She says the flipped bird was nothing of the kind.
In a recent interview with NPR, the electro-pop rapper she decribed the gesture as the “the Matangi mudra,” which she compared to a gang sign, she said.
“Well, 5,000 years ago, there was thing called a mudra, which is your sitting position when you do yoga or you're meditating or praying or whatever,” she said. “And you have different ones based on what you're meditating over. There's not a lot of them that are named after gods and goddesses, but the middle finger is specifically named Matangi — the Matangi mudra.
M.I.A. clarified she wasn’t giving America the middle finger by flashing the gesture and that in her country “it's godly.
The L.A. Times reports the hand gesture she described wasn't authentic. One needs two hands with their middle fingers outstretched to properly complete the "Matangi mudra."