ILLUSTRATIONS INDEX
ABIDE
ACROSS
AHEAD (BEFORE)
ALIKE
ALL
ASHAMED
ATTRACTING-ATTENTION
BAD
BATTLE
BEFORE
BEGONE
BEHIND
BIG-MUCH
BLACK-TAILED-DEER
BOW-AND-ARROW
BRAVE
BREAK
BUFFALO
CHEYENNE
CHIEF
COITUS
COME
COME-OUT
COUNCIL-LODGE
DEAD
DIFFER
DIVIDED
DUST-RISING
EXCHANGE
EXHAUSTED
FAR-IN-DISTANCE
FISH
GO
GOOD
HEAR
HORSE
HORSE-MOUNTED
HUNKPAPA-SIOUX
I
KILL
KNOW-NOT
LEVEL
LONG-TIME
MAN
MANY
MARRIED
MINICONJOU-SIOUX
NO
NOON
NOW
OFFSPRING
OGLALA-SIOUX
ONE-HUNDRED
PAST
POOR
RAIN
RIVER
ROSEBUD
SAD
SANTEE-SIOUX
SATISFIED
SCATTERED
SEE
SHORT-DISTANCE
SHORT-IN-TIME
SHOT
SIBLING
SIOUX
SIT
SMALL
SPEAK
SPEAKING
STEAL
STRIKE-CAMP
SUDDEN
SUN
SURPRISE
TAKE
TAKE-PRISONER
THINK
TIE-UP
TIPI (LODGE, WIGWAM)
TIRED
TOGETHER
TRUE
TWO-KETTLE-SIOUX
WHIRLWIND
WHITE-MAN
WHITE-TAILED-DEER
YES

ABIDE
Clinch the right hand as if holding a stick, and make a motion as if trying to strike something on the ground with the bottom of the stick, held in an upright position. (Wichita I.)
ACROSS
Pass the hand, flattened and either partially or entirely extended, from the breast, forward, upward, and downward, forming an arch to the front. (Absaroka I; Shoshoni and Banak I.)
AHEAD (BEFORE)
Bring the hand close to the right breast (M) with palm to left, forefinger pointed outward; bring left hand (M palm inward) in front of and few inches from the breast, move right hand to the front and at same time move the left toward the breast slightly. After or afterward is done by having the hands in the same position (M) except to have palm of right hand down. The left is kept stationary and the right is drawn back. (Cheyenne II.) "The left hand representing an imaginary line, the action of the right makes it the front or before."
ALIKE
Place the two forefingers parallel to each other, and push them forward a little. (Dunbar.)
ALL
With right hand flat and back up, describe a large horizontal circle, shoulder high.
ASHAMED
(Drawing blanket over face). Flat hands pointing up, palms in, close to face and moved in till the wrists crossed, right nearest the face; bow the head a little. Compare Blind and Dark. The bowing of the head was not generally done, yet is the only feature to distinguish it from Dark.
ATTRACTING-ATTENTION
Call, Attention! Say! Strike the palm of the open left hand with the tips of right fingers, then swing right G a little toward the person.
BAD
Close the hand and open it whilst passing it downward.
BATTLE
The clinched hands are held about as high as the neck and five or six inches asunder, then waved two or three times laterally to show the advances and retreats of the combatants.

BEFORE
Move both fingers up and down and away from the body on the same line, but allowing the right to gain on and finally pass the left. (Dakota I.) "From the idea of being or going before or ahead of another person in walking or anything else. A derivative of superior."
BEGONE
---------Go away.
The hand, with the palm facing downward and backward, is held close to the body and about on a level with the stomach; it is moved upward to a level with the top of the head, a foot or so in front of it, describing an arc whose convexity is forward. (Mandan aud [sic] Hidatsa I.)
BEHIND
Place the hands in the same position as for AHEAD, except that the right hand is behind the left, i. e., nearer the body. (Mandan and Hidatsa I.)

