I love making String Figures. When I was a young child, our family got a book called String Figures and How to Make Them by Caroline Furness Jayne. It was first published in 1905. Our copy was a version reprinted in the early 1960's. The book contains detailed instructions on how to make nearly 100 String Figures from various native cultures around the world, including Apache, Navaho, Klamath, Cherokee, Osage, Omaha, Chippewa, Pawnee, Pueblo, Eskimo, Salish, Filipino, Negrito, Natik, Bagobo, Ulungu, Batwa, Maori, and many more.
The book got used endlessly by all eight of the children in our family. Most of us learned all the easy ones and a few of the somewhat more difficult ones. Some of us also learned all those middling ones, too. And a few of us, myself included, tried every single one in the book that it was possible for one person to do. Repeatedly.
It was some time around 2010 that I suddenly had a renewed interest in doing String Figures --- although I had never really stopped doing them in the intervening years. So I pulled out my old loop of string figure string (yes, I still had it in the jewelry box on my dresser!) and found that I still remembered how to do more than a dozen of the String Figures in that seminal book.
In an online search to find a copy of this long out of print book, I discovered to my delight that the entire book is now online (link below), so now I've been re-learning other ones I used to know, brushing up my skills on a few I was a bit sketchy on, and also trying some of the more difficult ones again.
String Figures Classes
I love passing on my love of String Figures to small groups with classes on String Figures at many special events, summer camps,
and various other gatherings. For a significantly lower price than my other professional services, I would love to teach your group some String Figures, too.
Make Your Own String Figures
SOME EASY STRING FIGURES:
PO Box 463, Haydenville, MA 01039