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Deaf Ethnicity and Ancestry - The People of the Eye

VIDEO: The People of the Eye: Deaf ethnicity and ancestry in American Sign Language.

Are Deaf people who sign American Sign Language (ASL) an ethnic group? Harlan Lane's latest book, The People of the Eye, compares the values, customs and social organization of the Deaf World to those in ethnic groups.

The People of the Eye also describes founding families of the Deaf World in the US. It traces Deaf ancestry back hundreds of years.

It shows that Deaf people preferred to marry other Deaf people, which led to the creation of Deaf clans.

Nowadays most ASL signers are born into the Deaf World, and many are kin. The People of the Eye tells how Deaf people (and hearing people, too) lived in early America.

For readers curious about their own ancestry in relation to the Deaf World, there are family trees in the book and an associated website presents pedigrees for over two hundred Deaf families extending as many as three hundred years. The book contains an every-name index to the pedigrees.

The authors are: Harlan Lane (H), Richard Pillard (H) and Ulf Hedberg (D).

For more information:

To get the book from Oxford University Press:

To get the book from Amazon:
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