What it means to say, “a world made by hand”, is quickly made apparent when one first tries twisting cordage out of sinew in the ancient manner.   For right-handers, the simplest and most consistent technique for making high quality cordage goes like this: take two loose bundles of  lightly wetted sinew and pinch them between the thumb and forefinger of the left hand so they form a cross  like this:

While always holding on firm with the pinch of the left hand, take another pinch between the thumb and forefinger of the right hand and twist each of the two bundles, separately, and in a clockwise direction.  The left hand them creeps forward with an unrelenting pinch to lock in the two clockwise twists just performed with the right hand.  After that, the pinch of the right hand is reconfigured to grasp both of the recently twisted bundles in exactly the same manner as the left hand.  Then one makes sure all the twisted sinew in the pinch zone of the left hand is pulled as taut as possible by rolling the thumbs and forefingers of both hands into one another. Finally, while maintaining a strong pinch with both hands, make a concerted and violent twist with the wrist of the left hand so as to further tighten everything  in the same clockwise direction.  Be sure to lock in all the twisting with the pinch of that left hand, and then repeat the whole process.  If the pinch of the left hand remains constant, and never allows the twisted sinews to unwind, in a short time the wetted sinew will take a set and not untwist itself much at all.  With a few minutes of this simple exercise in hominid dexterity, you end up with something that looks like this.

As the work proceeds, new sinew fibers are laid into each of the two loose bundles to keep their volume consistent through out the process.    It is all just about as easy as can be.  No wonder our forebears spread to all corners of the planet.

Make your pesky cordage ye mortals!  Lift yourselves above the beasts!   Let your strong fingers pinch their way to the stars!

But…

…take care little hominids!   May the nets you weave not produce wonders more complex than you can maintain.  The more you need, the less you have.

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