Italian Gestures

New York Times article details the origins and importance of Italian Gestures.

Far more than quaint folklore, gestures have a rich history. One theory holds that Italians developed them as an alternative form of communication during the centuries when they lived under foreign occupation — by Austria, France and Spain in the 14th through 19th centuries — as a way of communicating without their overlords understanding.

Another theory, advanced by Adam Kendon, the editor in chief of the journal Gesture, is that in overpopulated cities like Naples, gesturing became a way of competing, of marking one’s territory in a crowded arena. “To get attention, people gestured and used their whole bodies,” Ms. Poggi said, explaining the theory.

Andrea De Jorio, a 19th-century priest and archaeologist, discovered comparisons between the gestures used by the figures painted on ancient Greek vases found in the Naples area and the gestures used by his Neapolitan contemporaries.

Over the centuries, languages have evolved, but gestures remain. “Gestures change less than words,” Ms. Poggi said.

Louder Words

Looks like Hand It! will remain on hiatus. In the meantime, check out my new blog, Louder Words which is going to be a frequently updated look on life via poems, non-sequiters, short stories, micro fiction, and random musings written by The Bandit himself. If you enjoyed the content on Hand It!, please join me in support of this new project.

Thanks and have a great day.

The Next Iteration

The Bandit’s been in the workshop cutting, sawing, and sanding down a new version of Hand It!. WordPress and Tumblr are cool platforms which have allowed a steady stream of posts to all kinds of readers, but I’m interested in getting a website going that is driven by user-content to truly make this the “Wikipedia of Hand Gestures.”

For those interested, here is a prototype of Hand It’s evolution. It’s currently hosted on my college’s servers, so it may be removed at a later date in order to free up space for new students. The homepage would feature one submitted gesture for a period of 2/3 days before moving to the archives. Submitting will be done by email and checking new content would be as simple as logging into the homepage. All submissions will be considered and curated by your beloved Bandit, in order to keep it as clean and fun as possible.

From a design standpoint, I wanted to highlight the content, so I opted for a minimal aesthetic. zenhabits.net was a big inspiration. The world and web are cluttered enough already, checking Hand It! should be as calmingly humorous as a monk tickling your belly.

Any and all feedback is more than appreciated, so please comment, message me, or email handitbandit@gmail.com with anything you have to say, spit, or yell.

Importance of Controlling the Index Finger

Submitted By: Celer Tambre

“Today I have for you a piece of video that managed to spark my interest. It’s one of those lowbrow videos on humor sites wherein a black woman maces a white guy at a cash register for being rude. What’s significant about it is that the woman, unaware of what she’s doing, at 0:18 gives the guy the gesture for ‘do you wanna go ahead of me?’ and when he does, a conflict ensues. This illustrates the importance of hand gestures and intercultural communication. That is, speaking the same verbal language does not mean motioning the same body language…It is essentially a cautionary tale for what can happen when a simple gesture goes awry.”

Hiatus

Due to my busy schedule and all-consuming job search, Hand It! will be on hiatus for an indeterminate period of time.

I am also currently developing the next iteration of this project, which will not live on WordPress and will be centered around user-submissions to get this project closer to becoming a true “Wikipedia for hand gestures.”

In the meantime, feel free to email handitbandit[at]gmail.com with any ideas, submissions, questions or concerns.

Farewell and keep gesturing!

Shaka

Gesticulate

Being at a loss of words is like reaching into one’s pocket at a cash register only to feel deep, vacant cloth. It can blindside you. Shake you up from top to bottom until you start foaming over.

Oftentimes people will say they can’t properly “articulate” themselves in these moments. When you can’t articulate, you need to gesticulate. Let your hand gestures do what they do best by expressing the thoughts and feelings that your vocal chords cannot.

Guitarists let their fingers do the talking. Painters lash their hands in all directions. We all fill the wordless void with some form of expression, which often involves hand gestures.

gesticulate

This is frustration, disappointment, and hopelessness; tensed fingers try to squeeze these feelings out of the mind.