BIG-MUCH
Both hands flat and extended, placed before the breast, finger-tips touching, palms down; then separate them by passing outward and downward as if smoothing the outer surface of a globe. (Absaroka I) Shoshoni and Banak I; Kaiowa I; Comanche III; Apache II; Wichita II.; "A heap."
BLACK-TAILED-DEER
DEER: Pass the uplifted hand to and fro several times in front of the face.

First make the preceding gesture [for DEER], then indicate a tail.

BOW-AND-ARROW
Draw the right arm back completely whilst the left arm is extended with clenched hand. (Mallery 1880-1894, Smithsonian collections #2374)
BRAVE
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 sort 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)
BREAK
Both hands brought one above the other around to front of body, closed as though grasping small stick, and suddenly turned in opposite directions to imitate breaking. (Cheyenne I.)

The fists being near together, directed forward and backs upward, turn the outer sides downward as if breaking a stick. (Dakota IV.)

With both hands placed side by side, thumbs touching, throw them outward and downward as if breaking a stick. (Dakota VI, VII.)

BUFFALO
Close both hands, with the forefingers of each partly extended and crooked, and place one on either side of the forehead, palms forward. (Mallery 1880-1894, Smithsonian collections #2374)
CHEYENNE
(Perhaps meaning “striped tail,” because they used turkey feathers; or, more likely, “finger-choppers,” because they chopped their fingers when in mourning). Hold out left G finger and cut it with the edge of the right G finger drawn across it once or twice, each time further up the hand.
CHIEF
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 outwards. 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. "A prominent one before whom all succumb." (Boteler.) Wied's air-picutre 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.)

(1) Sign for MAN; (2) middle, third, little finger, and thumb slightly closed together, forefinger pointing forward and downward; (3) curved motion made forward, outward, and downward. (Cheyenne I.) "He who stands still and commands," as shown by similarity of signs to Sit here or Stand here, "the man who stands still and directs."

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

Elevate the extended index before the shoulder, pass it upward as high as the head, forming a short curve to the front, and downward again slightly to the front. (Dakota VI, VII; 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 sign: 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 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 close 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 chief of tribe.
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 instead of upward), then point upward with the same hand (J 2), then move hand to a point in front of body (Fig. 2), fingers extended palm downward (W 1) and move around in circle - over all. (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.) 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.) By the title of "Partisan" the author meant, as indeed was the common expression of the Canadian voyageurs, a leader of an occasional or volunteer war party. The sign is explained by his account in a different connection, that to become recognized as a leader of such a war party, the first act among the tribes using the sign was the consecration, by fasting succeeded by feasting, of a medicine pipe without ornament, which the leader of the expedition afterward bore before him as his badge of authority, and it therefore naturally became an emblematic sign. There may be interest in noting that the "Calendar of the Dakota Nation" (Bulletin U. S. G. and G. Survey, vol. iii., No. 1), give a figure (No. 43, A. D. 1842), showing "One Feather," a Sioux chief, who raised in that year a large war party against the Crows, which fact is simply denoted by his holding out, demonstratively, an unornamented pipe.

Combine signs for CHIEF and BATTLE. (Arapaho I.)

First make the sign for BATTLE and then that for CHIEF. (Dakota I.) "First in battle."

COITUS
The extended index of the right hand ( the hand usually back downwards, other fingers flexed) is grasped by left hand, palm upwards. In this position the index is usually moved back and forth, i.e., in and out, once or oftener.
COME
Elevate the index finger near the face, extend the hand and return it with a number of gentle jerks.

