Table of Contents - Volume 4, number 2 (June 1999) - 24 pages
The aborigines of Yirrkala are fond of incorporating multiple twists into their string figure designs. This rather unusual practice is also popular in the Congo region of Africa.
Circles, like multiple twists, are rather uncommon design elements in string figures. Once tension is applied, circles tend to collapse or form knots. In this figure, the circle represents the opening of a cave.
Upon releasing the right index loop, a bear emerges and walks to the left.
Throughout much of the Canadian Arctic this figure is given the same name -- Hill with Two Ponds -- but at Pelly Bay it's displayed upside-down and called 'The Smile' (the triangles represent rosy cheeks).
Three-dimensional string figures are prized throughout the world for their realism. This gem from South America is no exception. When extended properly the design recalls a gaping mouth, complete with ferocious teeth!
James Murphy, a mathematician, is well-known for his variations of the 'Ten Men' -- a traditional Pacific Islands figure. In this variation, a five-pointed star can be seen encased in a complex web.
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