Volume 6 (1999): 304 pages - Table des Matières

Edité par - Mark A. Sherman, Pasadena, California
Rédacteurs Associés - Joseph D'Antoni, Queens, New York;  Myriam Namolaru, Haifa, Israel;
Belinda Holbrook, Davenport, Iowa; 
Stephan Claassen, Best, Netherlands.
Comité de Rédaction - Hiroshi Noguchi, Tokyo, Japan; Philip Noble, Inverness, Ecosse

Le Bulletin de l'Association Internationale du Jeu de Ficelle  (BISFA) est une publication savante
présentant des documents originaux qui fait progresser notre compréhension et renforce
notre plaisir des jeux de ficelle. BISFA est publié annuellement, en septembre, par ISFA Press
(Pasadena, Californie). BISFA remplace le Bulletin de l'Association des Jeux de Ficelle,
(Toky Nippon Ayatori Kyokai), qui a été publiée en 
19 volumes (1978-1993).


 Les traductions proposées ne comprennent pas les illustrations et photos du texte original.
J'ai traduit ces textes pour vous donner un aperçu de la qualité et de la richesse de
 ces publications.

 

Tribute

  • Kathleen Haddon  (1888-1961), par Henry Rishbeth, Southampton, Angleterre (pages 1-16) - Les trois livres populaires de Kathleen Haddon ont inspiré toute une génération d'enthousiastes es jeux de ficelle. Elle était aussi l'auteur de  aussi plusieurs très bons articles publiés par des journaux anthropologiques éminents. Cet hommage, écrit par son fils, inclut une bibliographie et une étude de ses publications.

Commentary

  • Ritual for a String Master, by Sam Cannarozzi Yada, Parcieux, France, (pages 17-20) - Long before they became anthropological baubles, string figures were "performed." In this fanciful article, professional storyteller Sam Cannarozzi Yada pays tribute to shamans and other tribal elders who once used string figures as magical props for telling tales.
  • Toby dans le Temps du Rêve —  Une Pièce du Jeu de Ficelle, du‘Théâtre Spectral ’, par Tim Kennedy, Moorhead, Minnesota, (pages 21-39) - Etudiant en cinéma au début des années 80, l'attraction initial de Tim Kennedy aux jeux de ficelle était comme une forme de cinéma primitif décrivant une cosmologie culturelle. Ses pièces du jeu de ficelle survivent aujourd'hui en tant que partie du  'Théâtre Spectral ', une série de représentations qui présente des projections de film, théâtre d'ombres, et autres évènements para-cinéma. "Toby dans le Temps du Rêve" est une histoire qu'il a écrit pour accompagner quarante-neuf de ses jeux de ficelle favoris.

Reviews

  • Ficelle — Comment ses Propriétés Affectent les Jeux de Ficelle  , par Michael D. Meredith, Amarillo, Texas, (pages 40-46) - Les débutants se  plaignent souvent que leurs jeux de ficelle "s'effondrent" ou qu'ils ne réussissent pas à les réaliser semblables aux belles illustrations fournies par les auteurs. Dans beaucoup de cas, c'est le type de ficelle qui est en cause. Dans d'autres cas, c'est la longueur de la ficelle qui est à revoir. Dans cet article, l'auteur explique comment optimiser les propriétés de la ficelle. L'emploi de la couleur est aussi discuté.
  • String Figures and the Language Arts, by Barbara O'Rand and Audrey Collinson Small, Paradise, California, (pages 47-55) - Remedial reading teachers usually try to maintain a spirit of optimism, a spirit of enthusiasm about children overcoming their reading problems. The reading teacher diagnoses the students' problems and recommends courses of action to solve them. Sometimes there is an intangible spark missing in the whole process. The child sits and fidgets with his hands, the reading process seems so far removed from his interests. This article describes a creative supplementary approach used in the classroom as a catalyst between the classroom language arts, and the writing and reading arts, designed to stimulate interest, enhance self-concept and improve reading. To achieve this, it used the age-old practice of making string figures.

