This figure was shown me by an Osage Indian, Charles Michelle from Pawhuska, Oklahoma, at the St. Louis Exposition, in September, 1904. He had no name for it. In the Philadelphia Free Museum of Science and Art there are two finished patterns collected by Mr. Stewart Culin; both are from the Hawaiian Islands. No. 21447 is called Ma-ka-lii-lii, and No. 21514, Pu-kau-la (see Culin, 1, p. 222). It is known among Indians, sometimes as "Jacob's Ladder," and also to the Irish, under the names of the "Ladder" or the "Fence."
String Figure Notation (SFN)
OA:re T:T mu S pu fLS
T mo nFS pu fFS:re L
L mo nFS pu fTS:re T
T mo FN pu nLS:OE
This figure is extremely simple; the majority of the movements are most direct. The Ninth movement appears to be rather a clumsy way of taking an additional loop on the thumb, but if you try the usual Indian way of putting each thumb simultaneously up into the index loop between the palmar string and the index, and then separating the thumbs from the index fingers, you will find it rather difficult.
In the Tenth movement we see a new way of slipping the lower thumb loop over the upper loop and off the thumb. The turning of the palms away from you to form the finished figure is a movement we shall meet with repeatedly; in this figure it is not essential to the success of the pattern, but in many other figures the final pattern will not appear unless the far strings are drawn tight by turning the palms away from you.