Was The KKK Uniform Stolen From Africans?

La Hermandad de los Negritos (English: The Brotherhood of the Blacks)

Most people in the USA know the pointed hood, which is part of the uniform of the KKK. Most do not know at Calle Recaredo, 19 in Seville, Andalusia, Spain, sits a building built sometime around 1550. It belongs to La Hermandad de los Negritos (English: The Brotherhood of the Blacks), a Catholic brotherhood. Founded in 1393 by Cardinal Gonzalo de Mena y Roelas to care for the Blacks of Seville, the Brotherhood has a remarkable story. They were wearing the pointed hood of their uniform before there was a United States of America. How is it the KKK uniform looks exactly like that worn by La Hermandad de los Negritos?

Negro Brotherhood via J.A. Rogers
Hermandad de los Negritos of Seville on parade from 100 Facts About The Negro With Complete Proof by Joel Augustus Rogers.

(Paid link)

We first heard of them from historian, author and journalist Joel Augustus Rogers. In his book “100 Amazing Facts About The Negro With Complete Proof,” it seems Rogers left the best for last. For the 100th proof, he tells how the Brotherhood has been wearing their garb since 1460 A.D., if not earlier, as part of the Corpus Christi or Holy Week festival. Rogers quotes Arturo Schomburg, namesake of Harlem’s Schomburg Library, as saying of the order in 1927:

It was only human to wish to examine the garments of the Brotherhood of the Negroes after observing the similarity to the white robes and cowls used by the Ku Klux Klan of our country (USA). To all appearances the American organization copied the dress of those believers in Christ. Not even in garments, it seems, is the American order original. They are evidently copied faithfully from a very sacred brotherhood whose devotion won them the love and gratitude of the Spanish people from King to peasant, Pontiff to believer.

Atruro Schomburg from Opportunity Magazine

Rogers describes the contemporary descendants of the “Spanish Negroes” to be “quite bleached.”

Sambenito or Sanbenito

Let’s examine their garments more closely. The mask or hood worn by the brotherhood was originally called a capirote. It is now known as a cornet in Linares and a caperuz in Torredonjimeno. The capirote was used during the Spanish Inquisition. People wore it during the auto-da-fé or “act of faith” ritual conducted during the penance of condemned heretics and apostates. It was the job of the inquistor-general to decide the sentence and how it would be carried out. Besides the capirote, penitents also wore a habit called a sanbenito. Sicilian Black Saint Benedict of Palermo received veneration by the brotherhood by his inclusion in the third titular name of the order. Although not included in the official title – from his beatification in the XVII century.

Trans: St. Benedict of Palermo, the Sicilian black saint venerated as the third titular of the brotherhood – although not included in the official title of the order – from his beatification in the XVII century. From La antigua Hermandad de los Negros de Sevilla: etnicidad, poder y sociedad en 600 años de historia by Isidoro Moreno Navarro

If St. Benedict is the patron saint of La Hermandad de los Negritos, isn’t it entirely possible the name of the habit, sanbenito, is taken from his Spanish name “San Benito?” Isidoro Moreno Navarro mentions San Benito de Palermo at least twenty-two times in his Spanish language book “La antigua Hermandad de los Negros de Sevilla: etnicidad, poder y sociedad en 600 años de historia” [English: The ancient Brotherhood of the Blacks of Seville: Ethnicity, power and society in 600 years of history.]

Another book Época colonial: México viejo, noticias históricas, tradiciones, leyendas y costumbres by Luis González Obregón describes the punishment, clothing and symbolism of each pertaining to the Inquisition. The following translations explain the different forms of clothing worn:

No less outrageous than these punishments were the penitential insignia of the prisoners judged by the Holy Office which can be seen in the curious engravings we reproduce from a work printed in Amsterdam in 1692 under the title of The History of the Inquisition and written by Phillip A. Limborch

Época colonial
México viejo, noticias históricas, tradiciones, leyendas y costumbres
The Habit of Relapse of an Impenitent called by Samarra from The History of the Inquisition and written by Phillip A. Limborch

In these engravings are found the three kinds of sambenitos, a kind of scapulars of yellow or red linen or cloth that were known successively by the names of Samarra Fuego revolto and simply Sambenito, the latter name that was later common to all

The Samarra was carried by the relaxed or the prisoners surrendered to the secular arm to be seized or burned alive. Samarra had then painted dragons, devils and flames between which the portrait of the inmate was burning. The habit known as Fuego revolto (Raging Fire) was that of those who had shown repentance and therefore the flames were painted in reverse to mean that they had escaped from burning by fire.

