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WAR-DANCE.  Make the signs for WAR, and DANCE.

WARRIOR.  Make the signs for MAN, and WAR.

WASH.  Make the sign for WATER; then by motions imitate the act of washing.


WATCH. With thumb and index of left hand form a horizontal circle; then hold right index over same and move tip around the indicated circle; make sign for LOOK pointing at circle; make sign for KNOW, and for SUN-all of which indicates size of watch, movement of hands-by looking at same you will know where the Sun is.

WATER (meaning: drinking out of palm of hand). Hold the cupped right hand, back down, in front of and little above mouth; fingers pointing to left and upwards; then move hand downwards, turning palm towards mouth. At end of RIVER or LAKE some Indians make the sign of dipping a handful of water with right cupped hand, held waist high.

WE. Make the signs for I or ME and ALL.

WEAK. Make signs for STRONG and NO.

WHEN. Make the sign for QUESTION, for HOW MANY, and indicate whether SLEEPS, MOONS, or WINTERS.

WHERE (meaning: what point). Make the sign for QUESTION, then point with right index in different directions.

WHIP. With closed right hand strike from front to right and rear, as though riding a horse and whipping him with a quirt.

WHISKEY. Make the signs for FIRE and WATER.

WHITE.  Make the sign for COLOR; then rub with tip of right index the small segment at upper end of left thumb nail, or point to something white.

WHITES (meaning: cap wearers).  Hold right hand to left of face on level of eyes, back up, index pointing to left; draw hand over to right side, index finger passing across above the eyes.

WHITE MAN. Make the sign for WHITES and for MAN.

WHY. Make the sign for INTERROGATE or QUESTION, but turn the hand very slowly.

WICKEY-UP.  Hold hands several inches apart in front of body, indexes extended and lapping; from this position change the hands, back up, edges pointing to front, fingers separated and slightly curved, move hands downward on curve.

WIFE. Make the signs for FEMALE and MARRY.

WILD.  Make the sign for BY ITSELF.

WILL (meaning: I will).  Make the sign for PUSH.

WIND. Hold the hands with backs up, near body at height of shoulders, and with wavy motion move the hands in direction of the wind.

WINTER. Hold up the closed hands in front of body, forearms vertical, hands several inches apart; then give a shivering, tremulous motion to hands.   With most Indians, a year is called a winter, or one cold.


WISE  (meaning: heart and head both good). Make the sign for HEART, touch forehead, and make sign for GOOD.

WITH.  Hold flat left hand, back to left, in front; bring side of extended right index against center of left palm, index pointing to front.

WOLF.  Hold the right hand with palm outwards near right shoulder, first and second fingers extended and separated and pointing up; move the hand several inches to front and upwards.

WOMAN. Make the sign for FEMALE and indicate height.


WOOD. Make the signs for TREE and CHOP.

WOODPECKER.  Make the sign for BIRD; then hold left forearm about vertical in front of left shoulder; now bring partially compressed right hand and place it near elbow of left forearm, right side; move hand with a jump to left side; then to little higher up, showing manner of hopping around a tree; then lower left hand and tap palm several times with tip of curved index of right hand.

WORK. Bring flat hands in front of body edgewise, few inches apart, right hand higher and back of left; then raise and lower the hands by wrist action, to indicate working.

 WOUND. Hold right 1 hand in front of body; move hand briskly towards body, turning index finger to left or right so that it grazes surface of body.


WRAP. Bring slightly compressed hands, backs outward, in front of body, backs of fingers of right hand resting against palm of left, fingers horizontal; then move hands around each other in rotary motion.

WRITE. Hold flat left hand, back to front and down, out in front of body, fingers pointing to right; then as if with pencil between thumb and index of right hand, make as though writing on left palm.


YEAR. Make the sign for WINTER, for this year add sign for NOW.

YELLOW.  Make the sign for COLOR; then point to something Yellow.

YES (meaning: bowing the head and body). Hold right hand, back to right, in front of right breast, height of shoulder, index extended and pointing upwards, other fingers nearly closed, thumb resting on side of second finger; move the hand slightly to left and a little downwards, at same time closing index over thumb.

YESTERDAY.  Make sign for NIGHT; then, still holding left hand in position, sweep the right upwards and to right in a semi-circle, until it is at same height as left hand, terminating with back of hand down.

YOU.  Point right 1 hand at person addressed.

YOUR or YOURS. Point to person indicated and make sign for POSSESSION.

Universal Indian Sign Language






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Parent- Level Topic Links:
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Last modified: October 15, 2016.