Plains Indian Sign Language


Plains Indian Sign Language (PISL), also known as Plains Sign Talk,[6] Plains Sign Language and First Nation Sign Language,[1] is a trade language (or international auxiliary language), formerly trade pidgin, that was once the lingua franca across what is now central Canada, central and western United States and northern Mexico, used among the various Plains Nations.[7] It was also used for story-telling, oratory, various ceremonies, and by deaf people for ordinary daily use.[8] It is falsely believed to be a manually coded language or languages; however, there is not substantive evidence establishing a connection between any spoken language and Plains Sign Talk.

The name 'Plains Sign Talk' is preferred in Canada, with 'Indian' being considered pejorative by many. Hence, publications and reports on the language vary in naming conventions according to origin.

Plains Indian Sign Language
Plains Sign Talk
Hand Talk
First Nation Sign Language[1]
Langue des Signes Indienne des Plaines (in the Canadian province of Québec)
Lenguaje de Signos Indio de las Llanuras (in Mexico)
Native toCanada, Mexico, USA
RegionCentral Canada and United States including the Great Plains and the Rocky Mountains region; northern Mexico
EthnicityVarious North American Indigenous Peoples
Native speakers
Unknown (no date)[2]
75 users total (no date)[3]
Isolate, formerly a trade pidgin
  • Navajo Sign Language
  • Blackfoot Sign Language
  • Cree Sign Language
  • Ojibwa Sign Language
Official status
Official language in
Recognised minority
language in
Recognised as official in courts, education and legislative assembly of Ontario.[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3psd
US & Canada sign-language map (excl. ASL and LSQ)
  The attested historical range of Plains Sign Talk among other sign languages in the US and Canada (excl. ASL and LSQ).
Extracts of the films taken during the 1930 Conference on PISL conservation, showing signers from various tribes.
Plains Indian Sign Language - dec 28 1900
A 1900 newspaper illustration claiming to showcase several of the signs of Plains Indian Sign Language.


Plains Sign Talk's antecedents, if any, are unknown, due to lack of written records. But, the earliest records of contact between Europeans and Indigenous peoples of the Gulf Coast region in what is now Texas and northern Mexico note a fully formed sign language already in use by the time of the Europeans' arrival there.[9] These records include the accounts of Cabeza de Vaca in 1527 and Coronado in 1541.

As a result of several factors, including the massive depopulation and the Americanization of Indigenous North Americans, the number of Plains Sign Talk speakers declined from European arrival onward. In 1885, it was estimated that there were over 110,000 "sign-talking Indians", including Blackfoot, Cheyenne, Sioux, Kiowa and Arapaho.[10] By the 1960s, there remained a "very small percentage of this number".[10] There are few Plains Sign Talk speakers today in the 21st century.[11]

William Philo Clark, who served in the United States Army on the northern plains during the Indian Wars, was the author of The Indian Sign Language, first published in 1885. The Indian Sign Language with Brief Explanatory Notes of the Gestures Taught Deaf-Mutes in Our Institutions and a Description of Some of the Peculiar Laws, Customs, Myths, Superstitions, Ways of Living, Codes of Peace and War Signs is a comprehensive lexicon of signs, with accompanying insights into indigenous cultures and histories. It remains in print.


Sign language use has been documented across speakers of at least 37 spoken languages in twelve families,[12] spread across an area of over 2.6 million square kilometres (1 million square miles).[8][13] In recent history, it was highly developed among the Crow, Cheyenne, Arapaho and Kiowa, among others, and remains strong among the Crow, Cheyenne and Arapaho.

Signing may have started in the south, perhaps in northern Mexico or Texas, and only spread into the plains in recent times, though this suspicion may be an artifact of European observation. Plains Sign Talk spread to the Sauk, Fox, Potawatomi, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, and Caddo after their removal to Oklahoma. Via the Crow, it replaced the divergent Plateau Sign Language among the eastern nations that used it, the Coeur d'Alene, Sanpoil, Okanagan, Thompson, Lakes, Shuswap, and Coleville in British Columbia, with western nations shifting instead to Chinook Jargon.

