Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Tangram Stencil

       One of the oldest and most fascinating puzzles comes, like so many quaint things, from the Far East where, over four thousand years ago, a learned Chinese man named, Tan, made the invention which forty centuries have been unable to improve or alter. Worthy of a civilization that invented Chess, Tan's puzzle has lived on unchanged through the ages, affording amusement and thought to men of such ability as Napoleon, who during his exile on St. Helena, used to spend hour after hour with the little black geometric figures.
        Print cut and trace around the Tangram pattern below using sharp scissors and black craft paper. Now you will be ready to assemble the Tangram figures below.
Tangrams, a recreation that appears to be at least four thousand years old, has apparently never been dormant, and has not been altered or "improved upon" since the original was first cut out the seven pieces shown above in diagram 1. If you mark the point B, midway between A. and C., on one side of a square of any size, and D, midway between C. and E., on an adjoining side, the direction of the cuts is too obvious to need further explanation.
       All these seven pieces must be fitted against each other, never overlapping, in order to make the figures of men, beasts, houses, or the like.
Where does the second man get his foot from?

The cocked hat puzzle with answer on the right.

Lady holding her skirts high puzzle and answer.

The representation of a depressed cat puzzle and it's answer.

The gentleman tired of life puzzle and it's answer.
Tan presenting a puzzle to his wife, answer just right.
Chinese tea set made from Tangrams

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