In this paper, I use a holographic metaphor to explain the identification of overlapping sign language communities in Panama. By visualizing Panama's complex signing communities as emitting community "hotspots" through social drama on multiple stages, I employ ethnographic methods to explore overlapping contours of Panama's sign language communities in both time and space, similar to what a hologram accomplishes. Based on rapid appraisal of Panama's signed languages through 2 weeks of participant observation, interviews, and lexical comparisons, and contextualization of this data in a broad 5-year project that included fieldwork in 15 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, I propose recognition of overlapping Chiriquí and Panamanian Signing Communities using distinct signed languages: Lengua de Señas Panameñas and Lengua de Señas de Chiriquí.
- language identification
- sign language