Navajo Sign Language
Native toUnited States
Native speakers
unknown (1992)[14]
(deaf and hearing members)
Plains Sign Talk
  • Navajo Sign Language
Language codes
ISO 639-3None (mis)
Blackfoot Sign Language
Langue des Signes Blackfoot
(in the Canadian province of Québec)
Native toCanada, United States
Native speakers
unknown (2015)[15]
(deaf and hearing members)
Plains Sign Talk
  • Blackfoot Sign Language
Language codes
ISO 639-3None (mis)
Cree Sign Language
Langue des Signes Crie
(in the Canadian province of Québec)
Native toCanada, United States
Native speakers
unknown (2015)
(deaf and hearing members)
Plains Sign Talk
  • Cree Sign Language
Language codes
ISO 639-3None (mis)
Ojibwa Sign Language
Langue des Signes Ojibwa
(in the Canadian province of Quebec)
Native toCanada, United States
Native speakers
unknown (2015)
(deaf and hearing members)
Plains Sign Talk
  • Ojibwa Sign Language
Language codes
ISO 639-3None (mis)

The various nations with attested use, divided by language family, are:

A distinct form is also reported from the Wyandot of Ohio.

It is known that Navajo has a comparably sizeable population of individuals who can speak the Navajo dialect of Plains Sign Talk. There is also an unrelated sign language, Navajo Family Sign, in a clan of Navajos that has several deaf members.[14][16]

There exists a variety of Plains Sign Talk within the Blackfoot Confederacy. Little is known about the language beyond that it is used by Deaf community members, as well as by the community at large, to pass on "oral" traditions and stories.[15]


There are four basic parameters of Plains Sign Talk: the location of the hand, its movement, shape, and orientation:[17]

  • Location—this involves the spatial placement of a sign.[18] Signs may change meaning when placed in a different location, for example, in front of the face as opposed to in front of the torso.[19]
  • Movement—this involves, as implied, the way the hands move when forming the sign.[18] For example, in Plains Sign Talk, the signs AFTERNOON and MID-DAY form minimal pairs as they are both formed exactly the same, the only difference being that MID-DAY is stationary and AFTERNOON moves from above the head to the side in an arching motion.[13][20]
  • Handshape—as implied, each sign takes on a certain shape in the hand, called a handshape. The handshapes of signs are a very key parameter. For example, the signs YES and I-KNOW are the same in all parameters except for the handshape; in YES the hand makes the Plains Sign Talk J shape, and in I-KNOW the hand takes the L shape.[13]
  • Orientation—this refers to the orientation of the palm.[18] This is clearly seen in the Plains Sign Talk words ABOVE and ADD. Both involve having the left hand act as a base from which the right hand rises, and both have the same location, movement, and handshapes; however, in ABOVE, the non-dominant hand is palm down, and in ADD the non-dominant hand is palm up.[20]

There may be other parameters, such as facial features. However, these function like suprasegmentals, and the four parameters listed above are the crucial ones.[18]

Although the parameters of sign are listed separately below, in actuality they co-occur with the other parameters to make a single sign.[18] It is not clear how many of the differences were distinctive (phonemic).


The Bureau of American Ethnology published a glossary of Plains Sign Talk words that illustrates the handshapes involved.[21] They assigned them alphabetic letters.

  • Fist, thumb in front of fingers (A or B)
  • Fist, thumb at side of fingers (C)
  • Fingers clenched, thumb touching middle of index finger (D)
  • Fingers hooked, thumb touching back tip of index finger (E)
  • Fingers hooked, thumb at side of fingers (F)
  • Fingers hooked, thumb touching tips of fingers (G)
  • Fingers slightly bent, thumb at side tip of index finger (H)
  • Fist, except index finger forming hook with thumb holding tip of index finger (I)
  • Fist, except index finger fully extended (J, K, or M)
  • Fist, except index finger and thumb extended, thumb bends at last joint to form 90 degree angle with index finger (L)
  • Fist except index and middle fingers fully extended (N)
  • Thumb, index, and middle finger pointing upward and separated, ring finger and pinky curved horizontally (O)
  • All fingers and thumb pointing upward and separated, palm cupped (P and Q)
  • All fingers and thumb fully extended and separated (R)
  • All fingers and thumb fully extended and held together (S and T)
  • Fingers gathered to a point, palm cupped, with thumb in the middle (U)
  • Fingers slightly bent, thumb at side of index finger (V)
  • All fingers and thumb extended, relaxed (Y)