COME-OUT
Same as the sign for LODGE, ENTERING A, only the fingers of the right hand point obliquely upward after passing under the left hand (Dakota I.) "Coming out from under cover."
COUNCIL-LODGE
Bring the A hands, back outward, well out in front of the body, a little lower than the shoulders, little fingers touching; swing them apart and toward the body so they meet close to it, forming a horizontal circle; palms forward.
DEAD
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.
DIFFER
First and second fingers of right hand extended, separated (others closed), is passed from the right breast outward, with back of hand toward the right, forefinger pointing obliquely upward, and the second finger pointing straight outward or forward. (Dakota I.) "The idea of this is contained in contrasting the appearance of the two fingers; one of the fingers is so and the other is not so - i.e., not the same, different."
DIVIDED
(Separate or Apart) Lay the G fingers side by side, backs up; spring them apart, widest at tips, moving them forward and out.
DUST-RISING
Pat down with one flat hand, then wave both 5 hands, points up, near the eyes; sometimes blink and draw back to make it more expressive.
EXCHANGE
Both hands, palms facing each other, forefingers extended, crossed right above left before the breast. (Cheyenne I.)

The sign should be made at the height of the breast. Raise the right index about a foot above the left before crossing them. (Dakota IV.) "Yours is there and mine is there; take either."

EXHAUSTED
Hold out G hands, backs up, six inches apart, drop them and draw them to you a little.
FAR-IN-DISTANCE
Move the G hand forward and upward in a long slow arch, finishing at arm’s length with down curve.
FISH
The extended right hand, thumb upward, fingers pointing forward, is held near the body, in front and to the right of the median line; it is then moved rather gently forward with a laterally waving motion, so as to represent the movements of a fish. (Mallery 1880-1894, Smithsonian collections #2374)
GO
Like COME, but begin near the face and extend the hands with a number of gentle jerks.
GOOD
Place the right hand horizontally in front of the breast, and move it forward.
HEAR
Move the right G hand (pointed forward) from behind the right ear, past the ear and forward.
HORSE
Place the index and third fingers of the right hand astraddle the index-finger of the left.
HORSE-MOUNTED
Place the first two fingers of the right hand (N with thumb resting on third finger) astraddle the two joined (many Sioux use only the forefinger straightened) and straight first finger of the left (T 1), then make several short arched movements forward with hands so joined. (Dakota I.) "The horse mounted and in motion."

Extend the first two fingers of the left hand before the body, then straddle the fore and second fingers of the right hand across those of the left; in this position, make a series of short jumps or jerks from left to right, imitating the gallop of a horse. (Dakota V.)

HUNKPAPA-SIOUX
(Cut throats) Draw the right G finger across the throat.
I
Touch the centre of the breast with the right thumb extended, other fingers closed.
KILL
Clinch the hand a strike from above downward. (Wied.)

Note: The sign KILL is far less common than more specific related terms. A PISL signer would use signs indicated killing by bow and arrow, by knife, or by club, rather than using the more generic term.

