Pack. Hold partially-compressed left hand, back to left, in front of body, fingers pointing to front, thumb extended and side pressed against palmar surface of index; bring partially-compressed right hand and place palm against left thumb, fingers pointing to front; raise the right hand and place palm against upper part of back of left, inner surface of fingers of right hand resting against back of these of left; raise hand and carry to first position, then raise and carry to second; these motions are executed briskly. The left hand here represents the animal, right the packs or bundles placed on each side, as well as the throwing of them into position. This sign is also used to express the idea of saddling an animal.
Deaf-mutes indicate the putting of things into a trunk or bag.
Long before the Indians had ponies the women packed their dogs, and the knack may almost be called an inherited quality. It requires great skill to properly pack an ordinary Indian load on any pony, and even with the greatest care sore-backed ponies are common.
Packing is woman's work, and as a consequence the men are not very proficient.
Paddle. Make sign for BOAT.
Deaf-mutes use the same sign.
Paint. Rub the cheeks and front of face with palm of right band, fingers extended.
Deaf-mutes rub or stroke the left palm with palm and back of extended right hand, much as a paint-brush is used in painting wood-work.
The Indians have, without much doubt, been called red men on account of the universal custom of painting their faces and bodies, and for this purpose they used fine clays containing different oxides of iron. Since the establishment of their trading stores they purchase these ochres to a great extent, but usually have some of a similar character which they have themselves found. Some advantages are claimed in the use of these paints as a protection against the rigors of climate, both the icy winters of the North and the torrid summers of the South, but it is also used because of their superstitions in regard to it, viz., that it is conducive to good luck, and that its original use was in obedience to the direct command of God. In applying it, an Indian puts a little ochre and grease in the palm of the hand, and then the palms are rubbed together to thoroughly mix and obtain the proper consistency; this is used for the "flat tints," and the stripings and fancy touches are put on afterwards. Some Indians take more kindly to a particular color, imagining that it gives better luck than another. When the paint is rubbed on the face the eyes are closed, so that the lids may have their full share, and it may be for this reason that some tribes pull
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Publication information: Book title: The Indian Sign Language. Contributors: W. P. Clark - Author. Publisher: University of Nebraska Press. Place of publication: Lincoln, NE. Publication year: 1982. Page number: 276.
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