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

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I wish to thank Roland Kaehr, conservateur adjoint, for providing the following information. He writes that the museum has no mounted string figures and most probably no film. It is however possible that, in the archives of Jean Gabus, there may be sketches, photographs or even recordings, for Gabus, in Vie et coutumes des Esquimaux Caribous (Paris: 1944), mentions such games. The museum records for the recordings mention "Jeux: disques 38, 39, 50, 56 (fin), 61".

Mr Kaehr kindly supplied a copy of pages 110-111 from Vie et coutumes des Esquimaux Caribous. The text mentions that, among the Padlermiut and Ahearmiut, Gabus watched the making of a number of string figures including Dog, Two Dogs, Dog Pulling a Sledge, Grizzly Bear, Polar Bear, Caribou, Musk Ox, Wolf, Fox, Goose and Partridge.

Unfortunately the photographs in the Gabus archive are frequently untitled. Furthermore the Inuit photographs (1938-9) are mixed with those from the Laps of Finland (1937). The museum is currently (Nov 2002) regrouping the dispersed items and expects exciting finds in these neglected archives. During the conservation and inventory of the material the photographic archives are not accessible to the public.

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Copyright Martin Probert 2002