EAA Research Consultant
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
It seems most of what we know of these pirate entities comes from romanticized and sensationalized literature or narratives, and I honestly cannot claim to having read much of this. However, what I have presumed is based on notes, research and discussions over the years, and simply considering the kinds of embellishments that typically become emplaced in tales of these figures.
I think it would take focused and in depth research on specific regions and pirate groups to really understand what sort of hierarchy or organization they might have used, there always had to be a command figure, and that person would need to maintain respect most of all. Whether accomplished through fear, benevolence or any means, leadership was essential. I have always been surprised at the very sensibly represented codes of the European pirates, which were remarkably considered actual democracies of a form.
It seems quite a paradox to have such standards applied to basically an outlaw enterprise, but gives an example of how many of these groups probably organized.
Getting back to the orginal topic, the 'butterfly knives', much as the diverse strata of members of the pirate groups, were likely present in incidental cases.
All best regards,