The Origin of String Figures
Explorers and anthropologists around the end of the 19th century discovered the game of string figure making in many parts of the world: the Arctic, North and South America, the Pacific islands, Australia, New Zealand, Africa and South East Asia. The occurrence of string figure making among such widely separated peoples led several writers to suggest an ancient origin. But the earliest evidence of string figure making that has come to light is in a Greek document of the 4th century AD.
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