# A term for this gesture (signs by hands) on the wall/screen

What do we call this?

Hand signs on the wall? Hand gestures?

Shadow play, hand shadows, or shadow puppets will all probably be understood, although when I hear "shadow puppets" I usually think of things like this:

An older name for shadows thrown by hand is simply hand shadows. I've got this book, originally published in 1859, facing me on my bookshelf right now:

You can see how the popularity of the terms has changed over time.

• That book though! (+1) Wow. – shin Apr 21 '16 at 11:45
• From the US, and when I hear "shadow puppets" I only think of the hand puppets. – David K Apr 22 '16 at 15:31

It can be called hand(s) shadow puppet.

• A play presented by casting shadows of puppets or actors on a screen. Also called shadowgraph, shadow show.

(AHD)

Its just called hand shadows. If a story is told using that then its called shadow play with hands. A shadow play may consist of hand shadows and shadow puppets(shadow puppets are usually cut-out shapes of puppets).