Sign Language Among North American Indians Compared With That Among Other Peoples And Deaf-Mutes
by Garrick Mallery
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Regarding the difficulties met with in the task proposed, the same motto might be adopted as was prefixed to Austin's Chironomia: "Non sum nescius, quantum susceperim negotii, qui motus corporis exprimere verbis, imitari scriptura conatus sim voces." Rhet. ad Herenn, 1.3. If the descriptive recital of the signs collected had been absolutely restricted to written or printed words the work would have been still more difficult and the result less intelligible. The facilities enjoyed of presenting pictorial illustrations have been of great value and will give still more assistance in the complete work than in the present paper.

In connection with the subject of illustrations it may be noted that a writer in the Journal of the Military Service Institution of the United States, Vol. II, No. 5, the same who had before invented the mode of describing signs by "means" mentioned on page 330 supra, gives a curious distinction between deaf-mute and Indian signs regarding their respective capability of illustration, as follows: "This French system is taught, I believe, in most of the schools for deaf-mutes in this country, and in Europe; but so great has been the difficulty of fixing the hands in space, either by written description or illustrated cuts, that no text books are used. I must therefore conclude that the Indian sign language is not only the more natural, but the more simple, as the gestures can be described quite accurately in writing, and I think can be illustrated." The readers of this paper will also, probably, "think" that the signs of Indians can be illustrated, and as the signs of deaf-mutes are often identical with the Indian, whether expressing the same or different ideas, and when not precisely identical are always made on the same principle and with the same members, it is not easy to imagine any greater difficulty either in their graphic illustration or in their written description. The assertion is as incorrect as if it were paraphrased to declare that a portrait of an Indian in a certain attitude could be taken by a pencil or with the camera while by some occult influence the same artistic skill would be paralysed in attempting that of a deaf-mute in the same attitude. In fact, text books on the "French system" are used and one in the writer's possession published in Paris twenty-five years ago, contains over four hundred illustrated cuts of deaf-mute gesture signs.

The proper arrangement and classification of signs will always be troublesome and unsatisfactory. There can be no accurate translation either of sentences or of words from signs into written English. So far from the signs representing words as logographs, they do not in their presentation of the ideas of actions, objects, and events, under physical forms, even suggest words, which must be skillfully fitted to them by the glossarist and laboriously derived from, them by the philologer. The use of words in formulation, still more in terminology, is so wide a departure from primitive conditions as to be incompatible with the only primordial language yet discovered. No vocabulary of signs will be exhaustive for the simple reason that the signs are exhaustless, nor will it be exact because there cannot be a correspondence between signs and words taken individually. Not only do words and signs both change their meaning from the context, but a single word may express a complex idea, to be fully rendered only by a group of signs, and, vice versa, a single sign may suffice for a number of words. The elementary principles by which the combinations in sign and in the oral languages of civilization are effected are also discrepant. The attempt must therefore be made to collate and compare the signs according to general ideas, conceptions, and, if possible, the ideas and conceptions of the gesturers themselves, instead of in order of words as usually arranged in dictionaries.

The hearty thanks of the writer are rendered to all his collaborators, a list of whom is given below, and will in future be presented in a manner more worthy of them. It remains to give an explanation of the mode in which a large collection of signs has been made directly by the officers of the Bureau of Ethnology. Fortunately for this undertaking, the policy of the government brought to Washington during the year 1880 delegations, sometimes quite large, of most of the important tribes. Thus the most intelligent of the race from many distant and far separated localities were here in considerable numbers for weeks, and indeed, in some cases, months, and, together with their interpreters and agents, were, by the considerate order of the honorable Secretary of the Interior, placed at the disposal of this Bureau for all purposes of gathering ethnologic information. The facilities thus obtained were much greater than could have been enjoyed by a large number of observers traveling for a long time over the continent for the same express purpose. The observations relating to signs were all made here by the same persons, according to a uniform method, in which the gestures were obtained directly from the Indians, and their meaning (often in itself clear from the context of signs before known) was translated sometimes through the medium of English or Spanish, or of a native language known in common by some one or more of the Indians and by some one of the observers. When an interpreter was employed, he translated the words used by an Indian in his oral paraphrase of the signs, and was not relied upon to explain the signs according to his own ideas. Such translations and a description of minute and rapidly-executed signs, dictated at the moment of their exhibition, were sometimes taken down by a phonographer, that there might be no lapse of memory in any particular, and in many cases the signs were made in successive motions before the camera, and prints secured as certain evidence of their accuracy. Not only were more than one hundred Indians thus examined individually, at leisure, but, on occasions, several parties of different tribes, who had never before met each other, and could not communicate by speech, were examined at the same time, both by inquiry of individuals whose answers were consulted upon by all the Indians present, and also by inducing several of the Indians to engage in talk and story-telling in signs between themselves. Thus it was possible to notice the difference in the signs made for the same objects and the degree of mutual comprehension notwithstanding such differences. Similar studies were made by taking Indians to the National Deaf Mute College and bringing them in contact with the pupils.

By far the greater part of the actual work of the observation and record of the signs obtained at Washington has been ably performed by Dr. W.J. HOFFMAN, the assistant of the present writer. When the latter has made personal observations the former has always been present, taking the necessary notes and sketches and superintending the photographing. To him, therefore, belongs the credit for all those references in the following "LIST OF AUTHORITIES AND COLLABORATORS," in which it is stated that the signs were obtained at Washington from Indian delegations. Dr. HOFFMAN acquired in the West, through his service as acting assistant surgeon, United States Army, at a large reservation, the indispensable advantage of becoming acquainted with the Indian character so as to conduct skillfully such researches as that in question, and in addition has the eye and pencil of an artist, so that he seizes readily, describes with physiological accuracy, and reproduces in action and in permanent illustration all shades of gesture exhibited. Nearly all of the pictorial illustrations in this paper are from his pencil. For the remainder, and for general superintendence of the artistic department of the work, thanks are due to Mr. W.H. HOLMES, whose high reputation needs no indorsement here.


1. A list prepared by WILLIAM DUNBAR, dated Natchez, June 30, 1800, collected from tribes then "west of the Mississippi," but probably not from those very far west of that river, published in the Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, vol. vi, pp. 1-8, as read January 16, 1801, and communicated by Thomas Jefferson, president of the society.

2. The one published in An Account of an Expedition from Pittsburgh to the Rocky Mountains, performed in the years 1819-1820, Philadelphia, 1823, vol. i, pp. 378-394. This expedition was made by order of the Hon. J.O. Calhoun, Secretary of War, under the command of Maj. S.H. LONG, of the United States Topographical Engineers, and is commonly called James' Long's Expedition. This list appears to have been collected chiefly by Mr. T. Say, from the Pani, and the Kansas, Otos, Missouris, Iowas, Omahas, and other southern branches of the great Dakota family.

3. The one collected by Prince MAXIMILIAN VON WIED-NEUWIED in Reise in das Innere Nord-America in den Jahren 1832 bis 1834. Coblenz, 1839 [—1841], vol. ii, pp. 645-653. His statement is, "the Arikaras, Mandans, Minnitarris [Hidatsa], Crows [Absaroka], Cheyennes, Snakes [Shoshoni], and Blackfeet [Satsika] all understand certain signs, which, on the contrary, as we are told, are unintelligible to the Dakotas, Assiniboins, Ojibwas, Krihs [Crees], and other nations. The list gives examples of the sign language of the former." From the much greater proportion of time spent and information obtained by the author among the Mandans and Hidatsa then and now dwelling near Port Berthold, on the Upper Missouri, it might be safe to consider that all the signs in his list were in fact procured from those tribes. But as the author does not say so, he is not made to say so in this work. If it shall prove that the signs now used by the Mandans and Hidatsa more closely resemble those on his list than do those of other tribes, the internal evidence will be verified. This list is not published in the English edition, London, 1843, but appears in the German, above cited, and in the French, Paris, 1840. Bibliographic reference is often made to this distinguished explorer as "Prince Maximilian," as if there were but one possessor of that Christian name among princely families. For brevity the reference in this paper will be Wied.

No translation of this list into English appears to have been printed in any shape before that recently published by the present writer in the American Antiquarian, vol. ii, No. 3, while the German and French editions are costly and difficult of access, so the collection cannot readily be compared by readers with the signs now made by the same tribes. The translation, now presented is based upon the German original, but in a few cases where the language was so curt as not to give a clear idea, was collated with the French edition of the succeeding year, which, from some internal evidence, appears to have been published with the assistance or supervision of the author. Many of the descriptions are, however, so brief and indefinite in both their German and French forms that they necessarily remain so in the present translation. The princely explorer, with the keen discrimination shown in all his work, doubtless observed what has escaped many recent reporters of Indian signs, that the latter depend much more upon motion than mere position, and are generally large and free, seldom minute. His object was to express the general effect of the motion rather than to describe it with such precision as to allow of its accurate reproduction by a reader who had never seen it. To have presented the signs as now desired for comparison, toilsome elaboration would have been necessary, and even that would not in all cases have sufficed without pictorial illustration.

On account of the manifest importance of determining the prevalence and persistence of the signs as observed half a century ago, an exception is made to the general arrangement hereafter mentioned by introducing after the Wied signs remarks of collaborators who have made special comparisons, and adding to the latter the respective names of those collaborators—as, (Matthews), (Boteler). It is hoped that the work of those gentlemen will be imitated, not only regarding the Wied, signs, but many others.

