The sign for "Hawaii" is done by drawing a circle around your
face with an "H" hand.
(Model: Byron Cantrell)
Dr. Bill's Notes:
Memory aid: The signs for "pretty" and "beautiful" use a (somewhat)
circular movement around the face. Hawaii is a "beautiful" place.
This same approach is also used for the sign
You might see another sign for "Hawaii" that looks a bit like
someone doing a hula dance. It is a legitimate sign and I wouldn't
mark it "wrong" on an expressive test (though some teachers might),
but I wouldn't recommend you choose it as your main version
of Hawaii for everyday signing. The one-handed "H" around the face
version is fast, easy, and well accepted in the Deaf community.
I might use the hula dance sign in "creative signing" situations
though, (poems, plays, children's stories, etc.).
Note: John Feagans (who lives in Hawaii, travels frequently to
Japan, and interacts with Deaf people in both places) wrote to tell
me that "Oahu" (one of the Hawaiian islands) uses the circular
movement around the face with an "O" handshape. He also noted that
Japanese Deaf people (using Japanese Sign Language) prefer the "hula
dance" version of the sign for Hawaii.
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