The twine in the ball represents life and the ball itself represents a lifestory. Like life, it’s not perfectly spooled. Like life, it’s got a few knots in it. It’s not a story mean for others to interpret. It’s a life story for a woman to savor or share.
The Yakama, rather than trying to mask the knots of life, preserve or celebrate the memory of those knots (i.e., events) with a bead. Some of the knots represent happy events, such as a marriage or birth of a child. Others represent a times of hurt, grieving, or personal growth.
If you think about it, we too should celebrate life’s knots. Rather than sweeping the less than pretty, less than perfect times under the rug, we should preserve those memories, even share them with the other women in our lives.
That way, a life story, like a time ball, wouldn’t have to look pretty to be beautiful.