Present day handprints Source image: Desktop and Mobile Backgrounds

The word handprint is a compound noun.  A compound noun is made up of two words put together to make one word.  It is made from the words hand and print.  Some people write hand print as two words.

There are 2 types of handprints.  One type is a direct handprint, it is a made by putting paint on the palm of the hand and pressing the palm onto a surface.  Another type of handprint is an outline of a hand.  The hand is on a surface and the paint is put around the hand.

Hand Paintings with Handprints

People have been making different types of handprints or hand paintings for 40,000 years.  There are hand paintings all around the world, in many different countries.   The paintings are on rocks and inside of caves.

Hand paintings are depicted in Rock Art around the world. The hand image would have been created in a variety of ways: the artist may have used the hand on the rock as a stencil, spraying paint from the mouth or charcoal powder through a reed; the outline of the hand may have been painted around by brush, or simply painting the hand and then placing it on the rock. The hand paintings were created by men, women, and children. Whatever the method, and whatever the style of accompanying art, hand paintings are one of the most common elements of rock art. (source:wiki)


Cueva de las Manos (Spanish for Cave of the Hands) in the Santa Cruz province in Argentina
The art in the cave dates from 13,000 to 9,000 years ago.


It is famous for (and gets its name from) the paintings of hands. The art in the cave dates from 13,000 to 9,000 years ago.[1] Several waves of people occupied the cave, and early artwork has been carbon-dated to ca. 9300 BP (about 7300 BC).[1] The age of the paintings was calculated from the remains of bone-made pipes used for spraying the paint on the wall of the cave to create silhouettes of hands.

The site was last inhabited around 700 AD, possibly by ancestors of the Tehuelche people.[1] It was entered on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1991.



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