Tuesday, February 27, 2007


"The discovery of twisting fibre into string '… opened the door to an enormous array of new ways to save labor and improve the odds of survival, much as the harnessing of steam did for the Industrial Revolution. Soft flexible thread of this sort is a necessary prerequisite to making woven cloth. On a far more basic level, string can be used simply to tie things up - to catch, to hold, to carry. From these notions come snares and fishlines, tethers and leashes, carrying nets, handles, and packages, not to mention a way of binding objects together to form more complex tools. (…) So powerful, in fact, is simple string in taming the world to human will and ingenuity that I suspect it to be the unseen weapon that allowed the human race to conquer the earth, that enabled us to move out into every econiche on the globe during the Upper Palaeolithic. We should call it the String Revolution."

Elizabeth Wayland-Barber, Women's Work: The first 20,000 years, Women, Cloth and Society in Early Times, W.W.Norton & Company, New York, London 1994, p.45


Blogger Arielle said...

As a display of ingenuity look up the 'handbook of knots' (Dorling Kindersley). I bought it, because it reminded me of my father who knew a lot of knots. He always had a piece of string in his pocket and would produce it at the most unexpected times to demonstrate one of the knots to us, such as the 'Jury Mast' knot or the 'Stopper Knot' or the 'Thief knot' ...

' Knots have been present at every stage of human progress, from their early use in making shelters and weapons to the sailor's dependence on knots in the great age of overseas exploration'.
Des Pawson in 'handbook of knots'.

In Japan, the string, cord or rope can have a spiritual meaning.On the Ise Peninsula, two rocks which represent a divine couple are 'permanently linked by a massive rope, a sign that they are both separate and united'.
In another instance, the presence of benevolent and malevolent beings is indicated by thick cords with wows and prayers attached to them'.
In 'Japan, the Fleeting Spirit',
Nelly Delay.

9:17 am  

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