A Butterfly

I obtained this figure from the two Navaho girls at the St. Louis Exposition. The native name is Ga-lo-kĭ or Ga-hi-kĭ.


First: The same as the First movement of "The Bow."


Second: Twist each index loop five times by rotating each index down toward you, and up again five times.


Third: Put each thumb from below into the index loop and, without removing the index, separate the thumb from the index (Fig. 492).

Fig. 492

Fourth: On each hand in turn, with the teeth slip the lower (the original) thumb loop over the loop passing around both thumb and index, then entirely off the thumb, and let it drop to the palmar side. Separate the hands (Fig. 493).

Fig. 493

Fifth: Bring the hands close together, with the index finger and thumb of the one hand pointing toward the index finger and thumb of the other hand; then hang the right index loop on the left index, and the right thumb loop on the left thumb (Fig. 494). Take up with the right index, from the left side, the loop you have just put on the left thumb, and take up with the right thumb, from the right side, the loop which was originally on the left thumb (Fig. 495); then with the right thumb and index lift both loops from the left index, and put the left index away from you into the loop just hung on the left index, and put the left thumb toward you into the loop originally on the left thumb (Fig. 496). Now, placing the hands with the thumbs up and the fingers pointing away from you, draw them slowly apart, and when the strings have partially rolled up in the middle of the figure (Fig. 497), pull down with the middle, ring and little fingers of each hand the far index string and the near thumb string (Fig. 498), and the wings of the butterfly will be held up by the strings extended between the widely separated thumbs and index fingers, and the proboscis will appear rolled up on the strings held down by the other fingers.

Fig. 494
Fig. 495
Fig. 496
Fig. 497
Fig. 498

String Figure Notation (SFN)

  1. NO: F mt-tw FN 2 to 5 times
  2. T pu nFS: na T
  3. lT & lF mr-th-pu rTN & rFN (re rH)
  4. rTF ml-bt lnt&bTS pu lt&bTN: re lT: kl
  5. rMRL gr rfFS&nTS: kl
  6. tr lt&bFN to lT&F & gr same as rH

This is a charming figure, and unlike any of the others. It is very easy to form; if the Fifth movement be done properly, the finished pattern always appears. If you twist the index loops more than five times, the proboscis will not roll up nicely, if less than four times, it will not be sufficiently large.

The final movement is like "Lightning," in that the twists put on the strings in the earlier movements, by untwisting assist in the formation of the finished pattern.