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Miapimoquitch cat's cradle

From:Dirk Elzinga <dirk_elzinga@...>
Date:Tuesday, April 9, 2002, 16:51

I was feeling a little harried at work today, so I pulled down my
copy of _Kwakiutl String Figures_ and spent half an hour destressing.
I then "discovered" one of the terms for string figures in

pate lukempi  ["paD1 "luG1m%bi:]
pate         luke  -mpi
continuously weave -on the hand

The construction is a complex predicate. The first part _pate_ hosts
the proclitic string; it is an adverbial which lends the aspectual
notion of continuative to the construction, but it is not strictly
speaking an aspect marker. The second part _luke_ is inflected for
number and phase as appropriate. The suffix _-mpi_ refers to activity
done with or on the hand. So to say something like "I'm making the
Sage Hen" you'd have

wapate lukkempi atipukan  ["waBaD1 "lukkem%bi: a"tSiBu%ka:~]
wa= pate         lukke   -mpi           a=   tipukan
1=  continuously weave:U -with the hand DET= sage.hen

with _luke_ unbound in phase to show action viewed at a moment
instead of in its totality.

(The Sage Hen is a string figure I adapted from an Inuit original
"The Ptarmigan" -- see for
instructions on how to make the Inuit figure, which is the last of a
series; my adaptation removes all of the intermediate figures, and
has slightly different crossings in its final extension. I'll be
happy to send instructions (in English!) privately.)

Dirk Elzinga        

Man deth swa he byth thonne he mot swa he wile.
'A man does as he is when he can do what he wants.'

- Old English Proverb


Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>
And Rosta <a.rosta@...>
Philip Newton <philip.newton@...>