|"The Rock" clenching fist|
I think victory display i. e. clenching fists after victory has something to do with our long history of hunting and battling. Gone are the days when our ancestors used to fight, hunt or defend themselves with sticks, bows, spears and stones. Ancestors might have invented this aggressive gesture to derogate rivals or predators at first hand. After watching an individual in reptilian high stand and ready-to-attack posture, opposite party would hardly like to risk itself by engaging in fight anymore with the person.
if wounded or paralyzed, as a final attempt, rival or predator could attack and injure its target. Target would require more energy to make physical movements in defending itself. Even less energetic or fierce attacks by rival or predator might make a difference between survival and death if target's already wounded or exhausted. Target has to do something to shock and scare rival or predator in more dramatic way.
This so called victory display cluster - an upright body posture, targeted hand movements - positioning - gesturing, fierce facial expressions, unbearable sound and jumping in air helps in achieving the same. Target tries to show itself bigger in overall size to scare away the attacker. Hence exuberance generated through this display can benefit to the target.
|Our ancestors - hunters, gatherers, protectors and fighters|
|You can imagine the effect of clenching fist and waving it by a group.|
After invention of swords and guns, same maneuver found its way in medieval era. As we see in many war movies, a victorious warrior or a troop raises weapon in front of defeated enemy and yells fiercely. It might serve two purposes i.e. to let other know who's victorious and frighten - run away enemy from battle area. Today, we don't carry weapon in hands (in social situations) but yelling and blowing fists in air remains as an evolutionary heritage.
|Bollywood actor Aamir Khan on the set of Hindi TV Serial - Satyamev Jayate|
(**Special Thanks to Sir Joe Navarro (Ex-FBI Counterintelligence agent and Pioneer in nonverbal communication) for reviewing this article and sharing his own views.)
1) Survival of Communicator 2) Evolution of Nonverbal communication 3) "The expression of emotions in man and animals" 4) Gestures - Are they learned or genetic?