KNOW-NOT
Shrug the shoulders and shake the head and raise the right hand open, palm up, to the level of shoulder, inclining the head to the side.
LEVEL
Flat hands side by side, palms up; then slowly wide spread on same plane.
LONG-TIME
Place the hands close together and then move them slowly asunder, so slowly that they seem as if they would never complete the gesture.
MAN
Elevate the index-finger, and turn the hand hither and thither.
MANY
Both hands, with spread and slightly curved fingers, are held pendent about two feet apart before the thighs; then draw them toward one another, horizontally, drawing them upward as they come together. (Mallery 1880-1894, Smithsonian collections #2374)
MARRIED
Lay right G besides left G touching, both pointing forward level, not moved.
MINICONJOU-SIOUX
Hold right hand, back up, in front of left shoulder, height of throat, index finger extended and pointing to left, other fingers and thumbs closed; move the hand horizontally to right, index passing near throat.
NO
Hold flat right hand, back up, in front of body, fingers pointing level and nearly forward. Swing the hand in a graceful curve to right and front, at the same time turning it thumb up, finishing with the back of hand to right and downward; the hand is swept into its position on a curve.
NOON
Make the sign for SUN, and hold it toward the zenith, so that the eye can see through the circle formed by the thumb and index. (Mallery 1880-1894, Smithsonian collections #2374)
NOW
Place the extended index, pointing upward, palm to the left, as high as and before the top of the head; push the hand up and down a slight distance several times, the eyes being directed upward at the time. (Hidatsa I; Kaiowa I; Arikara I; Comanche III; Apache II; Wichita II.) (Mallery 1880-1894, Smithsonian collections #2374)
OFFSPRING
Compressed right hand, points up, swung well out in front and dropped a foot to the height of the child.
OGLALA-SIOUX
Draw the right G finger across the throat
ONE-HUNDRED
Both 5 hands held up, palm forward, thumb tips touching, low, opposite right shoulder; swing in a vertical arch to low opposite left shoulder.
PAST
Jerk the thumb backward over the right shoulder, all fingers closed. Or throw the flat hand back over the shoulder.
POOR
The two forefingers extended, with the right as if it was a knife, imitate the motion of cutting the flesh off the left finger, beginning toward the tip, and cutting with a quick motion directed toward the base; at the same time turn the finger a little round, so as to expose the different parts to the action of cutting; intimating that the flesh has diminished from starvation (Long.)
RAIN
Hold the right hand pendent, with fingers separated and pointing downward, before the right side and on a level with the head; then thrust it downward and back to its first position, repeating the movement two or three times. (Dakota V, VI; Hidatsa I; Arikara I.)
RIVER
Open the right hand and pass it before the mouth from above downwards.
ROSEBUD
Hold the fingers of the left hand straight, little separated, arranged in a circle, back to left and front; in front of body, index finger horizontal and pointing to right and front; with right hand make as though picking berries from the left finger tips.
SAD
(Heart on the ground) Lay the right compressed hand on the heart, pointing down; then throw it forward and down, ending the sign with the flat hand very low, palm up, near the ground.
SANTEE-SIOUX
Draw the right G finger across the throat
SATISFIED
The right hand, extended horizontally, palm downward, is held in front of and near or touching the throat, and is then moved forward a few inches. This denotes a comfortable feeling of fullness of satisfaction; but to indicate the more intense feelings of being cloyed or glutted the hand may be held at the chin or at the mouth, the sign being otherwise unchanged. These signs may be used to denote satiety from other causes besides eating and drinking. (Mandan and Hidatsa I.)
SCATTERED
Swing closed right to left, there opening to 5 so palm is to left and forward; then same movement with hand opened to right, each time in a graceful sweep.
SEE
Place the fore and middle fingers (of the right hand usually), separated, extended, and pointing outward, in front of the eyes, indicating the direction of supposed lines of sight. (Arapaho I.)

With the index and middle fingers of the right hand extended, and their ends separated about two inches, point forward at the height of the eyes, the other fingers to be closed and the thumb on them, back of hand upward. Hold the hand still or move it forward a few inches. (Dakota IV.) "Two eyes."

SHORT-DISTANCE
Hold the right hand as for FAR-AWAY, and place it in front of the right breast and close to it. (Dakota IV.)

FAR-AWAY
From an upright position just in front of the right shoulder and a little above it, palm forward, fingers relaxed and thumb against the index, move the right hand forward and upward through an arc to arm's length and to the height of the head, gradually turning the palm downward. Or with the fingers at right angles with the palm, pointing toward the left and their backs forward, thumb in palm, move the right hand from the right shoulder forward and upward to arm's length. The left hand, its back forward to be held in front of the right breast. (Dakota IV.)

SHORT-IN-TIME
The right index extended and pointing obliquely upward (K), is held ten or twelve inches in front of the breast, then the hand is turned horizontal, back upward, and drawn slowly inward to the body, fingers pointing toward the left and obliquely downward. (Dakota I.) "A short distance in time."
SHOT
---------Struck by a deadly missile.
The left hand is held before the chest at a convenient distance, thumb upward, back outward, fingers slightly bent, and is struck in the palm with the back of the clinched right fist. (Mandan and Hidatsa I.)
SIBLING
The two first finger-tips are put into the mouth, denoting that they fed from the same breast. (Burton.)

Place the fore and middle fingers in the mouth, thus implying nursing at the breast by a common mother. (Arapaho I.)