Plains Sign Talk uses the following locations. The various neutral spaces are the most common places for signs to occur.[19]

  • Left side of torso
  • Right side of torso
  • Neutral space (centered in front of torso)
  • Upper neutral space
  • Lower neutral space
  • Left neutral space
  • Right neutral space
  • Mouth
  • Nose
  • Chin front
  • Below chin
  • Cheek
  • Eye
  • Below nose (above mouth)
  • Forehead
  • Head top (attached to top of head)
  • Head side (attached to head above ear)
  • Head back (attached to back of head)
  • Side of head right (space to the right side of head)
  • Side of head left (space to the left side of head)
  • Side of head front right (space in front of head on the right)
  • Side of head front left (space in front of head on the left)
  • Above head
  • Ear (attached to head at ear)
  • Beside ear (space beside ear)
  • Wrist
  • Palm front
  • Palm back
  • Left side of hand
  • Right side of hand
  • Below hand
  • Above hand
  • Fingers
  • Before face (space in front of face)
  • Chest
  • Chest right
  • Chest left
  • Elbow
  • Forearm
  • Shoulder
  • Feet


These are the directions towards which the palm can face.[19]

  • Up
  • Down
  • Non-dominant side
  • Dominant side
  • Toward signer
  • Away from signer


The movements below are found in Plains Sign Talk. They may be repeated in certain situations.[19]

  • Stationary (no movement)
  • Downward
  • Upward
  • Forward
  • Backward
  • Toward dominant side
  • toward non-dominant side
  • Upward arch
  • Downward arch
  • Backward arch
  • Forward arch
  • Toward dominant side arch
  • Toward non-dominant side arch
  • Diagonal up and right
  • Diagonal up and left
  • Diagonal down and right
  • Diagonal down and left
  • Rotating
  • Vertical circle
  • Horizontal circle


As most Native American languages lacked an indigenous alphabetic tradition, and as Plains Indian Sign Language was widely understood among different tribes, a written, graphic transcription of these signs is known to have functioned as a medium of communication between Native Americans on and off reservations during the period of American colonization, removal, and forced schooling in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.[22] The letter of a Kiowa student, Belo Cozad, in 1890 sent to Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania from his parents on a reservation in Oklahoma made use of such signs and becomes one of the only known indigenous written transcriptions of the Kiowa language.

See also


  1. ^ a b c Province of Ontario (2007). "Bill 213: An Act to recognize sign language as an official language in Ontario".
  2. ^ Plains Indian Sign Language at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  3. ^ Plains Indian Sign Language at Ethnologue (19th ed., 2016)
  4. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Plains Indian Sign Language". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  5. ^
  6. ^ Darin Flynn. "Canadian Languages". University of Calgary. Retrieved August 8, 2015.
  7. ^ "Native American Hand Talkers Fight to Keep Sign Language Alive". Retrieved 2019-03-19.
  8. ^ a b McKay-Cody, Melanie Raylene (1998), "Plains Indian Sign Language: A comparative study of alternative and primary signers", in Carroll, Cathryn (ed.), Deaf Studies V: Toward 2000--Unity and Diversity, Washington DC: Gallaudet University Press, ISBN 1893891097
  9. ^ Wurtzburg, Susan, and Campbell, Lyle. "North American Indian Sign Language: Evidence for its Existence before European Contact," International Journal of American Linguistics, Vol. 61, No. 2 (Apr., 1995), pp. 153-167.
  10. ^ a b Tomkins, William. Indian sign language. [Republication of "Universal Indian Sign Language of the Plains Indians of North America" 5th ed. 1931]. New York : Dover Publications 1969. (p. 7)
  11. ^ "Plains Indian Sign Language".
  12. ^ Davis, Jeffrey. 2006. "A historical linguistic account of sign language among North American Indian groups." In Multilingualism and Sign Languages: From the Great Plains to Australia; Sociolinguistics of the Deaf community, C. Lucas (ed.), Vol. 12, pp. 3–35. Washington, DC: Gallaudet University Press
  13. ^ a b c Davis, Jeffrey E. (2010), Hand talk: Sign language among American Indian nations, Cambridge UK: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-69030-0
  14. ^ a b Supalla, Samuel J. (1992). The Book of Name Signs. p. 22.
  15. ^ a b "Language". Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park. Retrieved October 5, 2015.
  16. ^ Davis, Jeffrey; Supalla, Samuel (1995). "A Sociolinguistic Description of Sign Language Use in a Navajo Family". In Ceil, Lucas (ed.). Sociolinguistics in Deaf Communities. Gallaudet University Press. pp. 77–106. ISBN 978-1-563-68036-6.
  17. ^ Bergmann et al,2007, pp. 79-86
  18. ^ a b c d e Bergmann et al,2007
  19. ^ a b c d Cody, 1970
  20. ^ a b Tomkins,1969
  21. ^ Bureau of American ethnology,1881
  22. ^ "Who put Native American sign language in the US mail? - OUPblog". 9 May 2018.
  • Bergmann, Anouschka; Kathleen Currie Hall; Sharon Miriam Ross. "Language Files". USA. Ohio State University, 2007.
  • Bureau of American ethnology. "Annual report of the Bureau of American ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian institution". Washington, DC. Government printing office, 1881.
  • Cody, Iron Eyes. "Indian Talk". CA. Naturegraph Publishers, Inc, 1970.
  • Davis, Jeffrey E. "Hand Talk". USA. Cambridge University Press, 2010.
  • Tomkins, William. "Indian Sign Language". Toronto, Ontario. Dover Publications, Inc, 1969

