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Abandon-All Right

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HOLE.   Make circle with thumb and index of both hands; then, holding left in position, press compressed right through hole.

HOMELY.  Pass palm of hand over face and make sign for BAD.

HONEST.  Make the sign for TRUE.

HORSE.  Hold left flat hand edgewise, back to left in front of left breast.  Some Indians to make the sign more emphatic place the right index and second fingers astride the left hand.  The sign used in illustration is most generally used.

HORSERACE.  Make sign for HORSE and for RACE.

HOSPITAL. Make signs for HOUSE, SICK, and MANY.  Some Indians make signs for HOUSE and MEDICINE.

HOT (meaning: rays of sun pressing down). Hold flat hands above head, few inches apart; then bring hands down and slightly towards head.

HOUSE (meaning: corner of log house).  With hands in front of body, interlace fingers near tips, fingers at right angles, horizontal.   This is the primitive sign for house, though Cheyennes frequently indicate shape of gable roof with both 5 hands pointing up.

HOW MANY.  Sign INTERROGATE or QUESTION; point left hand at 45 degree angle to right and front; then with index of right hand strike little finger and others in succession.  As fingers are struck they remain down.

HOW MUCH.  Expressed by HOW MANY.   How much money would be, how many dollars?


HUNGRY (meaning: cuts one in two).  Hold little finger edge of hand against center of body; then move to right and left as though cutting in two.

HUNT. Make sign for WOLF, that is bring 2 hand near eye and move it around.

HURRY.  Make the signs for WORK, and FAST.

HUSBAND.  Make the signs for MALE, and MARRY.


I (meaning: myself).  With right extended thumb touch center of breast.

ICE. Make signs for WATER, for COLD, and bring hands together as in FREEZE OVER.

ICICLE. Make sign for WATER, for COLD, and hold right index in front of body, pointing downward.

IMPOSSIBLE.  Make sign for CANNOT.

IMPRISON (meaning: seizing hold of).  Hold left fist, back to left, a little higher and in front of left shoulder; then seize left wrist with right hand and pull it some inches to right; then cross wrists in front of body, right on top, hands closed.

IN.  For a person "in my house," make signs for HOUSE and SIT.

INCREASE.  Hold hands out in front of body, palms toward each other, few inches apart, fingers pointing to front; separate hands and move them out and apart by gentle jerks.

INDIAN.  Hold the flat left:hand, back up, in front, and rub it from wrist to knuckles, back and forth, twice.


INFERIOR (meaning: in rank or influence).  Index fingers side by side, extended pointing upwards; one index to represent the inferior is held a little lower than the other.  For several persons inferior to one, right index is held a little higher than the extended fingers of left.

INJURE (meaning: doing evil to).  Referring to someone else, make signs for WORK and BAD.  Referring to one's self, make the signs for DO, TO ME, BAD.

INTERPRETER.  Make the signs for HE, TALKS, LITTLE, WHITE MAN, TALK and name particular language.

INTERROGATE. As this means QUESTION, the reader is referred to the explanation given under that head.

IRON. Make the sign for HARD and point to something metallic.

ISLAND. Form an incomplete circle with thumbs and indexes of both hands out in front of body, ends of thumbs and indexes an inch apart; leave left hand in position, and make sign for WATER with right hand; then with tips of compressed right hand draw a circle outside the circle first formed.

Universal Indian Sign Language






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Last modified: October 15, 2016.