Criss-Cross, Chequerboard or Mesh Demon Traps

Incised and scratched criss-cross, chequerboard or mesh patterns were also employed in order to defeat demons by trapping them in their curious natures of their love of endless lines, supposedly imprisoned in an infinite game following the lines, or trapped inside the net or prison like mesh.

In Ethiopia, Vincent came across these examples of mesh pattern demon traps:-

Criss-Cross Incised Lines to a Door Lintel at Tcherqos Agabo Timber Church, 8th Century AD, Tigray

Although the above example is in a much similar vein to the Boundary or Saltire Cross, but without the diagonal lines forming an ‘X’, it has been added to the definition of a mesh like demon trap.

A Chequer Board or Mesh Pattern drawn over a painted Ethiopian Warthog at
Lideta Maryam Cave Church, 13th Century AD, Gennata Maryam

This mesh pattern has been deliberately drawn over a wall painting depiction of an Ethiopian Warthog. It has been deliberately placed over the animal’s head and eye, where a human would instantly look, and likewise any malevolent spirit trying to enter further into the holier places within the church, and especially drawn there, due to there being an internal window directly below.

A Modern Chalk Drawn Chequer Board to the Central Muntin of the LHS of a Double Door, along with other Chalk Graffiti at a building in Addis from circa 1880

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