Page:String Figures and How to Make Them.djvu/323

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282
STRING FIGURES

Eighth: The figure is extended by spreading the thumbs and middle fingers widely apart and separating the hands (Fig. 642). The strings held by the second person are now released.

So far as I know, this figure is the first African string game that has ever been described. The nature of the Batwas and their isolation in the heart of Africa would not lead us to expect to find among them a relatively complicated figure, and make any resemblances which this 5gure may bear to other figures doubly

interesting. We see at a glance that it has much in common with the "Caroline Islands Diamonds" and the "Turtle." The finished pattern is identical with the pattern formed after the Sixth movement of the Eskimo "Mouth"; hence you can go on and finish the "Mouth" from the finished pattern of the "Pygmy Diamonds." This is the only case, in my experience, where the finished pattern of one figure occurs as a stage in the development of another entirely different figure.

A MOUTH


I obtained this figure from Chief Zaroff, a Topek Eskimo from Alaska, in the Eskimo Village at the St. Louis Exposition. The native name is Rote=a Mouth.

First: Put the loop on the hands in the First Position.

Second: Pass the right index from above behind the string crossing the left palm, and as you draw the loop out, turn the right index away from you and upward (Fig. 643), to put a cross in the loop, and also bend the left index down, and pick up from below on the back of the finger the left near little finger string, and return the index to its position (Fig. 644). Release the loops from the little fingers (Fig. 645). You now have a loop on each index and a loop on each thumb.