Handprints are marks that are produced after the hand has been in contact with pigments and the marks were usually left on rocks or walls. This can be trace way back to the Paleolithic people. Different purposes have been proposed by different theories about the essence of the handprints, among them being that they were used to mark as signatures for artists, showing territories for clans or families, showing status among society members, symbolizing sexual rituals (Nash, G 2012), just to mention but a few. Handprints exist in two forms, positive and negative handprints: Positive handprints
These were made by simply coating the hand with color pigment and pressing it against the wall or rock where the image was formed (Stockstad, M. 1995). So it is the hand shape itself that produce the image. Negative handprints
Here, the surrounding space of hand shape is painted. They are made by pressing the hand with fingers spread apart against the wall, and then blowing or spitting pigment on to the hand and the surrounding area (Stockstad, M. 1995). When the hand is removed an outline is left, the hand here serves as a negative version of a stencil. Two techniques were used to do this, firstly the hand was placed on the area of wall where the imprint was required and the paint spat out of the mouth to create a stencil affect. Another method was the use of reed straw or hollow bones to blow the pigment-like paint onto the wall (Stockstad, M & Cothren, M. W. 2010). Why most handprints were left handed
Most handprints were left handed because the artist held the reed straw used for spraying the pigments using the right hand (Nash, G 2012). Why there were almost always female handprints
From a Darwinian perspective, as the brain sizes increased in the immediate ancestors of Paleolithic ancestors, so did the reproductive stress on females. Issues concerning ovulation were concealed thereby withholding information from males about which females are...
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