Saturday, June 3, 2023

William Dunbar, Esq & PISL


This was my first attempt to try to do a Tik Tok video with some effects. As a result, I messed signs up and even my word choices. Esquire is known to me as lawyer, but it turns out that a nobleman is also esquire, thus William is not a lawyer.

I haven’t read all the books that I have on Plains Indian Sign Language (PISL) yet, so I haven’t seen all there is on the subject. But I saw this little tid-bit today and had fun attempting to emulate the words with my hands. I exaggerated DEER—I was worrying about the puff too much. The butt of the hand should stop at the head. CLEAR reminds me off innocence, like “Look, no blood on my hands.” The head of duck should be rounded a bit more. At the end, I signed a more American Sign Language (ASL) PLAINS and then did “TALK HAND” instead of HAND TALK because it was a video and things don’t always come out correctly. LOL.

Having been involved in ASL for decades, I do realize signs are different from one region to another, as well as from group to group. A book could exist with the HORSE signed with one hand and the right hand at that, but I just haven’t found it yet. (Right now, I’m still working on West’s dissertation.) So, a young boy who signs HORSE one way may run into old timers eight decades later and they may also sign it that way. I just find old papers interesting.  I was aware that Dunbar was "West" with his investigations of Amerindian signs. I knew that Ohio was considered West in 1800. Well, he was West of the Mississippi River near Natchez and this is most likely signs from the Caddoans.

Also, having witnessed about four changes with ASL since I started and how young people can be hostile with old-timers by not using the “right” sign, I am just stating that people are not wrong just because they sign differently to others.

 ASL Cop

Another video.

A book about Dunbar.

Another letter from Dunbar from 1800.

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