Museums and other institutions with string figure artefacts

- an inventory of string figures mounted on card, string figures on film, string figure photographs, and recordings of string figure songs

Compiled by Martin Probert

Other Archives with String Figure Artefacts
Survival, Origin and Mathematics of String Figures

SOUTH AUSTRALIAN MUSEUM

Acknowledgement: I wish to thank Phillip Manning, Manager of Australian Aboriginal Collections, for kindly supplying me with an editable copy of information relating to collections enquired about, and for drawing my attention to additional artefacts in the museum archives.

16 figures from the Northern Territory mounted on paper

  1. Stingray Spear
  2. Goanna
  3. Stingray
  4. Crocodile
  5. Wallaby's Intestines
  6. Sun
  7. Dead Man
  8. Tortoise
  9. Mutchichi
  10. Honey Comb
  11. Crab
  12. Native Companion
  13. Fire Sticks
  14. Mopoak
  15. Fresh Water Turtle
  16. Turtle Shell

21 figures from the Northern Territory mounted on brown paper

10 figures from Queensland taped on cardboard

  1. 65608 House (worked with 2 different sets of string)
  2. 65609 Snake
  3. 65610 Stone
  4. 65611 Soak Water
  5. 65612 Yams
  6. 65613 4 Little Girls Walking
  7. 65614 Star (human hair string)
  8. 65615 Windmill (no Aboriginal word; human hair string)
  9. 65616 My Camp Bunk or Bed (human hair string)
  10. 65617 Fish (Register says 'Demonstrating Aboriginal manufacture and use of string')

64 figures from Central Australia figures mounted on paper
(Dashes --- indicate omission of a string figure name to avoid website blocking by filtering software.)

  1. 66735 Rabbit Bandicoot Game
  2. 69236 Dog Chasing Emu Across A Plain
  3. 69237 Gently running water (not flood stream)
  4. 69238 Spider/Big Spider Which Makes Strong Web Between Trees
  5. 69239 Butterfly
  6. 69240 Camel Rope
  7. 69241 Man Sitting Down
  8. 69242 Little Dog
  9. 69243 ---
  10. 69244 Crayfish
  11. 69245 Wooden Dish In Which Child Sleeps/One Takes Off One Others Hand
  12. 69246 Monkey
  13. 69247 Large Lizard
  14. 69248 ---
  15. 69249 Ground Lark
  16. 69250 Chickens
  17. 69251 Ducks
  18. 69252 Fish Six Inches Long Found In Kaporilya Springs
  19. 69253 Butterfly
  20. 69254 Two Women Sit Down
  21. 69255 Ring-Necked Parrot
  22. 69256 Native House
  23. 69257 Bandicoot
  24. 69258 Bird On Nest
  25. 69259 Little Bird
  26. 69260 Cloud
  27. 69261 Lizard
  28. 69262 Eagle
  29. 69263 Bull Ant
  30. 69264 Rock Hole
  31. 69265 Little Boy
  32. 69266 Snake (showing pattern of snake's back)
  33. 69267 ---
  34. 69268 ---
  35. 69269 Lizard
  36. 69270 Little Lizard
  37. 69271 Mythical Large Water Snake
  38. 69272 Deep Waterhole Without Ripples
  39. 69273 Woman With Child
  40. 69274 Man Sit Down
  41. 69275 2 Kngulya Dogs
  42. 69276 Paddock Fence
  43. 69277 Cooked Rabbit As Carried On A Stick/Rabbit
  44. 69278 Men/4 Men Sitting Down
  45. 69279 Centipede
  46. 69280 Witchetty Mob
  47. 69281 Crow Walking With Wings Drooped
  48. 69282 Bed
  49. 69283 Woman
  50. 69284 Beetle
  51. 69285 2 Women Fighting
  52. 69286 Saw
  53. 69287 Carpet Snake
  54. 69288 Eagle Hawk
  55. 69289 Carpet Snake
  56. 69290 Kind Of Snake
  57. 69291 Frog
  58. 69292 Stone
  59. 69293 Kwilakmila
  60. 69294 Two Kangaroos
  61. 69295 Native Mice Playing
  62. 69296 Bird
  63. 69297 Two figures made with European string
  64. 69298 Lizard

1 figure from South Australia mounted on paper

  1. 66733 Fish Net. Possibly a replication by N.B. Tindale.

4 figures from South Australia mounted on card

  1. 66734 Yam (represents stem and bulb of yam)
  2. 66736 Emu (stage 1) and Man Stalking (stage 2)
  3. 66737 Man Stalking Emu (stage 3) Which Is Caught

5 figures from South Australia mounted on brown paper

  1. 14957 Spear
  2. 14958 Net
  3. 14959 Two Turtles Mating On Log
  4. 14960 Two Men Fighting
  5. 14961 Four Men Fighting (made from A14960 by an additional movement)

1 figure from South Australia

  1. 75838 Cluster of Ngura or Camps. Dated 1928.

1 figure from South Australia

  1. 14962 Fishing Net

Photographs of string figures, Central Australia, West Australia, New South Wales

  1. 'Pintubi Tribe "Comet's" older wife shows a string game, Mt Liebig, C Aust'. August 1932.
  2. 'String game, Warupuju, Warburton Range, W.A.'. Game identified as eni na no name. August 1932.
  3. 'String game eni na ie no name, Warupuju, Warburton Ra WA'. August 1932.
  4. 'Ngadadjara Tr String game eni na ie no name, Warupuju, Warburton Ra, WA'. August 1935.
  5. '3 diamond string game, Pilliga, N.S.W.' 22 June 1938.
  6. '4 diamond string game, Pilliga, N.S.W.' 22 June 1938.

www.samuseum.sa.gov.au

 
Top of Page
Other Archives with String Figure Artefacts
The Mathematics and Origin of String Figures
 
Copyright Martin Probert 2002