String Figure Magazine
Table of Contents - Volume 2, number 1 (March 1997) - 24 pages
- Getting Started - fingers, loops, strings, and commands (pages 1-4) - an introduction to words and symbols commonly used in string figure instructions.
- Nose Slip Trick (pages 5-6) - collected by Marcel Griaule from the Dogon people of Mali, Africa. Although first described in 1938 by a French anthropologist, this trick was recently shown to ISFA member Sam Cannarozzi Yada during his travels in northern Africa. The maker was an old musician from the National Folklore Ensemble of Mali. Sam likes this trick because it reminds him of an old French expression -- "It was so easy I could do it with two fingers up my nose!"
If the trick is set up properly (left), the string will slip off the hands when pulled upward (center). If set up incorrectly, the strings won't slip off (right).
- Little Girl with Pigtails (pages 7-9) - a traditional Japanese string figure described by Hiroshi Noguchi, Tokyo. After completing the weaving process, the maker lays the figure on a flat surface and arranges it.
- The Sandsnipe (pages 10-13) - collected by Harry and Honor Maude from the people of Kiribati, Micronesia. Sandsnipes (sandpipers) are shore birds that feed on fish. In this series of four designs many magical transformations take place as a result of the asymmetric opening.
The four designs are: (1) Catching Kingfish - the long hanging loop represents the lower bill of the Sandsnipe, which is used to snatch up fish; (2) Head of the Sandsnipe Hanging Down - a great representation of a seabird in flight; (3) Head of the Sandsnipe Erect - another splendid representation of a hovering seabird; (4) Flight of the Vanquished or Four Sandsnipes Flying Away - the diamonds slide to the left as the hands are separated.
- A Toad and A Man (pages 14-16) - collected by Julia Averkieva from the Kwakiutl people of Vancouver Island, Canada. In this Native American figure, the zig-zag design on the right represents the legs of a toad; the crooked design on the left represents a man.
- A Swan (pages 17-21) - collected by Diamond Jenness from the Mackenzie Delta Inuit (Eskimos) of Canada. This is certainly one of the most realistic string figures ever collected.
- Sun (pages 22-24) - collected by Honor Maude from the people of Nauru Island, Micronesia. Drawing by Joseph D'Antoni, Queens, New York. This design is widely known and can be made using a variety of methods (see "Tree Hole" June 1996 issue, and "Moon" December 1996 issue). Curiously, it is not known among the Eskimos.
- Resources (inside back cover) - learning more about the string figures in this issue.
Last updated April 2, 1997
Return to String Figure Magazine Home Page.
Return to ISFA Home Page.