4. The signs given to publication by Capt. R.F. BURTON, which, it would be inferred, were collected in 1860-'61, from the tribes met or learned of on the overland stage route, including Southern Dakotas, Utes, Shoshoni, Arapahos, Crows, Pani, and Apaches. They are contained in The City of the Saints, New York, 1862, pp. 123-130.

Information has been recently received to the effect that this collection was not made by the distinguished English explorer from his personal observation, but was obtained by him from one man in Salt Lake City, a Mormon bishop, who, it is feared, gave his own ideas of the formation and use of signs rather than their faithful description.

5. A list read by Dr. D.G. MACGOWAN, at a meeting of the American Ethnological Society, January 23, 1866, and published in the Historical Magazine, vol. x, 1866, pp. 86, 87, purporting to be the signs of the Caddos, Wichitas, and Comanches.

6. Annotations by Lieut. HEBER M. CREEL, Seventh United States Cavalry, received in January, 1881. This officer is supposed to be specially familiar with the Cheyennes, among whom he lived for eighteen months; but his recollection is that most of the signs described by him were also observed among the Arapaho, Sioux, and several other tribes.

7. A special contribution from Mr. F.F. GERARD, of Fort A. Lincoln, D.T., of signs obtained chiefly from a deaf-mute Dakota, who has traveled among most of the Indian tribes living between the Missouri River and the Rocky Mountains. Mr. Gerard's own observations are based upon the experience of thirty-two years' residence in that country, during which long period he has had almost daily intercourse with Indians. He states that the signs contributed by him are used by the Blackfeet, (Satsika), Absaroka, Dakota, Hidatsa, Mandan, and Arikara Indians, who may in general be considered to be the group of tribes referred to by the Prince of Wied.

In the above noted collections the generality of the statements as to locality of the observation and use of the signs rendered it impossible to arrange them in the manner considered to be the best to study the diversities and agreements of signs. For that purpose it is more convenient that the names of the tribe or tribes among which the described signs have been observed should catch the eye in immediate connection with them than that those of the observers only should follow. Some of the latter indeed have given both similar and different signs for more than one tribe, so that the use of the contributor's name alone would create confusion. To print in every case the name of the contributor, together with the name of the tribe, would seriously burden the paper and be unnecessary to the student, the reference being readily made to each authority through this LIST which also serves as an index. The seven collections above mentioned will therefore be referred to by the names of the authorities responsible for them. Those which now follow are arranged alphabetically by tribes, under headings of Linguistic Families according to Major J.W. POWELL's classification, which are also given below in alphabetic order. Example: The first authority is under the heading ALGONKIAN, and, concerning only the Abnaki tribe, is referred to as (Abnaki I), Chief MASTA being the personal authority.


Abnaki I. A letter dated December 15, 1879, from H.L. MASTA, chief of the Abnaki, residing near Pierreville, Quebec.

Arapaho I. A contribution from Lieut. H.B. LEMLY, Third United States Artillery, compiled from notes and observations taken by him in 1877, among the Northern Arapahos.

Arapaho II. A list of signs obtained from O-QO-HIS'-SA (the Mare, better known as Little Raven) and NA'-WATC (Left Hand), members of a delegation of Arapaho and Cheyenne Indians, from Darlington, Ind. T., who visited Washington during the summer of 1880.

Cheyenne I. Extracts from the Report of Lieut. J.W. ABERT, of his Examination of New Mexico in the years 1846-'47, in Ex. Doc. No. 41, Thirtieth Congress, first session, Washington, 1848, p. 417, et seq.

Cheyenne II. A list prepared in July, 1879, by Mr. FRANK H. CUSHING, of the Smithsonian Institution, from continued interviews with TITC-KE-MA'-TSKI (Cross-Eyes), an intelligent Cheyenne, then employed at that Institution.

Cheyenne III. A special contribution with diagrams from Mr. BEN CLARK, scout and interpreter, of signs collected from the Cheyennes during his long residence among that tribe.

Cheyenne IV. Several communications from Col. RICHARD I. DODGE, A.D.C., United States Army, author of The Plains of the Great West and their Inhabitants, New York, 1877, relating to his large experience with the Indians of the prairies.

Cheyenne V. A list of signs obtained from WA-U[n]' (Bob-tail) and MO-HI'NUK-MA-HA'-IT (Big Horse), members of a delegation of Arapaho and Cheyenne Indians from Darlington, Ind. T., who visited Washington during the summer of 1880.

Ojibwa I. The small collection of J.G. KOHL, made about the middle of the present century, among the Ojibwas around Lake Superior. Published in his Kitchigami. Wanderings Around Lake Superior, London, 1860.

Ojibwa II. Several letters from the Very Rev. EDWARD JACKER, Pointe St. Ignace, Mich., respecting the Ojibwas.

Ojibwa III. A communication from Rev. JAMES A. GILFILLAN, White Earth, Minn., relating to signs observed among the Ojibwas during his long period of missionary duty, still continuing.

Ojibwa IV. A list from Mr. B.O. WILLIAMS, Sr., of Owosso, Mich., from recollection of signs observed among the Ojibwas of Michigan sixty years ago.

Ojibwa V. Contributions received in 1880 and 1881 from Mr. F. JACKER, of Portage River, Houghton County, Michigan, who has resided many years among and near the tribe mentioned.

Sac, Fox, and Kickapoo I. A list from Rev. H.F. BUCKNER, D.D., of Eufaula, Ind. T., consisting chiefly of tribal signs observed by him among the Sac and Fox, Kickapoos, &c., during the early part of the year 1880.


Absaroka I. A list of signs obtained from DE-E'-KI-TCIS (Pretty Eagle), E-TCI-DI-KA-HĂTC'-KI (Long Elk), and PE-RI'-TCI-KA'-DI-A (Old Crow), members of a delegation of Absaroka or Crow Indians from Montana Territory, who visited Washington during the months of April and May, 1880.

Dakota I. A comprehensive list, arranged with great care and skill, from Dr. CHARLES E. MCCHESNEY, acting assistant surgeon, United States Army, of signs collected among the Dakotas (Sioux) near Fort Bennett, Dakota, during the year 1880. Dr. McChesney requests that recognition should be made of the valuable assistance rendered to him by Mr. WILLIAM FIELDEN, the interpreter at Cheyenne Agency, Dakota Territory.

Dakota II. A short list from Dr. BLAIR D. TAYLOR, assistant surgeon, United States Army, from recollection of signs observed among the Sioux during his late service in the region inhabited by that tribe.

Dakota III. A special contribution from Capt. A.W. CORLISS, Eighth United States Infantry, of signs observed by him during his late service among the Sioux.

Dakota IV. A copious contribution with diagrams from Dr. WILLIAM H. CORBUSIER, assistant surgeon, United States Army, of signs obtained from the Ogalala Sioux at Pine Ridge Agency, Dakota Territory, during 1879-'80.

Dakota V. A report of Dr. W.J. HOFFMAN, from observations among the Teton Dakotas while acting assistant surgeon, United States Army, and stationed at Grand River Agency, Dakota, during 1872-'73.

Dakota VI. A list of signs obtained from PE-ZHI' (Grass), chief of the Blackfoot Sioux; NA-ZU'-LA-TA[n]-KA (Big Head), chief of the Upper Yanktonais; and CE-TA[n]-KI[n]-YA[n] (Thunder Hawk), chief of the Uncpapas, Teton Dakotas, located at Standing Rock, Dakota Territory, while at Washington in June, 1880.

Dakota VII. A list of signs obtained from SHUN-KU LU-TA (Red Dog), an Ogalala chief from the Red Cloud Agency, who visited Washington in company with a large delegation of Dakotas in June, 1880.

Dakota VIII. A special list obtained from TA-TA[n]KA WA-KA[n] (Medicine Bull), and other members of a delegation of Lower Brule Dakotas, while at Washington during the winter of 1880-'81.

Hidatsa I. A list of signs obtained from TCE-CAQ'-A-DAQ-A-QIC (Lean Wolf), chief of the Hidatsa, located at Fort Berthold, Dakota Territory, while at Washington with a delegation of Sioux Indians, in June, 1880.

Mandan and Hidatsa I. A valuable and illustrated contribution from Dr. WASHINGTON MATTHEWS, assistant surgeon, United States Army, author of Ethnography and Philology of the Hidatsa Indians, Washington, 1877, &c., lately prepared from his notes and recollections of signs observed during his long service among the Mandan and Hidatsa Indians of the Upper Missouri.

Omaha I. A special list from Rev. J. OWEN DORSEY, lately missionary at Omaha Agency, Nebraska, from observations made by him at that agency in 1880.

Oto I. An elaborate list, with diagrams, from Dr. W.G. BOTELER, United States Indian service, collected from the Otos at the Oto Agency, Nebraska, during 1879-'80.

Oto and Missouri I. A similar contribution by the same authority respecting the signs of the Otos and Missouris, of Nebraska, collected during the winter of 1879-'80, in the description of many of which he was joined by Miss KATIE BARNES.

Ponka I. A short list from Rev. J. OWEN DORSEY, obtained by him in 1880 from the Ponkas in Nebraska.

Ponka II. A short list obtained at Washington from KHI-DHA-SKĂ, (White Eagle), and other chiefs, a delegation from Kansas in January, 1881.


Iroquois I. A list of signs contributed by the Hon. HORATIO HALE, author of "Philology" of the Wilkes Exploring Expedition, &c., now residing at Clinton, Ontario, Canada, obtained in June, 1880, from SAKAYENKWARATON (Disappearing Mist), familiarly known as John Smoke Johnson, chief of the Canadian division of the Six Nations, or Iroquois proper, now a very aged man, residing at Brantford, Canada.