Research Reports

  • Polynesian String Figures and Rongorong More Parallels, by Sergei V. Rjabchikov, Krasnodar, Russia, (pages 56-62) - Based on historic accounts, it is known that Easter Island string figures (kai-kai) were intimately associated with the island's famous writing system (rongorongo): pupils enhanced their memory skills by learning to make string figures, then proceeded to learn the rongorongo script. In this article I compare string figure design motifs from New Zealand, Tuamotus and Easter Island with rongorongo glyphs as a new evidence that in ancient times, this script may have been known throughout Polynesia.
  • An Arrow Code for Recording String Figures, by George Bennet, Wymondham, Norfolk, England, (pages 63-95) - I have developed this code for recording string figures over a period of 60 years. Its essence is the use of arrows and position on the line of writing for specifying finger movements and strings. Initially the Arrow Code was for use in my personal notebook. But when other people wanted to join in, it had to be greatly simplified. In its present form it retains only a small stock of symbols, and most of these are intuitively obvious. The advent of word processors changed the picture yet again because of the need for records to be typed using the available stock of symbols. But this has also made it possible to internationalise the Code by providing usable symbols in place of the initial letters of English words I had employed previously. However, I continue to use phrases in plain language where this is simpler than complicated symbolic representations. I put these phrases in English; but these are readily translated into any other language without affecting the basic Code. There have been a number of other ways devised for recording string figures; and I compare my Arrow Code with several of these. Some of them are certainly more precise and scientific than mine, but this also makes them more complex and difficult to use. My aim has been to produce a Code that is as far as possible instantly clear and legible. This paper concludes with a number of examples illustrating the brevity and versatility of the Arrow Code. I offer it to the String Figure Community as a tool for the better development and sharing of their art.
  • String Figures from Southwest Alaska, by David Titus, Lawton, Oklahoma, and Mark Sherman, Pasadena, California, (pages 96-112) - In this article revised methods for making nine Inuit string figures gathered by George Byron Gordon in 1907 are presented. The figures were gathered at Mamtrelich, a village on the Kuskokwim River in southwest Alaska.
  • String Figures from the Indian States of Gujarat and Orissa, by Will Wirt, Port Angeles, Washington, (pages 113-132) - Very few string figures have been recorded from India. This paper describes a number of string figures and tricks collected in 1999 from the Indian states of Gujarat and Orissa.
  • String Figures and Tricks from the Assam-Burma Border, by Alex Johnston Abraham, East Sussex, England, (pages 133-144) - In this article the author presents two string figures and six string tricks he gathered in 1943 among the Lushai while stationed in the mountainous region that divides Assam and Burma (the Lushai Hills, now called Mizoram). These are compared to a small collection gathered by H.E. Kauffmann among the Thadou Kuki, a closely related tribe living in the hills of Manipur, just north of Mizoram.
  • String Figures from Burma, by James Hornell (1865-1949), (pages 145-148) - Four string figures from Burma (Myanmar) are described. The figures were gathered from Karen informants, the Karen being a minority group of Thai-Chinese origin. Although all four figures are known in India, only two are made using identical methods.
  • Sinhalese String Figures and Tricks, by James Hornell (1865-1949), (pages 149-153) - One string figure and two string tricks from Sri Lanka (Ceylon) are described. All three have Indian counterparts.
  • Maori String Figures, by Carey C.K. Smith, Stratford, New Zealand, (pages 154-160) - String figure repertoires are dynamic entities that change as cultures interact. In this article the author presents five string figures he collected in 1980 from a Maori girl of New Zealand. Only one appears in Andersen's Maori collection made in 1920. The other four are known elsewhere, and probably entered the Maori repertoire in recent times.
  • Usage de Jeux de Ficelle pour l'Enseignement de l'adresse Mathématique  — Partie 3: Le Système Filet Nord Américain, par James R. Murphy (inoli), Whitestone, New York, (pages 160-211) - Les jeux de ficelle sont de merveilleux outils pour introduire les étudiants aux langages abstraits écrits  comme ceux utilisés dans les mathématiques. Cet article présente le troisième des quatre "systèmes" du jeu de ficelle développés par l'auteur pour enseigner aux étudiants en math à penser en termes abstraits. Les séquences de tissage de trois figures parentes — les filets Inuit, Navaho, et Klamath — sont d'abord scindées en diverses phases. L'auteur illustre alors comment chacune des phases peut être altérée, collée, et répétée pour ajouter de la complexité et de la richesse aux motifs. Dans la section finale, l'auteur montre comment écrire et manipuler des formules généralisées qui saisissent l'essence de chaque tissage. 
  • The Origin of String Figures, by Martin Probert, Plymouth, England, (pages 212-252) - How string figures originated is a question never investigated, yet a satisfactory hypothesis might shed light upon a circumstance that so many writers have remarked upon, the occurrence of similar or identical figures in different major geographical areas. More than twenty well-known figures of wide distribution are analysed. The conclusion is reached that the figures of world-wide distribution are those most capable of independent invention.
  • Fun with Newkirk 2 — Deconstruction and analysis of a novel string figure, by Homer Sapiens, somewhere in California, (pages 253-260) - For many string figures described in the published literature the method of manufacture is unknown — all that remains is a drawing, or a photograph of the finished pattern. In this article the author presents an algorithm for "undoing" a string figure in stages. When reversed, the algorithm provides a crude method of manufacture which the maker can refine by substituting common string manipulations. A string figure invented by Steve Newkirk is used as an example to illustrate the procedure.

