The Butterfly Queen

Invented by Adam Milligan, aboard the Malaspina Ferry in June 1998.

1, [Double string--make Fish Spear. (Jayne, pp.32-33, figs. 61-63) Left hand above, palm down. While beginning the storey below make the tree.]

In a certain village long ago there grew a very special tree.

Once upon a time a man was walking through this village when he spied the most beautiful woman he had ever laid eyes on.

2, [Remove right index finger from the right index loop leaving tree to hang from left hand. ]

--image BF03.jpg--

Instantly enamored of this woman, he climbed the highest tree in the town to get a better view of her.

While watching the object of his affections one of the tree limbs broke.

3, [ branch breaks by dropping left index loop allowing this loop to fall forward.]

--image BF04.jpg--

The townspeople were furious, for this tree was sacred to them. That night the townspeople decided that the man would be hung at dawn and so that very night they built the gallows.

4. [With Right Thumb and Index Finger pull out and down on the broken branch, the former left index loop, to raise the hangman's noose up the gallows. Pull the noose up till it comfortably stops. When you let go of this loop if a twist forms remove it.]

At dawn the next day when the hangman asked if he had any last words the man, kneeling on the gallows, ...
--image BF05.jpg--

5. [Moving the left hand left-to-right lay the former left index loop, now hanging below the hangman's noose, across the knee.]

... spoke up and said, "Yesterday I saw the most beautiful woman in the world. Now I can die a happy man. Carry on."

Now, the beautiful woman, who was actually a faerie queen, was in the crowd and heard this.
--image BF06a.jpg--

She was so flattered by his words ...
--image BF06b.jpg--

6. [With the Right Thumb and Middle Finger on either side of the "noose knot" pick up folded loop from knee on the backs of thumb and middle finger; return loops on back of Right thumb and middle finger through Left thumb and little loops--not too far nor too hard and release them to form butterfly's lower wings.],
--image BF07.jpg--

... that she turned the man into a butterfly and he flew away.

7. [ Move Left thumb and little finger together and apart to flap wings and fly away.]

These first three titles are good books for beginners of Kai Kai. The fourth title is fairly technical by comparison and includes an ethnological introduction and comparisons of methods.
Cat's Cradle, Owl's Eyes: A Book of String Games Camilla Gryski, Beech Tree, ISBN 0-688-03941-3

Many Stars & More String Games Camilla Gryski, William Morrow and Company, ISBN 0-688-05792-6

Super String Games Camilla Gryski, William Morrow and Company, ISBN 0-688-07684-X

String Figures and How to Make Them Caroline Furness Jayne, Dover Books, ISBN 0-486-20152-X

The International String Figure Association was founded in 1978. The primary goal of the organisation is to gather and distribute string figure knowledge through the publication of the Bulletin of the International String Figure Association and the String Figure Magazine.

Foto Credit: Jeffri Frontz, Ross Island
Last Update: 28dec2001

 A.J.Oxton, OA, OO, OAE,  k1oIq

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