Tips of the fore and middle fingers of the right hand placed between nostrils and mouth; brought with a sudden curved motion forward, outward, and obliquely to the right expresses relationship between children of same father and mother; must be preceded by the sign MAN or WOMAN, to specify brother or sister. (Cheyenne I.)

SIOUX
Draw the right G finger across the throat
SIT
Hold the right A hand in front of and a little lower than right shoulder, back to right; move the hand emphatically downward a few inches.
SMALL
The extended forefinger of the left hand (usually erected) is pinched near its extremity between the thumb and index-finger of the right hand. The degree of smallness is to some extent shown by the height of that portion of the left forefinger which appears above the right thumbnail. For extra demonstration the eyes are often partly closed and the forefinger pinched tightly (Mandan and Hidatsa I.)
SPEAK
Hold right hand under mouth, index and thumb tips together, pointing forward, and move slightly forward, snapping the index from behind the thumb two or three times.
SPEAKING
Place the flat right hand, palm up, fingers pointing to the left, a short distance before the chin, and move it forward. This is sometimes repeated three or four times. (Dakota VI, VII.)

The right hand, not very rigidly extended, palm upward, thumb forward, is held in contact with the lower lip; it is then moved forward a few inches, and restored to its original position. These motions are repeated once or oftener. (Mandan and Hidatsa I.)

STEAL
Left hand held about a foot in front of the breast, horizontal, back outward, fingers extended and pointing toward the right; then the right hand, with the fingers extended, hooked, tips outward, hand horizontal, is passed outward under the left hand, and quickly drawn backward again behind the left hand, as though seizing and subsequently concealing the article. (Dakota I.) "Stealing and concealment."
STRIKE-CAMP
Sign Tepee, holding the hands face high; drop the hands together for a foot with energy.
SUDDEN
Hold out the flat left hand, back to left. Bring the flat right hand, back to right, several inches in rear of and slightly to right of left, pointing to front and downward; carry right hand swiftly past left and close to it, and as it passes, by wrist action, raise the hand so that fingers will point upward and in front, making a curve; at the same time, draw back the left a little.
SUN
The thumb and finger, forming a circle, elevated in front toward the face. (Dunbar.)

The forefinger and thumb are brought together at tips so as to form a circle, and held up toward the sun's track. (Long.)

SURPRISE
The right hand, palm inward, with the fingers slightly bent, is placed over the mouth in such a way as to leave the lips free to articulate. The index rests on the upper lip, but the palm does not touch the mouth. The thumb commonly rests against the right side of the nose, and one or more finger-tips on the face to the left of the mouth. While the hand is thus held, low groans, exclamations, or expressions of surprise are uttered. (Mallery 1880-1894, Smithsonian collections #2374)
TAKE
Left arm and hand held diagonally to the body on level with elbow, right-hand forefinger hooked, quickly drawn under left hand and back to the side (sometimes all the fingers are hooked as though grabbing something or tearing it away). (Cheyenne I.)
TAKE-PRISONER
Reach out the G hand, hook the index and draw it toward you, in and upward, as though pulling a strong up and back, then clinch the fists and cross the wrists as though bound, and press down a little.
THINK
Right hand carried to the left breast, with the fore and second fingers extended, pointing downward, obliquely toward the left, back outward (N, turned obliquely downward), make several outward and inward movements of the extended fingers only. (Dakota I.) "'Stop! let me think.' The heart is regarded as the seat of all the functions of life, hence the sign of thinking from that organ."
TIE-UP
Make a circular motion around, over, and above the left hand- held in front of breast- with the right hand, with thumb and forefinger extended, crooked and meeting (other fingers closed), back of hand upward, of closed fingers outward, and then pass the right hand under the left, with thumb and forefinger separated and drawn inward or backward again as though having seized hold of something and pulling hard on it, which the right hand is dropped downward.
TIPI (LODGE, WIGWAM)
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 for "skin lodge" is the same with all the Upper Missouri Indians. (Matthews.)

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

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

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

Place the tips of the fingers of both hands together in front of the breast, with the wrists some distance apart, as in the outlines of the letter A. (Dakota V.)