Further reading

External links

Australian Aboriginal sign languages

Many Australian Aboriginal cultures have or traditionally had a manually coded language, a signed counterpart of their oral language. This appears to be connected with various speech taboos between certain kin or at particular times, such as during a mourning period for women or during initiation ceremonies for men, as was also the case with Caucasian Sign Language but not Plains Indian Sign Language, which did not involve speech taboo, or deaf sign languages, which are not encodings of oral language. There is some similarity between neighboring groups and some contact pidgin similar to Plains Indian Sign Language in the American Great Plains.

Sign languages appear to be most developed in areas with the most extensive speech taboos: the central desert (particularly among the Warlpiri and Warumungu), and western Cape York. Complex gestural systems have also been reported in the southern, central, and western desert regions, the Gulf of Carpentaria (including north-east Arnhem Land and the Tiwi Islands), some Torres Strait Islands, and the southern regions of the Fitzmaurice and Kimberley areas. Evidence for sign languages elsewhere is slim, but they have been noted as far south as the south coast (Jaralde Sign Language) and there are even some accounts from the first few years of the 20th century of the use of sign by people from the south west coast. However, many of the codes are now extinct, and very few accounts have recorded any detail.

Reports on the status of deaf members of such Aboriginal communities differ, with some writers lauding the inclusion of deaf people in mainstream cultural life, while others indicate that deaf people do not learn the sign language and, like other deaf people isolated in hearing cultures, develop a simple system of home sign to communicate with their immediate family. However, an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander dialect of Auslan exists in Far North Queensland (extending from Yarrabah to Cape York), which is heavily influenced by the indigenous sign languages and gestural systems of the region.

Sign languages were noted in north Queensland as early as 1908 (Roth). Early research into indigenous sign was done by the American linguist La Mont West, and later, in more depth, by English linguist Adam Kendon.

Beothuk language

The Beothuk language ( or ), also called Beothukan, was spoken by the indigenous Beothuk people of Newfoundland. The Beothuk have been extinct since 1829 and there are few written accounts of their language, so little is known about it.

Ditidaht language

Ditidaht (also Nitinaht, Nitinat, Southern Nootkan) is a South Wakashan (Nootkan) language spoken on the southern part of Vancouver Island. Nitinaht is related to the other South Wakashan languages, Makah and the neighboring Nuu-chah-nulth.

Hän language

The Hän language (also known as Dawson, Han-Kutchin, Moosehide; ISO 639-3 haa) is a Northern Athabaskan language spoken by the Hän Hwëch'in (translated to people who live along the river, sometimes anglicized as Hankutchin). Hän is spoken primarily in two places, each with their own dialect: the village of Eagle, Alaska in the United States and the town of Dawson City, Yukon Territory in Canada, though there are also Hän speakers in the nearby city of Fairbanks, Alaska.Hän is in the Northern Athabaskan subgrouping of the Athabaskan-Eyak-Tlingit language family. It is most closely related to Gwich'in and Upper Tanana.


