Popular String Figures

Cat’s cradle is a string game found in different parts of the world. In Japan, it is called aya ito tori, in New Zealand, it is called He whait or maui. in other parts of the world, this popular game is called “well-rope” and toeka-toeka. (Jayne, 1962). To play, there must be two players. The image below shows the hands of the two players.

Figures are made when the string is transferred in various ways to the other player forming new figures in the process. Many stories can be made up on the spot depending on the culture and individual interpretation of the figures made. The names of figures from the cats cradle game range from rice mill pestles in Korea, to soldier’s beds in England, to sea snakes in New Guinea. (Jayne, 1962). In the US, the sequence string figures are as follows: cradle, soldier’s bed, candles, manger, diamonds, cat’s eye, fish on a dish, hand drum, diamonds, cat’s eye, manger, sawing motion, and cat’s cradle. (Taylor, 2000). See the video below. Retrieved from http://youtu.be/CAZhx5PKgl4

Jacob’s ladder is an intermediate string figure that requires at least ten steps. At certain points during those steps, one may be able to deviate from the sequence and form other figures like the witch’s hat, cup and saucer and the Eiffel Tower.

Here is the pictorial step by step tutorial on how to make Jacob’ ladder

Retrieved from http://www.frontiernet.net/~steve_glimpse/str-jacoblad.html


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