Featured Book: Chirologia

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

and Sorrow.

Read the text here.


More on the history of Chirologia at PDR

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s