Caroline Islands Diamonds

Dr. Furness did not get the native name for this figure, so I have called it "Diamonds." It is a Natik figure obtained from "Emily," the native who taught Dr. Furness the "Catch."


First: Hold the string between the thumb and the index of each hand so that a short piece passes from hands to hand and a long loop hangs down. In the short piece make a small upright ring, by passing the part of the string near the right hand toward you over the part near the left hand. Hold the cross of the ring between the thumb and index of the left hand (Fig. 601). Then take between the teeth the upper part of the ring, and put both hands away from you through the long hanging loop, of course below the cross forming the bottom of the ring (Fig. 602). Now turn each hand down away from the other, then toward you around the hanging string of the same side (Fig. 603), and finally up between the hanging string and your body (but not away from you through the hanging loop) (Fig. 604); then putting the little fingers toward you into the ring held by the teeth (Fig. 605), catch the sides of the ring in the bend of each little finger, and releasing the strings from the teeth, separate the hands; turn the palms toward each other, and straighten the little fingers. Draw the strings tight (Fig. 606). You now have a loop on each wrist and a loop on each little finger.

Fig. 601
Fig. 602
Fig. 603
Fig. 604
Fig. 605
Fig. 606

Second: Holding the loops securely on each little finger, by bending the four fingers on the palm, turn the hands down (Fig. 607), and let each wrist loop slip off the wrist, and, as it slips, transfer it to the thumb, by catching with the back of the thumb the near wrist string (Fig. 608 as seen from above). Put the hands in the usual position.

Fig. 607
Fig. 608

Third: Bend each thumb away from you over the far thumb string, and pick up from below, on the back of the thumb, the near little finger string (Fig. 609), and return the thumb to its position.

Fig. 609

Fourth: Pick up from below, on the tip of each index, the far thumb string (not the palmar string) (Fig. 610), and straighten the index. Press each thumb against the index, to hold the loop you have just put on the index securely and well out toward the finger tip, and turn the palms away from you (Fig. 611). The figure is extended between the index fingers, thumbs and the little fingers (Fig. 612).

Fig. 610
Fig. 611
Fig. 612

The methods which lead to the final extension of this figure (the Third and Fourth movements) are similar to those in the preceding figure ("One Chief"), but all the other movements are new. At first sight, the opening movement appears to be a difficult and elaborate way of putting loops on the little fingers and wrists, but it is really the easiest and most direct method, not only of getting the loops, but also of making the strings cross one another in the way required for the subsequent success of the figure. In only one other figure (the "Pygmy Diamonds") are the loops dropped from the wrists, and caught, while dropping, upon the thumbs.