With both hands flat and extended, pointing upward, palms facing, place the tips of both together, allowing the wrists to be about three or four inches apart. (Shoshoni and Banak I.) "Outline of the lodge-poles with covering."

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, Wynadot I, Shoshoni and Banak I.) "From its exterior outline."

Tipi is the preferred word with the Sioux. Wigwam is not know. Both hands carried to the front of the breast and placed V-shaped, with the palms looking toward each other, edge of fingers outward, thumbs inward. (Dakota I.) "From the tipi."

Fingers of both hands extended and separated; then interlace them so that the tips of one hand protrude beyond the backs of those of the opposing one; hold the hands in front of the breast, leaving the wrists about six inches apart. (Dakota VII; Hidatsa I; Arikara 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 chests, 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 from to meet, in which the fingers are brought from their respective sides instead of upward to form gesture."

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.)

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 opposite; the wrist 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."

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. (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."

---------COMING OUT OF A
Same as the sign for LODGE, ENTERING A, only the fingers of the right hand point obliquely upward after passing under the left hand. (Dakota I.) "Coming out from under cover."

---------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 side of it. The left hand here represents the low door of the skin lodge and the right the man stooping 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.) 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. In the same tribes now, 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.

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 I.)

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-finger underneath the left - forward and slightly upward beyond it (Dakota V; Absaroka I; 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."

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 towards 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."

---------MOVING AWAY A
Hold the hands as for LODGE and push them forward a foot or eighteen inches. (Dakota IV.)

---------MOVING THIS WAY A
Hold the hands as in the sign for LODGE and draw them toward you. (Dakota IV.)

---------TAKING DOWN A
Make the sign for LODGE and quickly throw the hands outward, at the same time opening all of the fingers. (Dakota IV.)

---------GREAT COUNCIL
Make the sign for LODGE; then place both hands somewhat bent, palms facing about ten inches apart, and pass them upward from the waist as high as the face. (Hidatsa I; Arikara I.)

TIRED
Hold out G hands, backs up, six inches apart, drop them and draw them to you a little.
TOGETHER
Press the palms of the flat hands together two or three times, swinging them apart and together once or twice, so the tips describe six-inch vertical circles going down on the outside and up on the inside of each.
TRUE
If one finger is thrust forward in a straight line from the mouth, it means a straight speech, or speaking the truth. (Ojibwa I.)

Lower the hand in front of the breast, then extend the index-finger, raise and move it straight upward before the person.

TWO-KETTLE-SIOUX
Draw the right G finger across the throat
WHIRLWIND
With flat right hand, back to the right and level with the right shoulder, make a spiral upward. A very small one for a little dust whirlwind, and a large violent one for a dangerous cyclone.
WHITE-MAN
Draw the opened right hand horizontally from left to right across the forehead a little above the eyebrows, the back of the hand to be upward and the fingers pointing toward the left. Or, close all the fingers except the index, and draw it across the forehead in the same manner. (Dakota IV.) "From the hats worn by the whites."

The extended forefinger of the right hand (M, turned inward) is drawn from the left side of the head around in front to the right side, about on a line with the brim of the hat, with back of hand outward. (Dakota I.) "From the wearing of a hat."

A finger passed across the forehead (Macgowan.)

WHITE-TAILED-DEER
The forefinger of the right hand is extended vertically, with the back toward the breast; it is then turned from side to side, to imitate the motion of the animal when he walks at his leisure. (Long.)
YES
Extend the right index, the thumb against it, nearly close the other fingers, and from a position about a foot in front of the right breast, bend the hand from the wrist downward until the end of the index has passed about six inches through an arc. Some at the same time move the hand forward a little. (Dakota IV.) "A nod; the hand representing the head and the index the nose."

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This website was developed by Jeffrey Davis with support from a 2006-2007 research fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities and National Science Foundation for Documenting Endangered Languages (DEL). Hand talk: Sign Language among American Indian Nations is copyright Jeffrey Davis.