Wyandot I. A list of signs from HEN'-TO (Gray Eyes), chief of the Wyandots, who visited Washington during the spring of 1880, in the interest of that tribe, now dwelling in Indian Territory.


Kaiowa I. A list of signs from SITTIMGEA (Stumbling Bear), a Kaiowa chief from Indian Territory, who visited Washington in June, 1880.


Kutine I. A letter from J.W. POWELL, Esq., Indian superintendent, British Columbia, relating to his observations among the Kutine and others.


Arikara I. A list of signs obtained from KUA-NUQ'-KNA-UI'-UQ (Son of the Star), chief of the Arikaras, residing at Fort Berthold, Dakota Territory, while at Washington with a delegation of Indians, in June, 1880.

Pani I. A short list obtained from "ESAU," a Pani Indian, acting as interpreter to the Ponka delegation at Washington, in January, 1881.


Pima and Papago I. A special contribution obtained from ANTONITO, son of the chief of the Pima Indians in Arizona Territory, while on a visit to Washington in February, 1881.


Sahaptian I. A list contributed by Rev. G.L. DEFFENBAUGH, of Lapwai, Idaho, giving signs obtained at Kamiah, Idaho, chiefly from FELIX, chief of the Nez Perces, and used by the Sahaptin or Nez Perces.


Comanche I. Notes from Rev. A.J. HOLT, Denison, Texas, respecting, the Comanche signs, obtained at Anadarko, Indian Territory.

Comanche II. Information obtained at Washington, in February, 1880, from Maj. J.M. HAWORTH, Indian inspector, relating to signs used by the Comanches of Indian Territory.

Comanche III. A list of signs obtained from KOBI (Wild Horse), a Comanche chief from Indian Territory, who visited Washington in June, 1880.

Pai-Ute I. Information obtained at Washington from NA'TOI, a Pai-Ute chief, who was one of a delegation of that tribe to Washington in January, 1880.

Shoshoni and Banak I. A list of signs obtained from TENDOY (The Climber), TISIDIMIT, PETE, and WI'AGAT, members of a delegation of Shoshoni and Banak chiefs from Idaho, who visited Washington during the months of April and May, 1880.

Ute I. A list of signs obtained from ALEJANDRE, GA-LO-TE, AUGUSTIN, and other chiefs, members of a delegation of Ute Indians of Colorado, who visited Washington during the early months of the year 1880.


Apache I. A list of signs obtained from HUERITO (Little Blonde), AGUSTIN VIJEL, and SANTIAGO LARGO (James Long), members of a delegation of Apache chief from Tierra Amarilla, New Mexico, who were brought to Washington in the months of March and April, 1880.

Apache II. A list of signs obtained from NA'-KA'-NA'-NI-TEN (White Man), an Apache chief from Indian Territory, who visited Washington in June, 1880.

Apache III. A large collection made during the summer of 1880, by Dr. FRANCIS H. ATKINS, acting assistant surgeon, United States Army, from the Mescalero Apaches, near South Fork, N. Mex.

Kutchin I. A communication, received in 1881, from Mr. IVAN PETROFF, special agent United States census, transmitting a dialogue, taken down by himself in 1866, between the Kenaitze Indians on the lower Kinnik River, in Alaska, and some natives of the interior who called themselves Tennanah or Mountain-River-Men, belonging to the Tinne Kutchin tribe.


Wichita I. A list of signs from Rev. A.J. HOLT, missionary, obtained from KIN-CHĒ-ĔSS (Spectacles), medicine-man of the Wichitas, at the Wichita Agency, Indian Territory, in 1879.

Wichita II. A list of signs from TSODIAKO (Shaved Head Boy), a Wichita chief, from Indian Territory, who visited Washington in June, 1880.


Zuni I. Some preliminary notes received in 1880 from Rev. TAYLOR F. EALY, missionary among the Zuni, upon the signs of that body of Indians.


Valuable contributions have been received in 1880-'81 and collated under their proper headings, from the following correspondents in distant countries:

Rev. HERMAN N. BARNUM, D.D., of Harpoot, Turkey, furnishes a list of signs in common use among Turks, Armenians, and Koords in that region.

Miss L.O. LLOYD, Charleton House, Mowbray, near Cape Town, Africa, gives information concerning the gestures and signals of the Bushmen.

Rev. LORIMER FISON, Navuloa, Fiji, notes in letters comparisons between the signs and gestures of the Fijians and those of the North American Indians. As this paper is passing through the press a Collection is returned with annotations by him and also by Mr. WALTER CAREW, Commissioner for the Interior of Navitilevu. The last named gentleman describes some signs of a Fijian uninstructed deaf-mute.

Mr. F.A. VON RUPPRECHT, Kepahiang, Sumatra, supplies information and comparisons respecting the signs and signals of the Redjangs and Lelongs, showing agreement with some Dakota, Comanche, and Ojibwa signs.

Letters from Mr. A.W. HOWITT, F.G.S., Sale, Gippsland, Victoria, upon Australian signs, and from Rev. JAMES SIBREE, jr., F.R.G.S., relative to the tribes of Madagascar, are gratefully acknowledged.

Many other correspondents are now, according to their kind promises, engaged in researches, the result of which have not yet been received. The organization of those researches in India and Ceylon has been accomplished through the active interest of Col. H.S. OLCOTT, U.S. Commissioner, Breach Candy, Bombay.

* * * * *

Grateful acknowledgment must be made to Prof. E.A. FAY, of the National Deaf Mute College, through whose special attention a large number of the natural signs of deaf-mutes, remembered by them as having been invented and used before instruction in conventional signs, indeed before attending any school, was obtained. The gentlemen who made the contributions in their own MS., and without prompting, are as follows: Messrs. M. BALLARD, R.M. ZIEGLER, J. CROSS, PHILIP J. HASENSTAB, and LARS LARSON. Their names respectively follow their several descriptions. Mr. BALLARD is an instructor in the college, and the other gentlemen were pupils during the session of 1880.

Similar thanks are due to Mr. J.L. NOYES, superintendent of the Minnesota Institution for the education of the Deaf and Dumb, Faribault, Minn., and to Messrs. GEORGE WING and D.H. CARROLL, teachers in that institution, for annotations and suggestions respecting deaf-mute signs. The notes made by the last named gentlemen are followed by their respective names in reference.

* * * * *

Special thanks are also rendered to Prof. JAMES D. BUTLER, of Madison, Wis., for contribution of Italian gesture-signs, noted by him in 1843, and for many useful suggestions.

* * * * *

Other Italian signs are quoted from the Essay on Italian gesticulations by his eminence Cardinal WISEMAN, in his Essays on Various Subjects, London, 1855, Vol. III, pp. 533-555. Many Neapolitan signs are extracted from the illustrated work of the canon ANDREA DE JORIO, La Mimica degli Antichi investigata nel gestire Napoletano, Napoli, 1832.

* * * * *

A small collection of Australian signs has been extracted from R. BROUGH SMYTH's The Aborigines of Victoria, London, 1878.


In the printed but unpublished Collection before mentioned, page 396, nearly three hundred quarto pages are devoted to descriptions of signs arranged in alphabetic order. A few of these are now presented to show the method adopted. They have been selected either as having connection with the foregoing discussion of the subject or because for some of them pictorial illustrations had already been prepared. There is propriety in giving all the signs under some of the title words when descriptions of only one or two of those signs have been used in the foregoing remarks. This prevents an erroneous inference that the signs so mentioned are the only or the common or the generally prevailing signs for the idea conveyed. This course has involved some slight repetition both of descriptions and of illustrations, as it seemed desirable that they should appear to the eye in the several connections indicated. The extracts are rendered less interesting and instructive by the necessity for omitting cross-references which would show contrasts and similarities for comparison, but would require a much larger part of the collected material to be now printed than is consistent with the present plan. Instead of occupying in this manner the remaining space allotted to this paper, it was decided to present, as of more general interest, the descriptions of TRIBAL SIGNS, PROPER NAMES, PHRASES, DIALOGUES, NARRATIVES, DISCOURSES, and SIGNALS, which follow the EXTRACTS.

It will be observed that in the following extracts there has been an attempt to supply the conceptions or origin of the several signs. When the supposed conception, obtained through collaborators, is printed before the authority given as reference, it is understood to have been gathered from an Indian as being his own conception, and is therefore of special value. When printed after the authority and within quotation marks it is in the words of the collaborator as offered by himself. When printed after the authority and without quotation marks it is suggested by this writer.

The letters of the alphabet within parentheses, used in some of the descriptions, refer to the corresponding figures in TYPES OF HAND POSITIONS at the end of this paper. When such letters are followed by Arabic numerals it is meant that there is some deviation, which is described in the text, from that type of hand position corresponding with the letter which is still used as the basis of description. Example: In the first description from (Sahaptin I) for bad, mean, page 412, (G) refers to the type of hand position so marked, being identically that position, but in the following reference, to (R 1), the type referred to by the letter R has the palm to the front instead of backward, being in all other respects the position which it is desired to illustrate; (R), therefore, taken in connection with the description, indicates that change, and that alone. This mode of reference is farther explained in the EXAMPLES at the end of this paper.

References to another title word as explaining a part of a description or to supply any other portions of a compound sign will always be understood as being made to the description by the same authority of the sign under the other title-word. Example: In the second description by (Sahaptin I) for bad, mean, above mentioned, the reference to GOOD is to that sign for good which is contributed by Rev. G.L. DEFFENBAUGH, and is referred to as (Sahaptin I.).


