A Thumb Catch

I learned this catch from the same Osage Indian who taught me the Osage "Diamonds." I am told that it is also known in England.


First: First Position, with the strings between the hands crossed; the left near string passing over the right near string (Fig. 791).

Fig. 791

Second: Opening A, taking up the left palmar string first.


Third: Turn each thumb away from you down into the loop on the index finger, and, holding securely in the bend of the thumb the far thumb string and the near index string (Fig. 792), turn the hands with the fingers pointing downward (Fig. 793), and drop from the hands all the strings except those held by the thumbs.

Fig. 792
Fig. 793

Fourth: Turn the hands with the fingers pointing upward (Fig. 794). Separate the hands (Fig. 795).

Fig. 794
Fig. 795

String Figure Notation (SFN)

  1. lH P1: rL ml-mt-pu lnTS, ex
  2. rT pu rnLS: OA: T mo-th FN md-mt-up
  3. re FN: re L, ex

By reason of the cross in the string in the First Position when you release the loops in the Third movement and draw the hands apart, each little finger loop becomes a slip noose around the opposite thumb. If the cross in the First Position be formed by the right thumb string passing over the left thumb string, you must take up the right palmar string first in forming Opening A.