Tag Archives: Plains Indian Sign Language

Video

Science Nation – Hand Talk

Several years ago James Woodenlegs and Melanie McKay-Cody visited the Tennessee School for the Deaf in collaboration with Dr. Jeffrey Davis to inform the students about Plains Indian Sign Language and create a short documentary film trailer with help from the National Science Foundation.

James Wooden Legs Introduction

In this video clip: James Wooden Legs, who is both fluent in Plains Indian Sign Language and American Sign Language, gives a short self-introduction. He code-switches between PISL and ASL, so that viewers (non-PISL signers) can understand his PISL utterances – thus, skillfully providing his own translations. In the near future we will be posting a few more examples including more PISL signing.

English Translation

PISL/ASL GLOSSes

James Wooden Legs (Northern Cheyenne) is a Deaf Native signer of Plains Indian Sign Language (PISL). He learned PISL natively from his family growing up on the N. Cheyenne [Tse’tsehestahese] reservation in southeastern Montana. Later, James attended the Montana School for the Deaf and learned ASL. He is a renowned presenter and involved in the revitalization of PISL and an active member of Deaf and American Indian communities. He currently lives in Albuquerque, NM. Recently, James gave a major presentation at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, Rochester, NY.

 

Tommy Rockroads Clip on PISL

In this clip, Tommy Rockroads [N. Cheyenne/Tse’tsehestahese], a fluent PISL user, explains why he learned PISL and why he believes it is important to keep the language alive. Jeffrey Davis (PISL documentation project, PI) interprets his words into ASL. Tommy is also fluent in spoken Cheyenne and English, but he does not know ASL. Soon, we will post a few sample clips of Tommy signing PISL. Stay tuned!

Articles That We Have Been Featured In

Here are some links to two articles from prominent magazines that featured some of the work from our project.

Indian Country Today

National Science Foundation’s Science Nation