Pass the open right hand outward from the small of the back. (Wied.) This, as explained by Indians lately examined, indicates the lighter coloration upon the animal's flanks. A Ute who could speak Spanish accompanied it with the word blanco, as if recognizing that it required explanation.

With the index only extended, hold the hand eighteen or twenty inches transversely in front of the head, index pointing to the left, then rub the sides of the body with the flat hands. (Cheyenne IV; Dakota VI.) "The latter sign refers to the white sides of the animal; the former could not be explained."

Extend and separate the forefingers and thumbs, nearly close all the other fingers, and place the hands with backs outward above and a little in front of the ears, about four inches from the head, and shake them back and forth several times. Antelope's horns. This is an Arapaho sign. (Dakota I, II, IV.)

Close the right hand, leaving the end of the index in the form of a hook, and the thumb extended as in Fig. 234; then wave the hand quickly back and forth a short distance, opposite the temple. (Hidatsa I; Arikara I.) "Represents the pronged horn of the animal. This is the sign ordinarily used, but it was noticed that in conversing with one of the Dakotas the sign of the latter (Dakota VI) was used several times, to be more readily understood."

Place both hands, fingers fully extended and spread, close to the sides of the head. Wied's sign was readily understood as signifying the white flanks. (Apache I.)

In connection with the above signs Fig. 235 is presented, which was drawn by Running Antelope, an Uncpapa Dakota, as his personal totem, or proper name.


Make the sign for GOOD and then that of NOT. (Long.)

Close the hand, and open it whilst passing it downward. (Wied.) This is the same as my description; but differently worded, possibly notes a less forcible form. I say, however, that the arm is "extended." The precise direction in which the hand is moved is not, I think, essential. (Matthews.) This sign is invariably accompanied by a countenance expressive of contempt. (F. Jacker.).

Scatter the dexter fingers outward, as if spurting away water from them. (Burton.)

(1) Right hand partially elevated, fingers closed, thumb clasping the tips; (2) sudden motion downward and outward accompanied by equally sudden opening of fingers and snapping of the fingers from the thumb. (Cheyenne II.)

Right hand closed back to front is moved forcibly downward and forward, the fingers being violently opened at instant of stopping the motion of hand. (Cheyenne IV.)

Right hand closed (B) carried forward in front of the body toward the right and downward, during which the hand is opened, fingers downward, as if dropping out the contents. (Dakota I.) "Not worth keeping."

Half close the fingers of the right hand, hook the thumb over the fore and middle fingers; move the hand, back upward, a foot or so toward the object referred to, and suddenly let the fingers fly open. Scattered around, therefore bad. An Arapaho sign. (Dakota IV.)

Close the fingers of the right hand, resting the tips against the thumb, then throw the hand downward and outward toward the right to arm's length, and spring open the fingers. Fig. 236. (Dakota VI, VII, VIII; Ponka II; Pani I.)

The sign most commonly used for this idea is made by the hand being closed near the breast, with the back toward the breast, then as the arm is suddenly extended the hand is opened and the fingers separated from each other. (Mandan and Hidatsa I.)

Hands open, palms turned in; move one hand toward, and the other from, the body; then vice versa. (Omaha I.)

Throw the clinched right hand forward, downward, and outward, and when near at arm's length, suddenly snap the fingers from the thumb as if sprinkling water. (Wyandot I.) "To throw away contemptuously; not worth keeping."

Raise hand in front of breast, fingers hooked, thumb resting against second finger, palm downward (G), then with a nervous movement throw the hand downward to the right and a little behind the body, with an expression of disgust on the face. During motion of hand the fingers are suddenly extended as though throwing something out of the hand, and in final position the fingers and thumb are straight and separated, palm backward (R 1). (Sahaptin I.) "Away with it!"

Another: Same motion of arm and hand as in good. But in the first position fingers are closed, and as the hand moves to the right they are thrown open, until in final position all are extended as in final for good. (Sahaptin I.)

Extend the right hand, palm downward, and move it in a horizontal line from the body, then suddenly turn the hand over as if throwing water from the back of it or the index. (Comanche I.) "Good, no."

Pass the flat right hand, interruptedly, downward and backward past the right side. (Pima and Papago I.) "Putting aside."

Deaf-mute natural signs:

Hold forward the closed hand with the little finger up, at the same time nodding the head. (Ballard.)

Draw the tongue out a little and then shake the head with a displeased look. (Larson.)

Use the sign for handsome (see first part of the sign for GOOD), at the same time shake the head as if to say "no." (Ziegler.)

Deaf-mute signs:

The hand closed (except the little finger which is extended and raised), and held forward with the fingers to the front is the sign for bad illustrated in the Report for 1879 of the Ohio Institution for the Deaf and Dumb. This sign is used among the deaf-mutes in England.


Pass the hand before the face to mean ugliness, at the same time grinning and extending the fingers like claws. (Burton.)

Hands in front of and about eight inches above the elbows, fingers slightly bent and open, thumbs and palms to the front to represent claws,—or bear in standing position. Sometimes accompanied by clawing motion. (Creel.)

(1) Middle and third finger of right hand clasped down by the thumb, forefinger and little finger extended, crooked downward; (2) the motion of scratching made in the air. (Cheyenne II.) Fig. 237.

Fingers of both hands closed, except the thumb and little finger, which are extended, and point straight toward the front, hands horizontal, backs upward, are held in front of their respective sides near the body, and then moved directly forward with, short, sharp jerking motions. (Dakota I.) "From the motion of the bear in running." This is also reported as an Arapaho sign. (Dakota IV.) The paws and claws are represented.

Seize a short piece of wood, say about two feet long, wave in the right hand, and strike a blow at an imaginary person. (Omaha I.)

Another: Seize a short thing about six inches long, hold it as dagger, pretend to thrust it downward under the breast-bone repeatedly, and each time farther, grunting or gasping in doing so; withdraw the stick, holding it up, and, showing the blood, point to the breast with the left forefinger, meaning to say so do thou when you meet the bear. (Omaha I.)

Another: Pretend to stab yourself with an arrow in various parts of the body, then point towards the body with the left-hand forefinger. (Omaha I.)

Arms are flexed and hands clasped about center of breast; then slowly fall with arms pendulous and both hands in type-position (Q). The sign is completed by slowly lifting the hands and arms several times in imitation of the animal's locomotion. Movement and appearance of animal's front feet. (Oto I.)

Hold the closed right hand at the height of the elbow before the right side, palm downward, extend and curve the thumb and little finger so that their tips are nearly directed toward one another before the knuckles of the closed fingers; then push the hand forward several times. (Kaiowa I; Comanche III; Apache II; Wichita II.) "Paw and long claws." Fig. 238.

Hold both closed hands before the body, palms down, and about eight inches apart; reach forward a short distance, relaxing the fingers as if grasping something with them, and draw them back again as the hands are withdrawn to their former position. Ordinarily but one hand is used, as in Fig. 239. (Ute I.) "Scratching, and grasping with the claws."

The right hand thrown in the position as for horse, as follows: Elevate the right-hand, extended, with fingers joined, outer edge toward the ground, in front of the body or right shoulder, and pointing forward, resting the curved thumb against the palmar side of the index, then extend both hands with fingers extended and curved, separated, palms down, and push them forward several times, making a short arch. (Apache I.) "The animal that scratches with long claws."

Fig. 240 is from a Moqui rock etching, contributed by Mr. G.K. Gilbert, showing the pictorial mode of representing the animal.

Deaf-mute sign:

Claw both shoulders with the fingers. (Wing.)

—— Grizzly.

Right hand flat and extended, held at height of shoulder, palm forward, then bring the palm to the mouth, lick it with the tongue, and return it to first position. (Omaha I.) "Showing blood on the paw."

Other remarks upon the signs for bear are made on pages 293 and 345.


Close the fists, place the left near the breast, and move the right over the left toward the left side. (Wied.) A motion something like this, which I do not now distinctly recall—a short of wrenching motion with the fists in front of the chest—I have seen used for strong. If Wied's sign-maker's hand first struck the region over the heart (as he may have done) he would then have indicated a "strong heart," which is the equivalent for brave. (Matthews.) This sign is used by the Sioux at the present day to denote small. (McChesney.) I have seen a similar sign repeatedly, the only variation being that the right fist is passed over and downward, in front of the left, instead of toward the left side. (Hoffman.) Fig. 241.

Clinch the right fist, and place it to the breast. (Absaroka I; Shoshoni and Banak I.)

Both hands fists, backs outward, obliquely upward, near together, right inside of left, are moved forward from in front of the chest, two or three times and back again to original position and then the right-hand fist is thrown with some force over the left on a curve. Endurance is expressed by this sign, and it is connected with the sun-dance trials of the young man in testing his bravery and powers of endurance before admission to the ranks of the warriors. (Dakota I.)

Push the two fists forward about a foot, at the height of the breast, the right about two inches behind the left, palms inward. (Dakota IV.) "The hands push all before them."

Hold the left arm in front as if supporting a shield, and the right drawn back as if grasping a weapon. Close the fists, lower the head, moving it a little forward (with a "lunge") as well as the arms and fists.. (Omaha I.) "I am brave."

Another: Index and thumb extended parallel, palm to left, the other fingers bent. Shake the open fingers several times at the person referred to, the forearm being held at an angle of about 20 degrees. (Omaha I.) "You are very brave; you do not fear death when you see the danger."

Strike the breast gently with the palmar side of the right fist. (Wyandot I.)

