The Top – or Gasing, in Malay – was one of our favorite childhood toys. The body was made of wood that has been turned in a lathe machine, and then later a piece of nail was hammered into the pointed end of the body. A thin-gauge rope was wound rather tightly around the nail and then up onto the sloping part of the body. The free end of rope usually had a bottle cap attached, to provide good anchoring for the fingers. A smart throw-out and whipping action of the wound-up toy onto the ground would send it spinning, like a gyroscope.
Yep, the rope did make the wood go round ! BTW, it is said that the best wood was that from guava tree.
With some practice, the spinning top can be coaxed with the rope to jump onto one’s palm – albeit a bit ticklish.