A Man

I was shown this figure at the St. Louis Exposition in November, 1904, by the two Navaho girls, Zah Tso and her sister, who taught me other Navaho figures. The Navaho name is Dĕnnĕ, or Hasṫinĕ dĕnnĕ.


First: Opening A.


Second: With the thumb and index of the right hand turn the left near index string away from you once around the left index, thus putting a ring around that finger in addition to the left index loop. In like manner with the thumb and index of the left hand turn the right near index string around the right index (Fig. 420).

Fig. 420

Third: Take up from below on the tip of the right index the ring around the left index and separate the hands (Fig. 421). Keep the loop just drawn out near the tip of the right index, as it is absolutely necessary throughout these movements to keep the different index loops distinct. See that on the left index the original loop (the one with the near string going to the far side of the right thumb) is above the other loop—about half-way up on the finger; and keep the loops in place by pressing the side of the left middle finger against the side of the left index. Now, take up from below on the tip of the left index the ring around the right index, and draw the hands apart (Fig. 422). Keep this new left index loop up at the tip of the index. See that the original right index loop (the one with the near string going to the far side of the left thumb) is placed on the right index halfway up, and between the other two loops.

Fig. 421
Fig. 422

You now have a loop on each thumb, a loop on each little finger and three loops on each index finger; the near strings of these three loops must cross one another as follows: the near strings of the top loops cross each other to become the near strings of the lower loops; the near strings of the middle loop cross lower down over the near strings of the lower loop and still lower they cross each other.


Fourth: Keeping the loops in these relative positions on each index, by pressing the middle finger and index together, carefully turn the hands with the palms toward you, and close the four fingers down on the palm, over all the strings except the near thumb string (Fig. 423). Throw this near thumb string away from you over the hands and let it fall down on the backs of the hands. Now retum each hand to its usual position, and put each thumb up under the near string of the loop you have just put on the back of the hand, and let the whole loop slip down around the wrist (Fig. 424).

Fig. 424

Fifth: Pass each thumb away from you under both strings of the wrist loop and pick up on the back of the thumb, from the far side, the far little finger string, and return the thumb to its position (Fig. 425).

Fig. 425

You now have on each hand, (1) a loop on the wrist; (2) a loop on the thumb formed of a straight near string and a far string crossing the palm under the strings of the wrist loop; (3) a loop on the little finger, formed of the palmar string and a near little finger string which becomes the lower far index string; (4) three loops on the index with their six near strings crossing one another as follows: the upper strings cross each other, and then, becoming the strings of the lower loops, run under the middle strings; the middle strings cross over the lower strings, and then cross each other. This arrangement of the near strings of the index loops is essential to the success of the figure.


Sixth: Put each thumb up on the far side of the near string of the middle loop, close to the point where it crosses the same string from the other index, then on the near side of the lower near index string, and then on the far side of the upper near index string (Fig. 426), and separate the thumb from the index to widen out these index loops (Fig. 427).

Fig. 426
Fig. 427

Of the three strings now passing around each thumb the two upper form two crosses between the thumbs, and the lower runs directly from thumb to thumb.


Seventh: Bend each middle finger toward you down over all the index strings (not over the strings passing from the back of the thumb to the back of the index), and pick up from below close to the thumb, the lower far thumb string (the string which becomes the palmar string) (Fig. 428), and return the middle finger to its position (Fig. 429). It is necessary to pick the string up at a point between the thumb and the place where it is crossed by the near wrist string.

Fig. 428
Fig. 429

Eighth: Release the loops from the thumbs, the index fingers, and the little fingers and draw the hands apart (Fig. 430).

Fig. 430

I have put this figure next to the "Coral" because, although a Navaho figure, it closely resembles that Caroline Islands figure.

In some respects "Man" is the most difficult of all the games, not because of its length, but because of the necessity of arranging the loops properly on the index fingers, and keeping them so arranged, throughout several very active movements.

The rings placed around the index fingers by the Second movement are peculiar to this figure. The transfer of the thumb loops to the wrists is similar to the transfer in "Coral," as is also the drawing of the far little finger string toward you under the wrist strings; but in this figure the string is picked up from below, not from above. The Seventh movement is like the Seventh movement of "Coral."