Book and Video Reviews - by Mark A. Sherman (pages 265-269)

  • Guy Mary-Rousseliטre (1913-1994), by Charles Choque.
  • String Fun with the Parables: Christian String Stories, Volume 1, (Video), by David Titus.
  • Cat's Cradle: Activity Fun Pack, by Henderson Editors, illustrated by Tim Perkins.
  • Fascinating String Figures, by International String Figure Association, illustrated by Mark A. Sherman and Joseph D'Antoni.

Modern String Figures

  • Doubly-framed Double Ladder String Figures, by Kazuo Kamiya, Saitama, Japan, (pages 265-269) - In this paper the author presents some highly unusual variations of well-known two-, three-, and four-diamond string figures. The author shows how the individual strings of each design can be doubled without doubling the loop prior to making the figure. Furthermore, he shows how the frame strings can be multiplied independent of the strings that form the design.
  • Brown Bear String Figures, by Kazuo Kamiya, Saitama, Japan, (pages 270-276) - 'Two Brown Bears' is a popular string figure among the Inuit of Alaska. In this article the author presents thirteen amusing variations of that figure.
  • Elk String Figures, by Kazuo Kamiya, Saitama, Japan, (pages 277-279) - 'Two Elks' is a popular Klamath Indian string figure. In this article the author describes a new way to make it plus four variations.
  • Caribou String Figures, by Kazuo Kamiya, Saitama, Japan, (pages 280-288) - 'Caribou' is a string figure known throughout the Arctic. In this article the author presents an entirely new way of making it, plus eighteen variations he created.
  • Hearts and Triangles, by Tetsuo Sato, Kumamoto, Japan, (pages 289-292) - Shapes with curves are difficult to portray in a string figure. When loosely extended, the first string figure described in this article resembles a heart. The author shows how to form a large version of this figure artificially for presentation to an audience. A string figure featuring three triangles is also presented.

Letters to the Editor (pages 293-298)

  • String Figures in Russia? - Sergei V. Rjabchikov, Krasnodar, Russia. A letter drawing attention to the similarity between 'knot-writing' of the ancient Russians and a stage in the manufacture of an Eskimo string figure.
  • Mathematical Variations or World Figures? - Sam Cannarozzi Yada, Parcieux, France. The author discusses his preference for string figures derived from tribal sources versus those created by mathematicians.
  • Moving Mountains - Joseph D'Antoni, Queens, New York. The author explains how to better extend the final design of 'Kayaker and the Mountains', a series he presented in the September 1997 issue of String Figure Magazine. In an editoral reply, Mark Sherman corrects a mistake he made in describing how to make Gordon's 'Clothesline', published in Bulletin 3 ('Clothesline' is closely related to 'Mountains').
  • Even With No Fingers You Can Make Lizard - David Titus, Lawton, Oklahoma. The author describes his recent experiences in western Nepal where he visited a leper colony and taught string figures. A string figure from Bhutan is also described.
  • The Real Origin of Cat's Cradle - Philip Noble. The author argues that the term "Cat's Cradle" refers to a crib once popular in Scotland. The crib had six brass knobs on its frame. String was wound around the knobs to form a web that kept the baby safe from cats jumping in on it. 

Bulletins ISFA Bisfa 6

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