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Full text of "Expression Of The Emotions In Man And Animals"

SIGNS OF AFFIRMATION            CHAP. XL

index being flexed) a curve downwards and outwards
from the body, whilst negation is expressed by moving
the open hand outwards., with the palm facing inwards."
Other observers state that the sign of affirmation with
these Indians is the forefinger being raised, and then
lowered and pointed to the ground,, or the hand is waved
straight forward from the face; and that the sign of
negation is the finger or whole hand shaken from side
to side.26 This latter movement probably represents in
all cases the lateral shaking of the head. The Italians
are said in like manner to move the lifted finger from
right to left in negation, as indeed we English some-
times do.

On the whole we find considerable diversity in the
signs of affirmation and negation in the different races
of man. With respect to negation, if we admit that the
shaking of the finger or hand from side to side is sym-
bolic of the lateral movement of the head; and if we
admit that the sudden backward movement of the head
represents one of the actions often practised by young
children in refusing food, then there is much uniformity
throughout the world in the signs of negation, and we
can see how they originated. The most marked excep-
tions are presented by the Arabs, Esquimaux, some Aus-
tralian tribes, and Dyaks. With the latter a frown is
the sign of negation, and with us frowning often accom-
panies a lateral shake of the head.

With respect to nodding in affirmation, the excep-
tions are rather more numerous, namely with some of                       f
the Hindoos, with the Turks, Abyssinians, Dyaks, |
Tagals, and New Zealanders. The eyebrows are some- I
times raised in affirmation, and as a person in bending I

28 I/ubbock,  * The Origin of Civilization,'  1870,  p.  277.                           I

Tylor, ibid. p. 38.   Lieber (ibid. p. 11) remarks on the neg-a-                           1

tive of the Italians.                                                            ,                                7