In short, the Sambenito that the common penitentiary wore was a red sack with a cross of San Andres (Saint Andrew). The species of miter worn on the head of the prisoners was called Coroza, a cap of bonded paper sometimes finished in the tip like a cone of more than a rod high with flames, snakes or demons painted according to the category of the culprit. They also carried rosaries and yellow or green candles; lit for the reconciled and extinguished for the impenitents and when they were blasphemous, they were gagged.

The Habit of penitent called Sambenito from The History of the Inquisition and written by Phillip A. Limborch

Over time, those shameless insignia were seen as indifferent as any dress and in Mexico gave way to a curious anecdote. A reconciled walked in the streets of the city and as he brought sambenito seeing the Indians that was new clothes of clothes thought one that the Spaniards wore those clothes by devotion in the Lent and soon went to his house and made his sambenitos very well made and very painted and goes out to Mexico to sell his clothes among the Spaniards and said in the language of Indians “Tic cohuaznequi sambenito” that means want to buy sambenito. It was the thing so laughed by all the earth that I think it arrived in Spain and in Mexico it was as a saying that I wanted to benito. Hitherto the ancient and true chronicler. The people concluded by losing the fear of such scarecrows and defined the Inquisition in this way.

Auto da fe or Acts of Faith

The auto-da-fe ritual came into existence sometime after the 1 November 1478 granting of permission to Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain from Pope Sixtus IV to name Inquisitors and protect the faith of Catholicism throughout their domain. The Hermandad, however, conduct their procession as part of the Semana Santa, or Holy Week festivities.

The habit of a penitent after sentence pronounced called Fuego revolto from The History of the Inquisition and written by Phillip A. Limborch

By wearing garments directly descended from the Spanish Inquisition, is the Ancient Brotherhood of the Blacks telling a part of their history, through actions, which words can only begin to describe?

KKK Uniform

The KKK Uniform which we know today clearly resembles the habit of La Hermandad de los Negritos. But how could it possibly be the Ku Klux Klan stole their uniform from Le Hermandad? A little history of the KKK uniform might make things clear.

Believe it or not, the KKK uniform as we know it today, originated with the movie known as “The Birth of a Nation.” Clare West

By Nnamdi Azikiwe

The Mhotep Corporation uses its Keyamsha The Awakening brand to heighten perceptions and expand awareness. By producing content that engages, entertains and educates we create value for value relationships with our audience for mutual benefit. Mhotep is derived from the name of the architect and builder of the first pyramid in Kemet, so-called ancient Egypt. I formed the Mhotep Corporation in 2003 to produce and distribute 3D animation videos based on traditional African stories. Since then it has evolved to being a media production company including books. In a previous life I worked as a systems analyst developing solutions for government and multinational organizations. Born and educated in Washington, D.C. I have traveled to several places including Haiti, the Bahamas, Mexico, Canada, Nigeria (several times), Ethiopia (several times), Benin, Togo, and South Africa. I am married with three children.


  1. The Moors were not AFRICANS and this history cannot be traced to that great peninsula so called Africa.

    1. You only say that because you have not read the history of the order. When you do you’ll know exactly why they are in Spain to begin with. They know their history and it is well documented. Nothing in their history mentions Moors.

      La Hermandad de los Negritos would be La Hermandad de los MOORS or MORENO if what you say were true.

      If they were Moors they didn’t need to stay in Spain They could just go back to the place where Moors live.

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