Place the left clinched hand horizontally before the breast, palm toward the body, and at the same time strike forcibly downward in front of it with the right fist, as in Fig. 242. Sometimes the right fist is placed back of the left, then thrown over the latter toward the front and downward, as in Fig. 241 above. The same gesture has also been made by throwing the palmar side of the right fist edgewise downward in front of the knuckles of the left, as in Fig. 243. In each instance the left fist is jerked upward very perceptibly as the right one is thrust downward. (Kaiowa I; Comanche III; Apache II; Wichita II.)

Strike the clinched fist forcibly toward the ground in front of and near the breast. (Arikara I.)

—— He is the bravest of all.

Make the sign for BRAVE and then the left forefinger, upright, back inward about twelve inches in front of left breast, right index similarly held near the right breast, move them at the same time outward or forward, obliquely to the left, (Dakota I.)

Raise right hand, fingers extended, palm downward (W 1), swing it around "over all," then point to the man, raise left fist (A 1, changed to left and palm inward) to a point in front of and near the body, close fingers of right hand and place the fist (A 2, palm inward) between left fist and body and then with violent movement throw it over left fist, as though breaking something, and stop at a point in front of and a little below left fist, and lastly point upward with right hand. (Sahaptin I.) "Of all here he is strongest."

The right fist, palm downward, is struck against the breast several times, and the index is then quickly elevated before the face, pointing upward. (Apache I.)

Move the fist, thumb to the head, across the forehead from right to left, and cast it toward the earth over the left shoulder. (Apache III.)

Deaf-mute natural signs:

Run forward with a bold expression of the countenance. (Larson.)

Not to run back but to run forward. (Ziegler.)

Deaf-mute sign:

Left hand held as if pressing a loaf against the chest. Make a motion with the right hand, palm upward as if cutting through the fingers of the left with a sawing motion. (Wing.)

Other remarks connected with the signs for brave appear on pages 352, 353, and 358, supra.


The forefinger of the right hand extended, pass it perpendicularly downward, then turn it upward, and raise it in a right line as high as the head. (Long.) "Rising above others."

Raise the index finger of the right hand, holding it straight upward, then turn it in a circle and bring it straight down, a little toward the earth. (Wied.) The right hand is raised, and in position (J) describes a semicircle as in beginning the act of throwing. The arm is elevated perfectly erect aside of the head, the palm of the index and hand should be outward. There is an evident similarity in both execution and conception of this sign and Wied's; the little variation may be the result of different interpretation. The idea of superiority is most prominent in both. (Boteler.) "A prominent one before whom all succumb." The Arikaras understood this sign, and they afterwards used it in talking to me. (Creel.) Wied's air-picture reminds of the royal scepter with its sphere.

Raise the forefinger, pointed upwards, in a vertical direction, and then reverse both finger and motion; the greater the elevation the "bigger" the chief. (Arapaho I.)

Place the closed hand, with the index extended and pointing upward, near the right cheek, pass it upward as high as the head, then turn it forward and downward toward the ground, the movement terminating a little below the initial point. See Fig. 306 in TENDOY-HUERITO DIALOGUE, p. 487. (Arapaho II; Cheyenne V; Ponka II; Shoshoni I.)

(1) Sign for MAN, as follows: Right hand, palm inward, elevated to about the level of the breast, index carelessly pointing upward, suddenly pointed straight upward, and the whole hand moved a little forward, at the same time taking care to keep the back of the hand toward the person addressed; (2) middle, third, little finger, and thumb slightly closed together, forefinger pointing forward and downward; (3) curved motion made forward, outward, and downward. (Cheyenne II.) "He who stands still and commands," as shown by similarity of signs to sit here or stand here.

Extend the index, remaining fingers closed, and raise it to the right side of the head and above it as far as the arm can reach. Have also seen the sign given by Wyandot I. (Ojibwa V.)

The extended forefinger of the right hand (J), of which the other fingers are closed, is raised to the right side of the head and above it as far as the arm can be extended, and then the hand is brought down in front of the body with the wrist bent, the back of hand in front and the extended forefinger pointing downward. (Dakota I.) "Raised above others."

Move the upright and extended right index, palm forward, from the shoulder upward as high, as the top of the head, then forward six inches through a curve, and move it forward six inches, and then downward, its palm backward, to the height of the shoulder. An Arapaho sign, Above all others. He looks over or after us. (Dakota IV.)

Elevate the extended index before the shoulder, palm forward, pass it upward as high as the head, and forming a short curve to the front, then downward again slightly to the front to before the breast and about fifteen inches from it. (Dakota VI, VII, VIII; Hidatsa I; Arikara I.)

Right hand closed, forefinger pointing up, raise the hand from the waist in front of the body till it passes above the head. (Omaha I.)

Another: Bring the closed right hand, forefinger pointing up, on a level with the face; then bring the palm of the left hand with force against the right forefinger; next send up the right hand above the head, leaving the left as it is. (Omaha I.)

The right arm is extended by side of head, with the hand in position (J). The arm and hand then descend, the finger describing a semicircle with the arm as a radius. The sign stops with arm hanging at full length. (Oto I.) "The arm of authority before whom all must fall."

Both hands elevated to a position in front of and as high as the shoulders, palms facing, fingers and thumbs spread and slightly curved; the hands are then drawn outward a short distance towards their respective sides and gently elevated as high as the top of the head. (Wyandot I.) "One who is elevated by others."

Elevate the closed hand—index only extended and pointing upward—to the front of the right side of the face or neck or shoulder; pass it quickly upward, and when as high as the top of the head, direct it forward and downward again toward the ground. (Kaiowa I; Comanche III; Apache II; Wichita II.) Close the right hand, index raised, extended, and placed before the breast, then move it forward from the mouth, pointing forward, until at arm's length. (Ute I.)

——, Head, of tribe.

Place the extended index, pointing upward, at some distance before the right shoulder, then place the left hand, with fingers and thumb extended and separated, just back of the index; then in passing the index upward as high as the head, draw the left hand downward a short distance, as in Fig. 244. Superior to others. (Absaroka I; Arikara I.)

Place both flat hands before the body, palms down, and pass them horizontally outward toward their respective sides, then make the sign for CHIEF. (Arikara I.) "Chief of the wide region and those upon it."

After pointing out the man, point to the ground, all fingers closed except first (J 1, pointing downward in stead of upward), then point upward with same hand (J 2), then move hand to a point in front of body, fingers extended, palm downward (W 1), and move around horizontally. (Sahaptin I.) "In this place he is head over all."

Grasp the forelock with the right hand, palm backward, pass the hand upward about six inches and hold it in that position a moment. (Pai-Ute I.) Fig 245.

Elevate the extended index vertically above and in front of the head, holding the left hand, forefinger pointing upward, from one to two feet below and underneath the right, the position of the left, either elevated or depressed, also denoting the relative position of the second individual to that of the chief. (Apache I.)

——, War. Head of a war party; Partisan.

First make the sign of the pipe; then open the thumb and index finger of the right hand, back of the hand outward, moving it forward and upward in a curve. (Wied.) For remarks upon this sign see page 384.

Place the right hand, index only extended and pointing forward and upward, before the right side of the breast nearly at arm's length, then place the left hand, palm forward with fingers spread and extended, midway between the breast and the right hand. (Arapaho II; Cheyenne V; Ponka II; Pani I.)

First make the sign for BATTLE, viz: Both hands (A 1) brought to the median line of the body on a level with the breast and close together; describe with both hands at the same time a series of circular movements of small circumference; and then add the sign for CHIEF, (Dakota I.) "First in battle."

—— of a band.

Point toward the left and front with the extended forefinger of the left hand, palm down; then place the extended index about twelve inches behind the left hand, pointing in the same direction. (Arapaho II; Cheyenne V; Ponka II; Pani I.)

Place the extended index at some distance before the right shoulder, pointing forward and slightly upward, then place the left hand with fingers and thumb extended and separated over the index, and while pushing the index to the front, draw the left hand backward toward body and to the left. Ahead of others. (Absaroka I; Arikara I.) Fig. 246.

Point the extended index forward and upward before the chest, then place the spread fingers of the left hand around the index, but at a short distance behind it, all pointing the same direction. Ahead of the remainder. (Arikara I.)

Grasp the forelock with the right hand, palm backward, and pretend to lay the hair down over the right side of the head by passing the hand in that direction. (Pai-Ute I.) Fig. 247.

The French deaf-mute sign for order, command, maybe compared with several of the above signs. In it the index tip first touches the lower lip, then is raised above the head and brought down with violence. (L'enseignment primaire des sourds-muets; par M. Pelissier. Paris, 1856.)

Not only in Naples, but, according to De Jorio, in Italy generally the conception of authority in gesture is by pressing the right hand on the flank, accompanied by an erect and squared posture of the bust with the head slightly inclined to the right. The idea of substance is conveyed.

——, Warrior lower than actual, but distinguished for bravery.

Place the left forefinger, pointing toward the left and front, before the left side of the chest, then place the extended index near (or against) the forefinger, and, while passing the latter outward toward the left, draw the index toward the right. (Absaroka I; Arikara I; Shoshoni I.) Fig. 248.


Throw the forefinger from the perpendicular into a horizontal position toward the earth, with the back downward. (Long.)

Hold the left hand flat over the face, back outward, and pass with the similarly held right hand below the former, gently striking or touching it. (Wied.) The sign given (Oto and Missouri I) has no similarity in execution or conception with Wied's. (Boteler.) This sign may convey the idea of under or burial, quite differently executed from most others reported. Dr. McChesney conjectures this sign to be that of wonder or surprise at hearing of a death, but not a distinct sign for the latter.

