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Water Ouzel

Published: Oct 14, 2022

Last Modified: Oct 14, 2022

Original Source

McIlwraith, T. F. (1948). The Bella Coola Indians Vol. II. Canada: University of Toronto Press.

McIlwraith Bella Coola Figure 1 McIlwraith Bella Coola Figure 2


Transcription of Video Instructions

  1. Form Japanese Opening A with the middle fingers.
  2. Exchange the middle finger loops.
  3. Take the left middle finger loop on to the thumb.
  4. Take the left little finger loop on to the thumb.
  5. Pass the left little finger up through the two thumb loops, and hook down the far upper thumb string.
  6. Pass the left index finger down through the top two thumb loops and hook up the lower near thumb string.
  7. Release the left thumb.
  8. Release the right thumb and pinky finger, and extend.
  9. Pull the tangle to the center, and you have a water ouzel.

Transcription of Introduction

Hi there! My name is Parker Glynn-Adey. I’m a professor of mathematics at the University of Toronto and a string figure enthusiast. I want to share one of my favourite North American string figures with you. This is the Bella Coola Water Ouzel from Bella Coola, British Columbia. And it looks like this. It represents a small bird. And when you make it, you sing: “Dive down! Dive down, Water Ouzel, to your salmon roe.” And when you let go, it dissolves in to a knot which represents the water ouzel diving to eat. I hope you enjoy making this figure as much as I do. And I hope you enjoy the rest of 80 String Around the World. Thanks for watching.

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