General Information about Item:
- Genre: Gesture
- Place Collected: Phi Delta Alpha Fraternity, Dartmouth College
- Date Collected: November 20th, 2019
- Country of Origin: Mexico
- Informant: David Arce ’21
- David Arce is a male Dartmouth student in the class of 2021. He was born and raised in Walnut Creek, CA, and currently lives in Pittsburg, CA. David is a Psychology Major and a member of the Dartmouth men’s club volleyball team.
- Social Context: David learned this gesture growing up from his father, who is originally from Sinaloa, Mexico. A large portion of David’s family also still lives in Sinaloa, so he frequently visits the area. David believes that the gesture is commonly understood throughout Latin America, however; it is predominantly a Mexican gesture. The gesture does not have any variations, however; it does have a number of different interpretations based on context.
- The gesture is performed by forming a “U” shape with the thumb and forefinger, while keeping the palm facing your chest. The gesture is most commonly understood to mean an item is expensive, being an appropriate response to somebody asking why you did not buy something, for instance. While the demonstration of the high price of an object is the main way the gesture is used, it can also be used to refer to money in general, similar to the American gesture of rubbing the thumb and forefinger together. This gesture is also common among merchants. After buying an item in Mexico or other Latin American countries, the merchant may use this gesture towards other nearby merchants to signify that you are willing to pay high prices for items.
Associated file (a video, audio, or image file):
Collector’s Name: Roy Dritley
- Hand Gestures