LLX > Neil Parker > String Figures > Odds & Ends

Maui; or, The Four Maui Brothers

This figure (from [Andersen 1927], figure 32) is probably my favorite Maori string figure.

1. Opening A.

2. Transfer index loops to ring fingers.

3. Transfer thumb loops to middle fingers.

4. Insert left thumb from below into left middle finger loop, and return with left near middle finger string.

5. Insert left index from above into left thumb-middle-finger loop. Pick up left near thumb string and return.

6. With right index, pick up left near middle finger string, where it crosses the base of the left index. Release left thumb loop.

(These steps produce a result similar to Nauru opening 1.)

7. Pass thumbs under index, middle, and ring finger loops, and over near little finger strings. Pick up far little finger string, and return under other loops.

8. Pass thumbs over index, middle, and ring finger loops, and under near little finger strings. Pick up near little finger strings, closer to the middle of the figure than the palmar strings that cross over them.

9. Bend indexes down over palmar strings and into their own loops from above. Then point them toward their own palms, inserting them between upper and lower palmar strings. Pick up lower palmar strings and straighten indexes. Release thumb loops.

10. Insert middle finger into index loops from above. Pick up lower near index string (the one that hangs loose in front of the figure) and return through upper index loops.

11. Pass thumbs over near index strings, and pick up upper far middle finger strings. Release upper middle finger loops, and upper index loops.

12. With right thumb and index, grab left near middle finger string and left far index string, and remove loops from left index and middle finger. Pointing right middle finger toward you, let the removed loops hang from right middle finger. Release left ring and little finger loops.

13. Insert left little finger into left thumb loop from below. Release left thumb loop, catching it with left little finger, and clasp new little finger loop to left palm.

14. Pass left middle finger toward you into loops held by right middle finger. Release hanging loops from right middle finger, and clasp left middle finger to left palm.

15. Repeat steps 12 through 14 on other hand.

16. Insert thumbs and indexes away from you (distally) into middle finger loops. Withdraw middle finger from their loops, and extend the figure by raising indexes, and pressing thumbs down so that their lower strings are adjacent to the upper, outer strings of the diamonds at the sides.

Some manual adjustment many be necessary to separate the four brothers from each other at the top.

LLX > Neil Parker > String Figures > Odds & Ends