The finger of the right hand passed to the left hand and then cast down. (Macgowan.)

Hold the left hand slightly arched, palm down, fingers pointing toward the right about fifteen inches before the breast, then place the extended index nearer the breast, pointing toward the left, pass it quickly forward underneath the left hand and in an upward curve to termination. (Arapaho II; Cheyenne V; Ponka II; Pani I.)

Place the palm of the hand at a short distance from the side of the head, then withdrawing it gently in an oblique downward direction and inclining the head and upper part of the body in the same direction. (Ojibwa II.) See page 353 for remarks upon this sign.

Hold both hands open, with palms over ears, extend fingers back on brain, close eyes, and incline body a little forward and to right or left very low, and remain motionless a short time, pronouncing the word Ke-nee-boo slowly. (Ojibwa IV.)

Left hand flattened and held back upward, thumb inward in front of and a few inches from the breast. Right hand slightly clasped, forefinger more extended than the others, and passed suddenly under the left hand, the latter being at the same time gently moved toward the breast. (Cheyenne II.) "Gone under."

Both hands horizontal in front of body, backs outward, index of each hand alone extended, the right index is passed under the left with a downward, outward and then upward and inward curved motion at the same time that the left is moved inward toward the body two or three inches, the movements being ended on the same level as begun. "Upset, keeled over." For many deaths repeat the sign many times. The sign of (Cheyenne II) expresses "gone under," but is not used in the sense of death, dead, but going under a cover, as entering a lodge, under a table, &c. (Dakota I.)

Make the sign for ALIVE, viz.: The right hand, back upward, is to be at the height of the elbow and forward, the index extended and pointing forward, the other fingers closed, thumb against middle finger; then, while rotating the hand outward, move it to a position about four inches in front of the face, the back looking forward and the index pointing upward; then the sign for No. (Dakota IV.)

Another: Hold the left hand pointing toward the right, palm obliquely downward and backward, about a foot in front of the lower part of the chest, and pass the right hand pointing toward the left, palm downward, from behind forward underneath it. Or from an upright position in front of the face, back forward, index extended and other fingers closed, carry the right hand downward and forward underneath the left and about four inches beyond it, gradually turning the right hand until its back is upward and its index points toward the left. An Arapaho sign. Gone under or buried. (Dakota IV.)

Hold the left hand slightly bent with the palm down, before the breast, then pass the extended right hand, pointing toward the left, forward under and beyond the left. (Dakota VI, VII.)

Hold the right hand, flat, palm downward, before the body; then throw it over on its back to the right, making a curve of about fifteen inches. (Dakota VI; Hidatsa I; Arikara I.) The gesture of reversal in this and other instances may be compared with picture-writings in which the reversed character for the name or totem of a person signifies his death. One of these is given in Fig. 249, taken from Schoolcraft's Hist. Am. Tribes, I, p. 356, showing the cedar burial post or adjedatig of Wabojeeg, an Ojibwa war chief, who died on Lake Superior about 1793. He belonged to the deer clan of his tribe and the animal is drawn reversed on the post.

Extend right hand, palm down, hand curved. Turn the palm up in moving the hand down towards the earth. (Omaha I.)

The countenance is brought to a sleeping composure with the eyes closed. This countenance being gradually assumed, the head next falls toward either shoulder. The arms having been closed and crossed upon the chest with the hands in type positions (B B) are relaxed and drop simultaneously towards the ground, with the fall of the head. This attitude is maintained some seconds. (Oto and Missouri I.) "The bodily appearance at death."

Place the open hand, back upward, fingers a little drawn together, at the height of the breast, pointing forward; then move it slowly forward and downward, turning it over at the same time. (Iroquois I.) "To express 'gone into the earth, face upward.'"

The flat right hand is waved outward and downward toward the same side, the head being inclined in the same direction at the time, with eyes closed. (Wyandot I.)

Hold the left hand loosely extended about fifteen inches in front of the breast, palm down, then pass the index, pointing to the left, in a short curve downward, forward, and upward beneath the left palm. (Kaiowa I; Comanche III; Apache II; Wichita II.)

Bring the left hand to the left breast, hand half clinched (H), then bring the right hand to the left with the thumb and forefinger in such a position as if you were going to take a bit of string from the fingers of the left hand, and pull the right hand off in a horizontal line as if you were stretching a string out, extend the hand to the full length of the arm from you and let the index finger point outward at the conclusion of the sign. (Comanche I.) "Soul going to happy hunting-grounds."

The left hand is held slightly arched, palm down, nearly at arm's length before the breast; the right extended, flat, palm down, and pointing forward, is pushed from the top of the breast, straightforward, underneath, and beyond the left. (Shoshoni and Banak I.) Fig. 250.

Close both eyes, and after a moment throw the palm of the right hand from the face downward and outward toward the right side, the head being dropped in the same direction. (Ute I.)

Touch the breast with the extended and joined fingers of the right hand, then throw the hand, palm to the left, outward toward the right, leaning the head in that direction at the same time. (Apache I.)

Close the eyes with the tips of the index and second finger, respectively, then both hands are placed side by side, horizontally, palms downward, fingers extended and united; hands separated by slow horizontal movement to right and left. (Kutchin I.)

Palm of hand upward, then a wave-like motion toward the ground. (Zuni I.)

Deaf-mute natural signs:

Place the hand upon the cheek, and shut the eyes, and move the hand downward toward the ground. (Ballard.)

Let your head lie on the open hand with eyes shut. (Cross.)

Use the right shut hand as if to draw a screw down to fasten the lid to the coffin and keep the eyes upon the hand. (Hasenstab.)

Move the head toward the shoulder and then close the eyes. (Larson.)

Deaf mute signs:

The French deaf-mute conception is that of gently falling or sinking, the right index falling from the height of the right shoulder upon the left forefinger, toward which the head is inclined.

The deaf-mute sign commonly used in the United States is the same as Dakota VI; Hidatsa I; Arikara I; above. Italians with obvious conception, make the sign of the cross.

—— To Die.

Right hand, forefinger extended, side up, forming with the thumb a 'U'; the other fingers slightly curved, touching each other, the little finger having its side toward the ground. Move the hand right and left then forward, several times; then turn it over suddenly, letting it fall toward the earth. (Ojibwa V; Omaha I.) "An animal wounded, but staggering a little before it falls and dies."

—— Dying.

Hold the left hand as in dead; pass the index in the same manner underneath the left, but in a slow, gentle, interrupted movement. (Kaiowa I; Comanche III; Apache II; Wichita II.) "Step by step; inch by inch." Fig. 251.

—— Nearly, but recovers.

Hold the left hand as in dead; pass the index with a slow, easy, interrupted movement downward, under the left palm, as in dying, but before passing from under the palm on the opposite side return the index in the same manner to point of starting; then elevate it. (Kaiowa I; Comanche III; Apache II; Wichita II.) Fig. 252.

Other remarks upon the signs for dead are given on page 353.


The hand held horizontally, back upward, describes with the arm a horizontal curve outward. (Long.) This is like the Eurasian motion of benediction, but may more suggestively be compared with several of the signs for yes, and in opposition to several of those for bad and no, showing the idea of acceptance or selection of objects presented, instead of their rejection.

Place the right hand horizontally in front of the breast and move it forward. (Wied.) This description is essentially the same as the one I furnished. (Mandan and Hidatsa I.) I stated, however, that the hand was moved outward (i.e., to the right). I do not remember seeing it moved directly forward. In making the motion as I have described it the hand would have to go both outward and forward. (Matthews.) The left arm is elevated and the hand held in position (W). The arm and hand are thus extended from the body on a level with the chest; the elbow being slightly bent, the arm resembles a bent bow. The right arm is bent and the right hand, in position (W), sweeps smoothly over the left arm from the biceps muscle over the ends of the fingers. This sign and Wied's are noticeably similar. The difference is, the Oto sign uses the left arm in conjunction and both more to the left. The conception is of something that easily passes; smoothness, evenness, etc., in both. (Boteler.)

Wave the hand from the mouth, extending the thumb from the index and closing the other three fingers. This sign also means I know. (Burton.)

(1) Right-hand fingers pointing to the left placed on a level with mouth, thumb inward; (2) suddenly moved with curve outward so as to present palm to person addressed. (Cheyenne II.)

Pass the open right hand, palm downward, from the heart, twenty-four inches horizontally forward and to the right through an arc of about 90 degrees. (Dakota IV.) "Heart easy or smooth."

Another: Gently strike the chest two or three times over the heart with the radial side of the right hand, the fingers partly flexed and pointing downward. An Arapaho sign. (Dakota IV.)

Place the flat right hand, palm down, thumb touching the breast, then move it forward and slightly upward and to the right. (Arapaho II; Cheyenne V; Ojibwa V; Dakota VI, VII, VIII; Kaiowa I; Comanche III; Apache II; Wichita II.)

Pass the flat hand, palm down, from the breast forward and in a slight curve to the right. (Dakota VI; Hidatsa I; Ankara I.)

The extended right hand, palm downward, thumb backward, fingers pointing to the left, is held nearly or quite in contact with the body about on a level with the stomach; it is then carried outward to the right a foot or two with a rapid sweep, in which the forearm is moved but not necessarily the humerus. (Mandan and Hidatsa I.)

Move right hand, palm down, over the blanket, right and left, several times. (Omaha I.)

Another: Hit the blanket, first on the right, then on the left, palm down, several times. (Omaha I.)

