Martha's Vineyard Museum
A decorative monkey's fist is a type of knot that is tied at the end of a rope as a weight. The knot is formed around a small weight, such as a stone, or a piece of wood on one end, with an eye splice or bowline on the other, and about 30 feet of line in between. This type of a knot weights the line for an accurate throw between ships and docks. When sailors used this knotted rope as an improvised weapon, it was called a slungshot.