ASL (Ancient Sign Language)

Robert Bonville

New Member
Good Morning, I am a newbee and need a lot of help using this forum. I have recently published a book that takes place in Polynesia/South America circa 1000 AD. One of the main characters is a deaf Polynesian man who becomes the salvation of his friends and crew members of a deep sea sailing canoe that circumnavigates the Pacific. In the story I put forth a theory that basically stated says; deaf peoples 1000 years ago posessed the skill of "hand talking" and had the ability to communicate with deaf of different races, ethnic groups, and geographic locations/languages. I would like to propose a disussion stream about this theory.
Thank You
Palolo Bob
 

dereksbicycles

Active Member
I have no experiences in those type of thing. If you do publish this book, I would like to read it. I think it would be an interesting story to reflect difference in Deaf history back then, and during Clerc era as compared to now.
 

Robert Bonville

New Member
Finally a response from someone. I was beginning to think I was doing something wrong, being my first time at this forum.
Thanks for the response. I actually did publish it. It came out Christmas Eve on Amazon.com in paperback and just yesterday I found out it is on Kindle too.
I took some liberties in writing the book in this regard but my theory evolved from the study of the origins and use of signing by the early american indians. In the story, the deaf character was born and raised on a rather small Polynesian island and essentially developed his own form of "Hand Talking" and tought his friends, who eventually made up many of the members of the crew of Malolo, the canoe that circumnavigated the Pacific 1000 years ago. I need some input from the deaf/hoh community as to their thoughts on the premise that ancient deaf peoples of different cultures/races could indeed find a way to communicate using sign language.
Palolo Bob
 

Robert Bonville

New Member
I apologize, but I am new to this forum and its format. Did I respond to your question earlier today regarding my post on Ancient Sign Language?
Thanks
Palolo Bob
 

Robert Bonville

New Member
Please forgive me, but I am new to this forum and may not have replied in the proper way. Did you receive a response from me earlier today with regard to the name of my book?
Thanks
Palolo Bob
 

Jens_Cats

New Member
I believe Native American "hand talking" is a completely different "animal" from sign language as used by the deaf/HoH. (that does not mean I think that deaf Native Americans don't use sign language.) I believe NA hand talking is a story telling device.

Your idea is an interesting one. I wish you success with the book. (I mean I hope a lot of people read it and get something out of it.)

Jen M.
 

Berry

New Member
Good Morning, I am a newbee and need a lot of help using this forum. I have recently published a book that takes place in Polynesia/South America circa 1000 AD. One of the main characters is a deaf Polynesian man who becomes the salvation of his friends and crew members of a deep sea sailing canoe that circumnavigates the Pacific. In the story I put forth a theory that basically stated says; deaf peoples 1000 years ago posessed the skill of "hand talking" and had the ability to communicate with deaf of different races, ethnic groups, and geographic locations/languages. I would like to propose a disussion stream about this theory.
Thank You
Palolo Bob

All sailors, prior to 1900, knew the value of pantomime and iconic signs to communicate with people whose language they did not speak.

This is from Christopher Columbus's logs, thanks to wikipedia.


Saturday, 13 October 1492: ...They brought us balls of the cotton thread and parrots and other little things which it would be tedious to list, and exchanged everything for whatever we offered them. I kept my eyes open and tried to find out if there was any gold, and I saw that some of them had a little piece hanging from a hole in their nose. I gathered from their signs that if one goes south, or around the south side of the island, there is a king with great jars full of it, enormous amounts. I tried to persuade them to go there, But I saw that the idea was not to their liking... Sunday, 14 October 1492: ...These people have little knowledge of fighting, as Your Majesties will see from the seven I have had captured to take away with us so as to teach them our language and return them, unless Your Majesties' orders are that they all be taken to Spain or held captive on the island itself, for with fifty men one could keep the whole population in subjection and make them do whatever one wanted.[2]
 

Robert Bonville

New Member
Berry, although this is almost 500 years after my story takes place, it does kind of support my theory. In my story I am talking about basically people that are stone age. But in all cultures deaf people existed, and they had to have some form of communication.
 

Bebonang

Active Member
All sailors, prior to 1900, knew the value of pantomime and iconic signs to communicate with people whose language they did not speak.

This is from Christopher Columbus's logs, thanks to wikipedia.


Saturday, 13 October 1492: ...They brought us balls of the cotton thread and parrots and other little things which it would be tedious to list, and exchanged everything for whatever we offered them. I kept my eyes open and tried to find out if there was any gold, and I saw that some of them had a little piece hanging from a hole in their nose. I gathered from their signs that if one goes south, or around the south side of the island, there is a king with great jars full of it, enormous amounts. I tried to persuade them to go there, But I saw that the idea was not to their liking... Sunday, 14 October 1492: ...These people have little knowledge of fighting, as Your Majesties will see from the seven I have had captured to take away with us so as to teach them our language and return them, unless Your Majesties' orders are that they all be taken to Spain or held captive on the island itself, for with fifty men one could keep the whole population in subjection and make them do whatever one wanted.[2]

That is terrible. :(
 

Robert Bonville

New Member
Bebonang, I agree. I guess in some societies, even back then deaf people were shunned. In my story, the character that was deaf embraced his disability and so did his circle of family and friends. His skill at hand talking was looked on by his friends as something unique and special, something they wanted to learn, and they did.
Palolo Bob
 

Buffalo

Active Member
I am thinking of the book "Hanta Yo" by Ruth Beebe Hill. In it, different tribes spoke different languages but use (maybe universal) sign language to communicate with those from different tribes/languages. Nothing to do with the deaf.
 
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