Kongo Gumi - A Cacophony of Spots-Coils-Zags-Lines

Kongo Gumi - A Cacophony of Spots-Coils-Zags-Lines

50.00

Kongo Gumi - A Cacophony of Spots-Coils-Zags-Lines documents the layouts and designs of the 1,157 unique 2-color patterns for the 16-element Japanese braid known as Kongo. It details and illustrates the process for determining that this is the definitive number of patterns available in the braid structure, and provides instructions for creating each one. The evolution of the kumihimo braid shows pattern spots ranging from 1 through 8 spots, after which the designs are duplications of previous patterns. An historical perspective of the braid is included along with a comprehensive bibliography for kumihimo instruction, as well as a listing of selected titles for kimono, samurai armor, Japanese history, and the general subject of fiber arts.

Kongō Gumi is the 16-element braid that most Kumihimo Enthusiasts learn as their first braid on the foam disk. Arranged into eight pairs, one element from a pair moves downwards toward the pair on the other side, while an element from the opposite side moves upwards to reform the pair. The disk is rotated and these steps are repeated until all eight pairs have exchanged places. It is usually made with four colors to create spiral stripes. But if the colors are limited to two, there are over eleven hundred unique designs which can be created with this one interlacement. An Internet search of this word reveals the venerable Japanese construction company formed in 578. It operated for 1400 years building temples, shrines, and castles until its recent merger with another construction company. Other images that emerge are King Kong, gorillas, dinosaurs, robot warriors, and muscular statues serving as temple guards known as kongō-rishiki. The Chinese character Kon refers to gold, money and metal; Gō means strong; and Gumi is cord.

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