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 String Figures on Stamps
Kiribati Island maps (1/29) 1981-87
Tokelau Traditional Games (1/6) 1983
Australia Aussie Kids (1/4) 1987
Nauru String Figures (4/4) 1988
Norway Children's Plays (1/2) 1989
French Polynesia Children's Plays (1/3) 1992
キ リ バ ス  [ KIRIBATI ] 

(Image by courtesy of Mark Sherman)
String Figures


The generic name for string-figures in the Northern Gilberts is WAU, while in the Southern islands it is TAI. The pictured string figure is "Na Ubwebwe," who is the semi deity known as essencially the father of string-figures.

Maude, H.C. & H.E. Maude (1958) "String figures from the Gilbert Islands." Journal of the Polynesian Society, Memoir 13.

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ト ケ ラ ウ 諸 島  [ TOKELAU ] (ニュージーランド 領)              
TIFAGA ( String game )


Both string figures, three diamonds pattern (left) and one diamond with a string doubled (right), appear in a two persons' game called "TAFA".

Hornell, J. (1927) "String figures from Fiji and Western Polynesia." Bishop Museum Bulletin 39 : p.79.

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オ ー ス ト ラ リ ア  [ AUSTRALIA ]                        
Cat's Cradle

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ナ ウ ル [ NAURU ]                                
MANUJIE ME AN IRAGU (Manujie and his Sword)
ITUBWER (Representation of a Mat)
AMET DEGODO OERON (Holding up the Sky)

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ノ ル ウ ェ ー [ NORWAY ]                           
Cat's Cradle

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フ ラ ン ス 領 ポ リ ネ シ ア [ FRENCH POLYNESIA ]            
FAI ( String Figure )
The simple pattern displayed by two girls is named "Hahaua (a great ray fish)" in the Marquesas Islands, "Komo ko te ariki (the chief's well)" and "Na fare (the houses)" on Anaa in the Tuamotus Islands, "Ga roki (taro patch)" on Rapa and "Viiarepo (irrigated taro patch)" on Rurutu in the Austral Islands.

Handy, W.C. (1925) "String figures from the Marquesas and Society Islands." Bishop Museum, Bulletin 18 : pp.48-49.
Emory, K.P. & H.C. Maude (1979) String figures of the Tuamotus. Canberra:Homa Press : pp.58-59.
Stokes, J. F. G., and Sherman, M. A. (1994) "String Figures from the Austral Islands." Bulletin of the International String Figure Association 1:69-150.

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Last updated 12/11/2005