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Abandon-All Right

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GRASS.  Hold the hands, back downwards arms extended downwards to full length, in front of body, fingers extended, separated and slightly curved, pointing upwards; then swing hands apart.

GRAVE.  Make signs for DIE and BURY.

GRAY (meaning: white and black). Make the signs for WHITE, LITTLE, BLACK, LITTLE, or make sign for COLOR and point to something gray.

GREAT.  With palms toward each other bring extended hands out in front of breast; then separate the hands to right and left.

GREAT MYSTERY. Make the signs for MEDICINE and GREAT.

GREEN. Make the sign for COLOR; then point to the grass if convenient, otherwise to something green.

GRIEVE.  Make sign for CRY, and for cutting off hair.

GROW.  Hold right hand, back down, index extended, and pointing upwards, in front of body; hand held near the ground; raise hand by gentle jerks.

GUN. Make as though shooting gun, then add sign for FIRE.   For rifle add working of lever.


HAIL.  Make the sign for RAIN, for COLD; then indicate size of hailstones with curved index and thumb of right hand.

HAIR.  To denote hair of human being, touch hair of head.

HALF.  Hold flat left hand out in front of breast with back out; lay lower edge of right hand on upper edge of left, resting at knuckle of left index, back to right and front, fingers extending, touching; move right hand to right and outwards.

HALF BREED (meaning: half of body one kind, half of another).   Place flat right hand upwards, in center of breast, little finger near breast; move hand one foot to left, then back and one foot to right.  Have seen Sioux make the sign "One-half Indian, one-half white man."

HALT.  Hold flat right hand palm outward, in front of body, height of shoulders; move hand sharply to front and downwards, stopping it suddenly.   Some Indians raise the hand higher for emphasis.


HANG (to) (meaning: as pendant).  The left index is extended and held horizontally in front of body, other fingers closed, and the right index curved and hooked to it.

HAPPY. Make the sign for GLAD.

HARD. Hold out left hand palm, straight up; strike it with right fist two or three times.

HAT.  Bring right hand, back outwards, in front close to and a little above head, index and thumb spread and nearly horizontal, other fingers closed; lower the hand until thumb and index are about opposite the eyes; spread thumb and index, passing down close to forehead, index to left, thumb to right.

HATCHET.  Make signs for AXE and SMALL.

HAVE. Make the sign for POSSESSION.

HAWK.  Make the sign for BIRD; then hold partially compressed right hand a little higher and in front of right shoulder; move swiftly to front and down with slight curve up, imitating a hawk's dive through the air after its prey.

HE or HIM.  Point right index at person indicated.

HEADACHE.  Make the sign for SICK, by imitating throbbing in front of head.

HEAP. First indicate gathering in from the sides, then bring hands upwards in curve to show the shape.

HEAR.  Hold right cupped hand behind right car.

HEART.  Bring compressed right hand pointing downwards over heart.

HEAVEN.  Point upwards with right index, looking up with reverence. (Modern.)

HEAVY (meaning: cannot hold up).  Hold out flat hands in front of body, palms up; raise hands slightly and let them drop a few inches.

HELP.  Make the signs for WORK and WITH.

HER.  Point right index at person indicated.

HERE.  Make sign for SIT.

HIDE (to).  Hold out left flat hand, pointing oblique to right; hold right hand in same relative position, pointing at left hand; then pass right down under left.

HIGH.  Hold right flat hand, back up, in front of right shoulder; then raise or lower to height desired to be shown.

HILL.  Make the signs for MOUNTAIN and LITTLE.

HIS or HERS.  Point to person and make sign for POSSESSION.

HOLD.  Hold both hands, back out, with fingers spread; lay the fingers of one hand over the interstices of the other, as if to prevent anything passing through between the fingers; move the hands, held in this position , slightly to right and left, by elbow and shoulder action.

Universal Indian Sign Language






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Last modified: October 15, 2016.