Inuinnaqtun (IPA: [inuinːɑqtun]; natively meaning like the real human beings/peoples), is an indigenous Inuit language of Canada and a dialect of Inuvialuktun. It is related very closely to Inuktitut, and some scholars, such as Richard Condon, believe that Inuinnaqtun is more appropriately classified as a dialect of Inuktitut. The governments of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut recognise Inuinnaqtun as an official language in addition to Inuktitut. The Official Languages Act of Nunavut, passed by the Senate of Canada on June 11, 2009, recognized Inuinnaqtun as one of the official languages of Nunavut.Inuinnaqtun is used primarily in the communities of Cambridge Bay and Kugluktuk in the western Kitikmeot Region of Nunavut. Outside Nunavut, it is spoken in the hamlet of Ulukhaktok, where it is also known as Kangiryuarmiutun. It is written using the Roman orthography.

Isabel Crawford

Isabel Alice Hartley Crawford (May 26, 1865–November 18, 1961) was a Baptist missionary who worked with the Kiowa people in the Oklahoma Territory. Crawford, who had lost most of her hearing due to an illness, communicated with the Kiowa using Plains Indian sign language. She lived among the Kiowa for about eleven years, sharing their lives and helping them build their first church and, when she died, she was buried in their cemetery.

Keresan Sign Language

Keresan Sign Language, also known as Keresan Pueblo Indian Sign Language (KPISL) or Keresign, is a village sign language spoken by many of the inhabitants of a Keresan pueblo with a relatively high incidence of congenital deafness (the pueblo is not identified in sources, but the cited population suggests it is Zia Pueblo).

Keresan Sign Language developed locally, and is unrelated to the trade language Plains Indian Sign Language.

Labrador Inuit Pidgin French

Labrador Inuit Pidgin French, also called Belle Isle Pidgin, was a French-lexified pidgin spoken between Breton and Basque fishermen and the Inuit of Labrador from the late 17th century until about 1760.

Lingua franca

A lingua franca ( (listen); lit. Frankish tongue), also known as a bridge language, common language, trade language, auxiliary language, vehicular language, or link language is a language or dialect systematically used to make communication possible between groups of people who do not share a native language or dialect, particularly when it is a third language that is distinct from both of the speakers' native languages.Lingua francas have developed around the world throughout human history, sometimes for commercial reasons (so-called "trade languages" facilitated trade), but also for cultural, religious, diplomatic, and administrative convenience, and as a means of exchanging information between scientists and other scholars of different nationalities. The term is taken from the medieval Mediterranean Lingua Franca, a Romance-based pidgin language used (especially by traders and seamen) as a lingua franca in the Mediterranean Basin from the 11th to the 19th century. A world language – a language spoken internationally and by a large number of people – is a language that may function as a global lingua franca.

List of Canadian English dictionaries

List of Canadian English dictionaries:

Canadian Oxford Dictionary ISBN 0195418166

Collins Canadian Dictionary ISBN 0007337523

A Dictionary of Canadianisms on Historical Principles ISBN 0771519761

Gage Canadian Dictionary ISBN 0771519818

Houghton Mifflin Canadian Dictionary ISBN 0395296544

ITP Nelson Canadian Dictionary ISBN 0176065911

Penguin Canadian Dictionary ISBN 0773050078

Reader's Digest Webster's Canadian Dictionary and Thesaurus ISBN 1554750520

Websters Canadian Dictionary ISBN 1596951311

Winston Canadian Dictionary ISBN 0176425691

Maritime Sign Language

Maritime Sign Language (MSL), is a sign language descended from British Sign Language and used in Canada's Atlantic provinces. It was created through the convergence of deaf communities from the Northeastern United States and the United Kingdom immigrating to Canada throughout the 1700s and 1800s. It is unknown the extent to which this language is spoken today, though there are linguistic communities found across the Atlantic provinces. MSL is being supplanted by American Sign Language (ASL) resulting in fewer MSL speakers and a lack of resources (education, interpretation, etc.) for MSL speakers.

The dialect of ASL currently used in the Maritimes exhibits some lexical influence from MSL. ASL is now the main language that is used by the Deaf community in Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Due to the expansion of ASL, there are fewer than 100 MSL users.

Naskapi language

Naskapi (also known as Iyuw Iyimuun in the Naskapi language) is an Algonquian language spoken by the Naskapi in Quebec and Labrador, Canada. It is written in Eastern Cree syllabics.

