathea. It weaves an intriguing murder mystery around the lives of scholars, travellers, pilgrims, warriors, saints and sangomas. Set against events in South Africa between 1510 and 2010, from Almeida to Mandela, it traces several parallels within ancient and medieval history, such as between the founding of a Greek state and the birth of the Portuguese nation, between argonauts and navigators, between explorers and astronauts, and between ancient Rome and modern America. It also deals with the first and last recorded battles between Portuguese belligerents and local guerrillas in Southern Africa. These recurrent historical patterns transform the story into “one fine example of a new genre: the karmic novel.” Harrie Salman, 2011. For more examples, see historical parallels or click the image below to view our latest video clip.

Inspired by travel stories, legends and road songs, the two protagonists journey between the Northern hemisphere and the South; drawing together events at the Cape with legends and histories across the sea. Ultimately, Knot of Stone ties a knot between the living and the dead; between the ancestors and ourselves and between our past and the future.

Dom Francisco d'Almeida, after a portrait in the National Museum of Ancient Art, Lisbon.

Follow Sonja and Jason by starting in South Africa or, if you prefer the short cut, jump to Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, France, Germany + Belgium and Italy + Russia. See also United Kingdom + America. These countries are not listed in any particular order.

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