Chirologia, or The Naturall Language of the Hand
by John Bulwer
Held in Gallaudet University Library’s Deaf Collections and Archives, this tome contains the fruit of Dr. John Bulwer’s studies of human gesture. Chirologia, or The Naturall Language of the Hand, is the precursor to sign language and the research field of deaf studies.
Bulwer’s catalog of gestures were of some influence in its own time, reflected in the animations of popular stage actors. Its influence is still evident in British Sign Language used today.
Both Hands clasped and
wrung together, is an Action
convenient to manifest griefe
Read the text here.
More on the history of Chirologia at PDR