This game is well known in Scotland, Ireland, and England. It has been described by the Rev. John Gray (p. 118, Fig. 4) from the Island of Eriskay, Outer Hebrides; it is also called "Tying Dogs' Feet." In some parts of Ireland, it is known as "Duck's Feet." It is the same as the Cherokee Indian "Crow's Feet." (See Haddon, 5, p. 217.) Dr. W. H. Furness has found it among the Kabyles of Algeria, introduced from France under the name of "Cock's Feet." It is known to the Ulungu of Africa as Umuzwaza = a Wooden Spoon. Roth gives a similar pattern from Australia (pl. xii, 1). It closely resembles the "Two Hogans" of the Navaho Indians, just before the completion of that figure.
The transfer of a loop from a finger to the wrist, or around the backs of the four fingers, of the same hand is quite a common movement in string figures. In the "Apache Door" we saw a very simple method of changing a finger loop to the wrist, and now, in the second movement of this figure, we have a neat method of putting the thumb loop on the back of the four fingers. A similar movement occurs in the Caroline Islands "Coral" and in the Navaho "Man."
On examining more closely the "Leashing of Lochiel's Dogs," one cannot fail to be struck by the rather crude way in which many of the movements are carried out; except in the Fifth movement, there appears to be lacking that expert use of both hands at the same time which characterizes the figures made by savage races. It is interesting to observe that Dr. Haddon's description of the Cherokee "Crow's Feet" differs from our description of the British figure; his description, in my own words, is as follows:
First: Opening A; but the palmar strings are taken up with the middle fingers instead of with the index fingers.
Second: Close together the four fingers of each hand, and insert them from above into the thumb loop, then take this loop off the thumb; thus turning it over in the transfer. Separate the hands.
Third: Pass each thumb into the middle finger loop from below, then withdraw the middle finger and return the thumb to its position, thereby transferring the middle finger loop to the thumb.
Fourth: Transfer the loop on the back of each hand to its respective middle finger.
Fifth: Pass each near little finger string from below through the middle finger loop and replace it on the far side of the little finger.
Sixth: Transfer each far little finger string over the little finger to the near side of that finger.
Seventh: Release the loops from the thumbs and draw the strings tight. "Crow's Feet" was taught to Dr. Haddon by a Pullman porter of European, negro and Cherokee parentage, which may account for the absence of what, for lack of a better term, we may call "savage characters."
From the figure shown to Mr. John L. Cox by an Onondaga Indian, Charles Doxon, we know that "Crow's Feet" is done by the Indians in the typical Indian way. This method differs from "The Leashing of Lochiel's Dogs" only in the Third and Fourth movements:
Third: Insert each thumb from above into the index loop, and pick up from below the far index string; return the thumb to its position, and withdraw the index.
Fourth: Turning the hands toward you and closing the fingers on the palms, let the far wrist string slip toward you along the fist until it comes to the index finger, when the whole wrist loop can be readily transferred to the middle finger.