Note: The 16 Graphics of string figures were scanned from photo copies of Plates XIII, XIV, XV accompanying the source document. The source page number appears in brackets before the text of that page.
84. Hei -Cat's Cradle
[Page 222) A number of cat's-cradles were known to my informants, among which are:
|Hawaiian Name||English Name||Graphic Source||Graphic|
|1) hoo-ko-mo||[none given]||(Plate XIVe)|
|2) e-ke-ma-nu||ace of diamonds||(Plate XIIIe)|
|3) e-ke-ha-ka||ace of hearts||(Plate XIIIa)|
|4) e-ke -pe-ki||ace of spades||(Plate XIVc)|
|5) a-na-ma-nu||bird-house||(Plate XVa)|
|6) pau-ma-wai||pump||(Plate XIIIc)|
|7) pa-hi-o-lo||saw||(Plate XVb)|
|8) ma-hi-ki||see-saw||(Plate XIIId)|
|9) wai-ula-wa||[none given]||(PlateXVc)|
|11) o-kole-a-mo||[none given]||(Plate XIVd)|
|12) pa-pi-o-ma-ka-nu-i-nu-i||[none given]||(Plate XIVa)|
|13) pa-pi-o-ma-ka-lii-lii||[none given]||(Plate XVd)|
|14) u-pe-na||net||(Plate XIVb)|
|15) pou||post||(Plate XVe)|
|16) po||darkness||(Plate XIIIb)|
Many others are said to be known. A single player makes them with great rapidity, but sometimes another is called on for assistance. The name, hei, "net," applied to the game is [Page 223] said to be derived from that of our "cradle," which is given that name. The cat's-cradle called po, or "darkness," may have had the same significance as that of New Zealand described by Taylor.1 He says: "He whai ormaui, a game very similar to our own, but the cord is made to assume many more forms, and these are said to be different scenes in their mythology, such as Hine-nui-tepa, 'Mother Night bringing forth her progeny', 'Maru and the gods', and 'Maui fishing up the land'. Men, canoes, houses, etc., also are represented. Some state that Maui invented the game."
Codrington2 says: "Cat's-cradle, in Lepers' island lelegaro, in Florida honggo, with many figures, is common throughout the islands."
1Op. cit, p.172.
2Op. cit, p.341.
Last update February 3, 2010