Seven Stars

This is another of the Navaho games taught me by the two Navaho girls from Gallup, New Mexico. The native name is Dil-ye-he = the Pleiades. The Philadelphia Free Museum of Science and Art has an example of the finished pattern, No. 22717, collected by Mr. Culin from the Navahos at St. Michael's Mission, Arizona.


The first five movements are the same as the first five movements of "Many Stars."


Sixth: Withdraw each thumb from the loop, passing around both thumb and index, and keep this loop high up on the index. You now have two loops on each index and a loop on each thumb.


Seventh: Pass each thumb from below through both index loops (Fig. 114); then with the right thumb and index lift the lowest (the original) left thumb loop over the upper two thumb loops (which pass around both thumb and index) and entirely off the left thumb (Fig. 115); let it drop on the palmar side. In the same way with the left thumb and index lift the lowest right loop over the upper two thumb loops and entirely off the right thumb.

Fig. 114
Fig. 115

Eighth: Put each middle finger from below into the thumb loop and then up on the far side of the upper straight string crossing this loop, bend the figure toward you (Fig. 116), and pull this straight string down. Release the loops from the thumbs, and extend the figure between the index fingers and the middle fingers closed on the palm (Fig. 117). An extra turn around the index iingers displays the pattern better.

Fig. 116
Fig. 117

String Figure Notation (SFN)

  1. OA
  2. T mo S pu nLS
  3. M mo FN pu bfTS:re T
  4. T mo-th FN pu-pt fLS:re L
  5. T mo FN pu MN
  6. F mo-pu tTN:T pu tnFS
  7. re tTN:T mu-th pu 2nFS, na T
  8. M mu-th TN ma-th N ar TFN gr-de tS on TFN
  9. re T, ex F up:F mo tfFS pu-tw onto F

This figure differs from "Many Stars" only in the Sixth and Seventh movements; each thumb loop is slipped over the two index loops, instead of both the thumb and index loops being slipped over the loop common to the thumb and index.