A Mouth

I obtained this figure from Chief Zaroff, a Topek Eskimo from Alaska, in the Eskimo Village at the St. Louis Exposition. The native name is Rote = a Mouth.


First: Put the loop on the hands in the First Position.


Second: Pass the right index from above behind the string crossing the left palm, and as you draw the loop out, turn the right index away from you and upward (Fig. 643), to put a cross in the loop, and also bend the left index down, and pick up from below on the back of the finger the left near little finger string, and return the index to its position (Fig. 644). Release the loops from the little fingers (Fig. 645). You now have a loop on each index and a loop on each thumb.

Fig. 643
Fig. 644
Fig. 645

Third: Turn the palms toward you, and put the middle, ring and little fingers of each hand, from below, up into the index loop; then bend these fingers toward you down over the near index string, and draw the string down and hold it by closing the fingers on the palm (Fig. 646, Left hand). (Note the figure shows the figures holding the far index loop. This is incorrect.) Now put each middle finger from above into the thumb loop, and draw the far thumb string against the ring finger, closed on the palm, by closing the middle finger also down on the palm (Fig. 646, Right hand).

Fig. 646

Fourth: Keeping carefully the string on each index, bend the index toward you over the near thumb string (Fig. 647, Left hand); then, by moving the index away from you and upward, lift up on the tip of the finger this near thumb string, while the string already on the index slips over the tip (Fig. 647, Right hand).

Fig. 647

Fifth: Withdraw the thumbs from their loops, and let go the string held down by each middle finger (Fig. 648). You now have on each hand a loop around the index and a loop held to the palm by the closed ring and little fingers.

Fig. 648

Sixth: Transfer the index loops to the middle fingers, by putting each middle finger, from above, into the index loop (Fig. 649, Left hand), withdrawing the index, and returning the middle finger to its position (Fig. 649, Right hand).

Fig. 649

Seventh: Bring the palms close together, and hang the right middle finger loop, without twisting it, over the left middle finger; and hang the loop held on the right ring and little fingers, without twisting it, on the left ring and little fingers; withdraw the right hand (Fig. 650).

Fig. 650

Then put the four fingers of the right hand to the left, through the two loops hanging from the left ring and little fingers (Fig. 651), and closing the right fingers on the palm, take these loops off the left hand. Put the left thumb away from you into the two loops hanging from the left middle finger, and withdraw the middle finger; now put the four fingers of the left hand toward you into these loops, and close the fingers on the palm, withdrawing the thumb. Draw the strings apart. The "Mouth" can be made to open and shut by rotating the wrist alternately away from you and toward you (Fig. 652). (The figure shows the thumbs within the loops, contrary to the instructions. It works either way, but perhaps displays best with the thumbs included in the loops.)

Fig. 651
Fig. 652

As I have already pointed out, the arrangement of the string into index and thumb loops, after the Second movement of this figure, differs from the almost similar arrangement after the opening in the "Bow," in that the two straight horizontal strings in this figure are both near strings, whereas in the "Bow" the upper straight string is the near index string and the lower is the far thumb string. If, after Opening A, you release the little finger loops, you get a similar figure, but the upper straight string is the far index string and the lower is the near thumb string. I do not yet know of an instance in which, in a similar figure, both straight strings are far strings.