Monday, 5 December 2016


Polydactyly or polydactylism is a congenital abnormality in humans, cats and dogs who have more than the natural number of fingers and toes. Its a condition that a few 'unique' humans are born with and it can happen on just one or all limbs.

Gifted hands. A child with polydactylism

Yesterday at Shasha, where we went for the 'Dine with Words' program, I had gone to a CAC church to buy a bell for my daughter to perform her poem, for the first time, I saw a child with 12 fingers, six on both hands, I was carried away looking at him, until I had to call myself to order. He is a normal child, I watched him as he played around, I did not see anything strange about him. Then I remember  the celebrated case of Kamani Hubbard some years back, with 24 digits, 6 on both hands and feet at the St Luke's Hospital in San Francisco, The paediatrician at St Luke's Dr Michael Treece at the time of Kamani's birth said: "It's merely an interesting and beautiful variation rather than a worrisome thing. I would be tempted to leave those fingers in place" .

chinese woman with her baby. Notice the babies many toes

Hound Dog Taylor with six fingers

This is the first time I am seeing a polydactylism
 child and with what I saw, I don' think it  constitutes a deformity or disability, though it is extremely rare. In Kamani case, the father was able to throw light to the fact that it may be hereditary since he had 6 fingers too, though his was removed as a baby.

Cuban Man Born With 12 Fingers & 12 Toes, Yoandri Hernandez Garrido

A child with six fingers may have some advantages over what we many describe as the normal child of 5 fingers for example, the child may turn out to be a great pianist, a wonderful flamenco guitarist and an amazing typist, in fact it can be handy to become a Baseball experts, like in pitching the ball.

It is not new and uncommon, in the second book of Samuel Chapter 21, vs 20, it is written: "There was war at Gath again, where there was a man of great stature who had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in number; and he also had been born to the giant" he was said to be the son of Goliath that was slain by David.

Nature, unique in abnormality

Other famous polydactyls include the blues guitarist - Hound Dog Taylor and the Edwardian British musical hall entertainer Little Tich.
There is nothing wrong about having 6 fingers, though it is not a common sight. may be its time we let nature be.

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