The hand signs are ASL (American Sign Language) numbers.
The author of the site implemented the page counter by calling two PHP scripts for each page:
However, the implementation is quite buggy. In particular, one of the numbers will always be higher than the other, since (apparently) each script independently increments the page counter. Which one will be higher depends on the order that the browser sends the requests, and the order the server processes them.
Additionally, if two or more people try to access the page at the same time, their requests may interleave, resulting in the apparent count increasing more than once.
For example, for the images you gave we can translate the hand signs into Arabic numerals:
The Wayback machine seems to be loading the script files in reverse order, and seems to be waiting some time between subsequent accesses.
When I accessed the page, I got
This has been an example of how not to implement a page counter.
I've been calling one of the scripts in a loop, and the count doesn't seem to wrap around at 1000. It's probably a daily/weekly/monthly count.
The count has decreased back to zero, although it briefly went above 1000.
After some further tests, it looks like the counter is resetting randomly, with more frequent resets under higher server load. Looking at the quality of the code, I'm assuming this is some sort of race condition in the PHP script that wipes out the counter if two or more threads try to modify it at once. (I once had a small website that stored some persistent data in a flat file, and struggled with this problem for some time. The solution is to use a real database.)