This figure was taught to me by an Apache girl, Lena Smith, from Jicarilla, New Mexico, at the St. Louis Exposition in September, 1904. Lena spoke very little English and touched a door to signify the name of the figure. I could not get from her the Apache name. She was much amused at my blunders. A Navaho girl told me that all Indians know this figure. In the Philadelphia Free Museum of Science and Art, there are four examples of the finished figure collected by Mr. Stewart Culin and preserved on cards: (1) Li-sis = a Poncho, 22722, Navaho, from St. Michael's Mission, Arizona; (2) Pi-cho-wai-nai, 22604, Zuñi, New Mexico; (3) Pi-cho-wai, a-tslo-no-no-nai = a Sling, 22610, Zuñi, New Mexico, and (4), 22729, from Isleta, New Mexico.
String Figure Notation (SFN)
OA:tr FN to W (or P1:rH pu lPS:lH pu rPS)
T pu nLS:L pu fTS
rT mu S pu all S bt TF (original 2 TN must be visible above these S)
lTF gr 2rTN, re rT, rT mo S pu (original) 2rTN
repeat with lH:re WN:ex H
This is a beautiful figure, and not at all difficult. Moreover it retains its shape no matter how tight you may pull it. It contains several interesting movements:
In the Second, the method of transferring the index loops to the wrists is unusual; as we shall see further on, a more complicated method is almost always employed. In the Third movement the changing of a string from one finger to another by means of the thumb and index of the other hand is a process not often observed. Indeed one may easily believe that the methods given in these two movements are short cuts peculiar to the individual who taught me the figure, and that, some day, other Indians will be seen doing these movements in the usual elaborate style, whereby the strings on either hand are shifted and arranged by the fingers of that hand only. As far as I know, the Fourth movement has not been observed in any other string figure. The rubbing of the hands together in the Sixth movement is, of course, only for effect; it has no bearing on the success of the figure. The manner of showing the finished pattern, what we call its "extension," is of the most simple type; indeed the figure practically extends itself when the hands are drawn apart.