Left handed history

Stone Age implements discovered seem equally divided between left and right and studies of cave drawings have indicated a preference for the left hand. When tools became more sophisticated, a clear hand preference emerged. The right hand preference may have originated in sun worship.

In the Northern hemisphere you have to face south to follow the sun and move from left to right until the suns sets in the west. This gave moving to the right and the right hand side a great significance. Another theory says that as the heart is on the left hand side, a shield would have to be in the left hand to defend it and any weapon therefore had to be held in the right, which became the dominant hand. Recent theories have included one that right-handedness is the normality and left-handedness is a deficiency which results from a traumatic birth! Left-handers have done quite badly over the years and many old superstitions still survive today.

Christianity is strongly based towards the right hand. It is the right had that gives the blessing and make the sign of the cross. On one count, the bible contains over 100 favourable reference to the right-hand and 25 unfavourable references to the left-hand. E.g.:

  • The right hand of the lord doeth valiantly, the right hand of the lord is exalted (Psalm 118 vv15,16)
  • The left hand does worst in the parable of the sheep and goats. The sheep are set on Christ’s right hand and the goats on the left. Those on the right inherit the kingdom of god while those on the let depart into everlasting fire.
  • The devil is nearly always portrayed as left-handed and evil spirits lurk over the left shoulder (which is why you throw spilled salt over your left shoulder to ward them off).

For more fascinating fact and superstitions
visit the award winning Anything Left-Handed website

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