Another: Point at the object with the right forefinger, shaking it a little up and down, the other fingers being closed. (Omaha I.)

Another: Same as preceding, but with the hand open, the thumb crooked under and touching the forefinger; hand held at an angle of 45 degrees while shaking a little back and forth. (Omaha I.)

Another: Hold the closed hands together, thumbs up; separate by turning the wrists down, and move the fists a little apart; then reverse movements till back to first position. (Omaha I.)

Another: Hold the left hand with back toward the ground, fingers and thumb apart, and curved; hold the right hand opposite it, palm down, hands about six inches apart; shake the hands held thus, up and down, keeping them the same distance apart. (Omaha I.)

Another: Hold the hands with the palms in, thumbs up, move hands right and left, keeping them about six inches apart. (Omaha I.)

Another: Look at the right hand, first on the back, then on the palm, then on the back again. (Omaha I.)

The flat right hand, palm down, is moved forward and upward, starting at a point about twelve inches before the breast. (Wyandot I.)

Hold the flat right hand forward and slightly outward from the shoulder, palm either upward or downward, and pass it edgewise horizontally to the right and left. This sign was made when no personality was involved. The same gesturer when claiming for himself the character of goodness made the following: Rapidly pat the breast with the flat right hand. (Pima and Papago I.)

Throw right hand from front to side, fingers extended and palm down, forearm horizontal. (Sahaptin I.)

Make an inclination of the body forward, moving at the same time both hands forward from the breast, open, with the palm upward, and gradually lowering them. This is also used for glad, pleased. (Iroquois I.)

Bring both hands to the front, arms extended, palms outward; elevate them upward and slightly forward; the face meanwhile expressive of wonder. (Comanche I.)

Bring the hand opposite the breast, a little below, hand extended, palm downward (W), and let it move off in a horizontal direction. If it be very good, this may be repeated. If comparatively good, repeat it more violently. (Comanche I.)

Hold the right hand palm down, pointing to the left, and placed horizontally before the breast, then raise it several times slightly. Good and glad. (Kutchin I.)

Deaf-mute natural signs:

Smack the lips. (Ballard.)

Close the hand while the thumb is up, and nod the head and smile as if to approve of something good. (Hasenstab.)

Point the forefinger to the mouth and move the lips with a pleased look as if tasting sweet fruit. (Larson.)

Use the sign for handsome by drawing the outstretched palm of the right hand down over the right cheek; at the same time nod the head as if to say "yes." (Ziegler.)

Deaf-mute signs:

Some of the Indian signs appear to be connected with a pleasant taste in the month, as is the sign of the French and American deaf-mutes, waving thence the hand, either with or without touching the lips, back upward, with fingers straight and joined, in a forward and downward curve. They make nearly the same gesture with hand sidewise for general assent: "Very well!"

The conventional sign for good, given in the illustration to the report of the Ohio Institution for the education of the deaf and dumb, is: The right hand raised forward and closed, except the thumb, which is extended upward, held vertically, its nail being toward the body; this is in opposition to the sign for bad in the same illustration, the one being merely the exhibition of the thumb toward and the other of the little finger away from the body. They are English signs, the traditional conception being acceptance and rejection respectively.

Italian signs:

The fingers gathered on the mouth, kissed and stretched out and spread, intimate a dainty morsel. The open hand stretched out horizontally, and gently shaken, intimates that a thing is so-so, not good and not bad. (Butler.) Compare also the Neapolitan sign given by De Jorio, see Fig. 62, p. 286, supra. Cardinal Wiseman gives as the Italian sign for good "the hand thrown upwards and the head back with a prolonged ah!" Loc. cit., p. 543.

—— Heart is.

Strike with right hand on the heart and make the sign for GOOD from the heart outward. (Cheyenne II.)

Touch the left breast over the heart two or three times with the ends of the fingers of the right hand; then make the sign for GOOD. (Dakota IV.)

Place the fingers of the flat right hand over the breast, then make the sign for GOOD. (Dakota VII.)

Move hand to position in front of breast, fingers extended, palm downward (W), then with quick movement throw hand forward and to the side to a point 12 or 15 inches from body, hand same as in first position. (Sahaptin I.)

For further remarks on the signs for good, see page 286.



The hand half open and the forefinger extended and separated; then raise the hand upward and give it a half turn, as if screwing something. (Dunbar.)

Cross the ends of the extended fingers of the two hands, the hands to be nearly at right angle, radial side up, palms inward and backward, thumbs in palms. Represents the logs at the end of a log house. (Creel; Dakota IV.)

Partly fold the hands; the fingers extended in imitation of the corner of an ordinary log house. (Arapaho I.)

Both hands outspread near each other, elevated to front of face; suddenly separated, turned at right angles, palms facing; brought down at right angles, suddenly stopped. Representing square form of a house. (Cheyenne II.)

The fingers of both hands extended and slightly separated, then those of the right are placed into the several spaces between those of the left, the tips extending to about the first joints. (Absaroka I.) "From the arrangement of the logs in a log building."

Both hands extended, fingers spread, place those of the right into the spaces between those of the left, then move the hands in this position a short distance upward. (Wyandot I.) "Arrangement of logs and elevation."

Both hands are held edgewise before the body, palms facing, spread the fingers, and place those of one hand into the spaces between those of the other, so that the tips of each protrude about an inch beyond. (Hidatsa I; Kaiowa I; Arikara I; Comanche III; Apache II; Wichita II.) "The arrangement of logs in a frontier house." Fig. 253. In connection with this sign compare the pictograph, Fig. 204, page 379, supra. In ordinary conversation the sign for white man's house is often dropped, using instead the generic term employed for lodge, and this in turn is often abbreviated, as by the Kaiowas, Comanches, Wichitas, and others, by merely placing the tips of the extended forefingers together, leaving the other fingers and thumbs closed, with the wrists about three or four inches apart.

Both hands held pointing forward, edges down, fingers extended and slightly separated, then place the fingers of one hand into the spaces between the fingers of the other, allowing the tips of the fingers of either hand to protrude as far as the first joint, or near it. (Shoshoni and Banak I.) "From the appearance of a corner of a log house—protruding and alternate layers of logs."

Fingers of both hands interlaced at right angles several times; then the sign for LODGE. (Kutchin I.)

Deaf-mute natural signs:

Draw the outlines of a house in the air with hands tip to tip at a right angle. (Ballard.)

Put the open hands together toward the face, forming a right angle with the arms. (Larson.)

——, Stone; Fort.

Strike the back of the right fist against the palm of the left hand, the left palm backward, the fist upright ("idea of resistance or strength"); then with both hands opened, relaxed, horizontal, and palms backward, place the ends of the right fingers behind and against the ends of the left; then separate them, and moving them backward, each through a semicircle, bring their bases together. The latter sign is also that of the Arapahos for house. An inclosure. (Dakota IV.) The first part of this sign is that for stone.


The two hands are reared together in the form of the roof of a house, the ends of the fingers upward. (Long.)

Place the opened thumb and forefinger of each hand opposite each other, as if to make a circle, but leaving between them a small interval; afterward move them from above downward simultaneously (which is the sign for village); then elevate the finger to indicate the number—one. (Wied.) Probably he refers to an earthen lodge. I think that the sign I have given you is nearly the same with all the Upper Missouri Indians. (Matthews.)

Place the fingers of both hands ridge-fashion before the breast. (Burton.)

Indicate outlines (an inverted V, thus ^), with the forefingers touching or crossed at the tips, the other fingers closed. (Creel; Arapaho I.)

Both hands open, fingers upward, tips touching, brought downward, and at same time separated to describe outline of a cone, suddenly stopped. (Cheyenne II.)

Both hands approximated, held forward horizontally, fingers joined and slightly arched, backs upward, withdraw them in a sideward and downward direction, each hand moving to its corresponding side, thus combinedly describing a hemisphere. Carry up the right and, with its index pointing downward indicate a spiral line rising upward from the center of the previously formed arch. (Ojibwa V.) "From the dome-shaped form of the wigwam, and the smoke rising from the opening in the roof."

Both hands flat and extended, placing the tips of the fingers of one against those of the other, leaving the palms or wrists about four inches apart. (Absaroka I; Wyandot I; Shoshoni and Banak I.) "From its exterior outline."

Both hands carried to the front of the breast and placed V-shaped, inverted, thus ^, with the palms, looking toward each other, edge of fingers outward, thumbs inward. (Dakota I.) "From the outline of the tipi."

With the hands nearly upright, palms inward, cross the ends of the extended forefingers, the right one either in front or behind the left, or lay the ends together; resting the ends of the thumbs together side by side, the other fingers to be nearly closed, and resting against each other, palms inward. Represents the tipi poles and the profile of the tipi. (Dakota IV.)

Place the tips of the fingers of both hands together in front of the breast, with the wrists some distance apart. (Dakota V.) Fig. 254.

Fingers of both hands extended and separated; then interlace them so that the tips of the fingers of one hand protrude beyond the backs of those of the opposing one; hold the hands in front of the breast, pointing upward, leaving the wrists about six inches apart. (Dakota VII, VIII; Hidatsa I; Ponka II; Arikara I; Pani I.)

The extended hands, with finger tips upward and touching, the palms facing one another, and the wrists about two inches apart, are held before the chest. (Mandan and Hidatsa I.)

Place the tip of the index against the tip of the forefinger of the left hand, the remaining fingers and thumbs closed, before the chest, leaving the wrists about six inches apart. (Kaiowa I; Comanche III; Apache II; Wichita II.) "Outline of lodge." This is an abbreviated sign, and care must be taken to distinguish it from to meet, in which the fingers are brought from their respective sides instead of upward to form the gesture.