The term Naskapi is chiefly used to describe the language of the people living in the interior of Quebec and Labrador in or around Kawawachikamach, Quebec. Naskapi is a "y-dialect" that has many linguistic features in common with the Northern dialect of East Cree, and also shares many lexical items with the Innu language.

Although there is a much closer linguistic and cultural relationship between Naskapi and Innu than between Naskapi and other Cree language communities, Naskapi remains unique and distinct from all other language varieties in the Quebec-Labrador peninsula.

Nicola language

Nicola is an extinct Athabascan language formerly spoken in the Similkameen and Nicola Countries of British Columbia by the group known to linguists and ethnographers as the Nicola people, although that name in modern usage refers to an alliance of Interior Salishan bands living in the same area. Almost nothing is known of the language. The available material published by Franz Boas required only three pages. What the Nicola called themselves and their language is unknown. The Salishan-speaking Thompson language Indians who absorbed them (today's Nicola people, in part) refer to them as the [stuwix] "the strangers".

So little is known of the language that beyond the fact that it is Athabascan it cannot be classified. Some linguists have suggested that it is merely a displaced dialect of Chilcotin, but the evidence is too skimpy to allow a decision.

OK gesture

The OK or ring gesture (Unicode symbol U+1F44C "👌") is performed by connecting the thumb and index finger into a circle, and holding the other fingers straight or relaxed away from the palm. Commonly used by divers, it signifies "I am OK" or "Are you OK?" when underwater. In most English-speaking countries it denotes approval, agreement, and that all is well or "okay". In other contexts or cultures, this same gesture may have different meanings or connotations, including many that are negative, offensive, financial, numerical, devotional, or purely linguistic.

Sechelt language

The Sechelt language, Sháshíshálh or Shashishalhem (IPA: [ʃáʃíʃáɬəm]), is a Coast Salish language spoken by the Shishalh (Sechelt) people of southwestern British Columbia, Canada, centred on their reserve communities in the Sechelt Peninsula area of the Sunshine Coast.

In 1999, the language was spoken by fewer than 40 elderly people. A grammar of the language by linguist Ron Beaumont was published in 1985.They now only have 7 elderly/fluent speakers, but have many teachers that teach children from preschool all the way through till high school. UBC, Vancouver and Okanagan offers language courses, that give students the opportunity to learn various languages, Shashishalhem being one of the fewIn 2014, the Coastal Corridor Consortium, "an entity made up of board members from First Nations and educational partners to improve aboriginal access to and performance in postsecondary education and training", created a Sechelt Nation language certificate.Sechelt is most closely related to Squamish, Halkomelem, and the Nooksack.

Although endangered, the Sechelt people, with help from others, have reclaimed 603 phrases and 5659 words in total.

Sekani language

The Sekani language is a Northern Athabaskan language spoken by the Sekani people of north-central British Columbia, Canada.

Tahltan language

Tahltan is a poorly documented Northern Athabaskan language historically spoken by the Tahltan people (also "Nahanni") who live in northern British Columbia around Telegraph Creek, Dease Lake, and Iskut. Tahltan is a critically endangered language. Several linguists classify Tahltan as a dialect of the same language as Tagish and Kaska (Krauss and Golla 1981, Mithun 1999).


Tichkematse, also called "Squint Eyes" or Quchkeimus (1857-1932) (Cheyenne), was an artist and collector who worked for the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC between 1879 and 1881.He is known for his ledger art, begun in the period from 1875 to 1878 while he was held as a prisoner of war at Fort Marion in Florida. He continued to make ledger art after his release. His work is part of the Smithsonian Institution collection and it published a book of his drawings.

He also was known for his expertise as a collector of bird and mammal specimens, and Cheyenne crafts. During this period, he also worked with anthropologist Frank Hamilton Cushing in documenting Plains Indian Sign Language.

Official languages
Indigenous languages
Pidgins, creoles and mixed
Immigrant languages
Sign languages
Oral Indigenous
Manual Indigenous
Oral settler
Manual settler
Immigrant languages
(number of speakers
in 2010 in millions)
Languages of California
Languages of British Columbia
Official language
Oral Indigenous
Manual languages
Pidgins, creoles and mixed
Immigrant languages
Language families[a]
By region[a]

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