Discourses – Lean Wolf’s Complaint – Sign Language

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Native American Records

The following remarks were obtained by Dr. W.J. Hoffman from Tce-caq-a-daq-a-qic (Lean Wolf), chief of the Hidatsa Indians of Dakota Territory, who visited Washington in 1880:

Four years ago the American people agreed to be friends with us, but they lied. That is all.

(1) Place the closed hand, with the thumb resting over the middle of the index, on the left side of the forehead, palmar side down, then draw the thumb across the forehead to the right, a short distance beyond the head—white man, American, Fig. 329.

Fig 329
Fig 329

(2) Place the naturally extended hand, fingers and thumb slightly separated and pointing to the left, about fifteen inches before the right side of the body, bringing it to within a short distance—with us, Fig. 330.

Fig. 330
Fig. 330

(3) Extend the flat right hand to the front and right as if about to grasp the hand of another individualfriend, friends, Fig. 331. For remarks connected with this sign see pp. 384-386.

Fig. 331
Fig. 331

(4) Place the flat right hand, with fingers only extended, back to the front, about eighteen inches before the right shoulder—four [years], Fig. 332.

Fig. 332
Fig. 332

(5) Close the right hand, leaving the index and second fingers extended and slightly separated, place it, back forward, about eight inches before the right side of the body, and pass it quickly to the left in a slightly downward curve—lie, Fig. 333.

Fig. 333
Fig. 333

(6) Place the clinched fists together before the breast, palms down, then separate them in a curve outward and downward to their respective sides— – done, finished, “that is all”, Fig. 334.

Fig. 334
Fig. 334

MLA Source Citation:

Sign Language Among North American Indians Compared with that Among Other Peoples and Deaf-Mutes. 1881 AccessGenealogy.com. Web. 31 January 2015. http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/discourses-lean-wolfs-complaint-sign-language.htm - Last updated on Jan 5th, 2014

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