Another: Place the tips of the fingers of the flat extended hands together before the breast, leaving the wrists about six inches apart. (Kaiowa I; Comanche III; Apache II; Wichita II.)

Another: Both hands flat and extended, fingers slightly separated; then place the fingers of the right hand between the fingers of the left as far as the second joints, so that the fingers of one hand protrude about an inch beyond those of the other; the wrists must be held about six inches apart. (Kaiowa I; Comanche III; Apache II; Wichita II.) "Outline of Indian lodge and crossing of tent-poles above the covering." Fig. 255.

Fig. 256 represents a Sahaptin sign given to the writer by a gentleman long familiar with the northwestern tribes of Indians. The conception is the same union of the lodge poles at the top, shown in several other signs, differently executed.

Place the tips of the spread fingers of both hands against one another pointing upward before the body, leaving a space of from four to six inches between the wrists. Fig. 257. The fingers are sometimes bent so as to more nearly represent the outline of a house and roof. Fig. 258. This, however, is accidental. (Pai-Ute I.) "Represents the boughs and branches used in the construction of a Pai-Ute 'wik-i-up.'"

Place the tips of the two flat hands together before the body, leaving a space of about six inches between the wrists. (Ute I.) "Outline of the shape of the lodge."

Left hand and right hand put together in shape of sloping shelter (Kutchin I.) Fig. 259.

—— Great Council House.

Place both flat and extended hands in front of the shoulders, pointing forward, palms facing; then pass them straight upward and slightly inward near the termination of the gesture. This appears to combine the gestures for much, large, and lodge. (Arikara I.)

——, Coming or going out of a.

Same as the sign for entering a lodge, only the fingers of the right hand point obliquely upward after passing under the left hand. (Dakota I.) "Coming out from under cover."

Hold the open left hand a foot or eighteen inches in front of the breast, palm downward or backward, fingers pointing toward the right and pass the right, back upward, with index extended, or all of the fingers extended, and pointing forward, about eighteen inches forward underneath the left through an arc from near the mouth. Some at the same time move the left hand toward the breast. (Dakota IV.)

——, Entering a.

The left hand is held with the back upward, and the right hand also with the back up is passed in a curvilinear direction down under the other, so as to rub against its palm, then up on the other side of it. The left hand here represents the low door of the skin lodge and the right the man stooping down to pass in, (Long.)

Pass the flat right hand in short curves under the left, which is held a short distance forward. (Wied.) I have described the same sign. It is not necessary to pass the hand more than once. By saying curves, he seems to imply many passes. If the hand is passed more than once it means repetition of the act. (Matthews; McChesney.) The conception is of the stooping to pass through the low entrance, which is often covered by a flap of skin, sometimes stretched on a frame, and which must be shoved aside, and the subsequent rising when the entrance has been accomplished. A distinction is reported by a correspondent as follows: "If the intention is to speak of a person entering the gesturer's own lodge, the right hand is passed under the left and toward the body, near which the left hand is held; if of a person entering the lodge of another, the left hand is held further from the body and the right is passed under it and outward. In both cases both hands are slightly curved and compressed." As no such distinction is reported by others it may be an individual invention or peculiarity.

A gliding movement of the extended hand, fingers joined, backs up, downward, then ascending, indicative of the stooping and resumption of the upright position in entering the same. (Arapaho I.)

(1) Sign for LODGE, the left hand being still in position used in making sign for LODGE; (2) forefinger and thumb of right hand brought to a point and thrust through the outline of an imaginary lodge represented by the left hand. (Cheyenne II.)

First make the sign for LODGE, then place the left hand, horizontal and slightly arched, before the body, and pass the right hand with extended index underneath the left—forward and slightly upward beyond it. (Absaroka I; Dakota V; Shoshoni and Banak I; Wyandot I.)

Left hand (W), ends of fingers toward the right, stationary in front of the left breast; pass the right hand directly and quickly out from the breast under the stationary left hand, ending with the extended fingers of the right hand pointing outward and slightly downward, joined, palm downward flat, horizontal (W). (Dakota I.) "Gone under; covered."

Hold the open left hand a foot or eighteen inches in front of the breast, palm downward or backward, fingers pointing toward the right, and pass the right hand, palm upward, fingers bent sidewise and pointing backward, from before backward underneath it, through a curve until near the mouth. Some at the same time move the left hand a little forward. (Dakota IV.)

The left hand, palm downward, finger-tips forward, either quite extended or with the fingers slightly bent, is held before the body. Then the right hand nearly or quite extended, palm downward, finger-tips near the left thumb, and pointing toward it, is passed transversely under the left hand and one to four inches below it. The fingers of the right hand point slightly upward when the motion is completed. This sign usually, but not invariably, refers to entering a house. (Mandan and Hidatsa I.)

Place the slightly curved left hand, palm down, before the breast, pointing to the right, then pass the flat right hand, palm down, in a short curve forward, under and upward beyond the left. (Ute I.) "Evidently from the manner in which a person is obliged to stoop in entering an ordinary Indian lodge."


The right hand with the edge downward, the fingers joined, the thumb recumbent, extended forward. (Dunbar.)

Place the index and middle finger of the right hand astraddle the index finger of the left. [In the original the expression "third" finger is used, but it is ascertained in another connection that the author counts the thumb as the first finger and always means what is generally styled middle finger when he says third. The alteration is made to prevent confusion.] (Wied.) I have described this sign in words to the same effect. (Matthews.) The right arm is raised, and the hand, opened edgewise, with fingers parallel and approximated, is drawn from left to right before the body at the supposed height of the animal. There is no conceivable identity in the execution of this sign and Wied's, but his sign for horse is nearly identical with the sign for ride a horse among the Otos. (Boteler.) This sign is still used by the Cheyennes. (Dodge.)

A hand passed across the forehead. (Macgowan.)

Left-hand thumb and forefinger straightened out, held to the level of and in front of the breast; right-hand forefinger separated from the middle finger and thrown across the left hand to imitate the act of bestriding. They appear to have no other conception of a horse, and have thus indicated that they have known it only as an animal to be ridden. (Creel; Cheyenne II.)

Draw the right hand from left to right across the body about the heart, the fingers all closed except the index. This is abbreviated by making a circular sweep of the right open hand from about the left elbow to the front of the body, probably indicating the mane. A Pani sign. (Cheyenne IV.)

Place the first two fingers of the right hand, thumb extended (N 1), downward, astraddle the first two joined and straight fingers of the left hand (T 1), sidewise to the right. Many Sioux Indians use only the forefinger straightened. (Dakota I.) "Horse mounted."

The first and second fingers extended and separated, remaining fingers and thumb closed; left forefinger extended, horizontal, remaining fingers and thumb closed; place the right-hand fingers astride of the forefinger of the left, and both hands jerked together, up and down, to represent the motion of a horse. (Dakota III.)

The two hands being clinched and near together, palms downward, thumbs against the forefingers, throw them, each alternately, forward and backward about a foot, through an ellipsis two or three times, from about six inches in front of the chest, to imitate the galloping of a horse, or the hands may be held forward and not moved. (Dakota IV.)

Place the extended and separated index and second fingers of the right hand astraddle of the extended forefinger of the left. Fig. 260. Sometimes all the fingers of the left hand are extended in making this sign, as in Fig. 261, though this may be the result of carelessness. (Dakota VI, VII, VIII; Hidatsa I; Ponka II; Arikara I; Pani I.)

The left hand is before the chest, back upward in the position of an index-hand pointing forward; then the first and second fingers of the right hand only being extended, separated and pointing downward, are set one on each side of the left forefinger, the interdigital space resting on the forefinger. The palm faces downward and backward. This represents a rider astride of a horse. (Mandan and Hidatsa I.)

Close hands, except forefingers, which are curved downward; move them forward in rotation, imitating the fore feet of the horse, and make puffing sound of "Uh, uh"! (Omaha I.) "This sign represents the horse racing off to a safe distance, and puffing as he tosses his head."

The arm is flexed and the hand extended is brought on a level with the mouth. The hand then assumes the position (W 1), modified by being held edges up and down, palm toward the chest, instead of flat. The arm and hand being held thus about the usual height of a horse are made to pass in an undulating manner across the face or body about one foot distant from contact. The latter movements are to resemble the animal's gait. (Oto I.) "Height of animal and movement of same."

The index and second fingers of the right hand are placed astraddle the extended forefinger of the left. (Wyandot I.)

Place the flat right hand, thumb down, edgewise before the right side of the shoulder, pointing toward the right. (Kaiowa I; Comanche III; Apache II; Wichita II.) Fig. 262.

Another: Hold the right hand flat, extended, with fingers joined, the thumb extended upward, then pass the hand at arm's length before the face from left to right. This is said by the authorities cited below to be also the Caddo sign, and that the other tribes mentioned originally obtained it from that tribe. (Kaiowa I; Comanche I, III; Apache II; Wichita II.) Fig. 263.

Another: Place the extended and separated index and second fingers astraddle the extended and horizontal forefinger of the left hand. This sign is only used when communicating with uninstructed white men, or with other Indians whose sign for horse is specifically distinct. (Kaiowa I; Comanche III; Apache II; Wichita II.).

Place the extended index and second fingers of the right hand across the extended first two fingers of the left. Fig. 264. Size of the animal is indicated by passing the right hand, palm down, with fingers loosely separated, forward from the right side, at any height as the case may necessitate, after which the sign for HORSE may be made. (Pima and Papago I.)

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