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ALASKA: The American Sign Language (ASL) sign for "Alaska"

The sign for Alaska starts as an "A" hand at the top of your face and travels in an arc downward along the curve of your face as it changes into either a "flat hand" or a "5" handshape. 

Memory aid:  Imagine the fringe on the hood of a parka (coat).


Model: Byron Cantrell (Native Deaf, Deaf School/Georgia, Deaf wife, Deaf kids, long-time ASL instructor.)

(As shown by Byron Cantrell).




ALASKA-[advanced / casual version]:




Hello Dr. Bill,
My name is Cordell. Along my internet quest for ASL knowledge I (blessedly) stumbled upon your site. For the past few weeks I have been using it to learn more and more ASL. I am highly interested in being a translator. I know the steps that are needed but I lack the funds. At any rate, I noticed you have several states signs and that you are lacking one for Alaska. Attached is a picture of what I have seen used for Alaska quite frequently. I am pretty sure it is just slang but I thought I might toss it your way and see what use you may make of it. (I live in Alaska by the way) I hope you can continue working on your site but I understand when your busy, your busy. Anyways, take care of yourself.

P.S. If it fails to appear on the message or doesn't open properly, please let me know And I will see what I can do about that. Thank you.


In a message dated 9/22/2007 7:31:44 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time, Bill Vicars writes:
Why that particular handshape?  Do you feel that looks like the shape of Alaska?
- Dr. Bill

Dr. Bill,
If you compare it to an image of the state of Alaska, it looks quite similar. I am sure this particular sign is out there because of its shape. I've seen people use that handshape as a rough map of Alaska, pointing out where on their hand relative to the same area in Alaska they are from/heading to. I just thought you might find that tidbit interesting, as little to no focus is put to Alaska. There are a lot of myths about Alaska I have seen, when I visited Minnesota a few years ago, they thought it was like a fairy-tail land.
Anyways, I don't mean to prattle endlessly, I'll let you get back to work, and I hope to see more on your site sometime, though I continue to study it as is. Take care.



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