About ISFA

The International String Figure Association (ISFA) was founded in 1978 by Hiroshi Noguchi, a Japanese mathematician, and Philip Noble, an Anglican missionary stationed in Papua New Guinea. ISFA is a small, not-for-profit organization funded solely by membership dues and private donations. The primary goal of ISFA is to gather, preserve, and distribute string figure knowledge so that future generations will continue to enjoy this ancient pastime. We also encourage the invention of new string figures, and enjoy sharing them with one another.


Contemporary string figure designed by Joseph D'Antoni, New York


Who joins ISFA?

You need not be a scholar to join ISFA! Most of us are simply urban professionals who enjoy making, teaching, and reading about string figures. For many of us, string figures represent a healthy, inexpensive way to relieve tension and forget our troubles (ISFA member Gelvin Stevenson refers to them as "moving meditations"). The only requirement for joining ISFA is enthusiasm and a passion for making string figures!


Wheelbarrow - invented by Carey Smith, New Zealand


Last updated June 26, 1999
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