Talking with Hands: Everything You Need To Start Signing Native American Hand Talk

Wellfleet Sept. 2023. 168p. ISBN 9781577153665. $24.99. REF
Hand Talk and its variations, now widely known as Plains Indian Sign Language (PISL), was a secondary form of communication for a dozen tribal nations in what is now the central United States. With this book, cultural educator and fourth-generation Hand Talk user Pahsetopah (who is of Osage, Cherokee, Muscogee Creek and Yuchi heritage) seeks to preserve and revitalize a communication form that was almost lost due to the influence of Indigenous boarding schools. A brief history and fundamentals (right hand conveys essential points; left adds complexity) lead into topical sections (animals; counting; time and tense; questions; phrases), accompanied by clear photos and descriptions of movements.
VERDICT An interesting and useful cultural resource, equally at home in a children’s reference section or for adults.
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