The palmprint is one of the most reliable physiological characteristics that can be used to distinguish between individuals. Current palmprint-based systems are more user friendly, more cost effective, and require fewer data signatures than traditional fingerprint-based identification systems. The principal lines and wrinkles captured in a low-resolution palmprint image provide more than enough information to uniquely identify an individual. This paper presents a palmprint identification scheme that characterizes a palmprint using a set of statistical signatures. The palmprint is first transformed into the wavelet domain, and the directional context of each wavelet subband is defined and computed in order to collect the predominant coefficients of its principal lines and wrinkles. A set of statistical signatures, which includes gravity center, density, spatial dispersivity and energy, is then defined to characterize the palmprint with the selected directional context values. A classification and identification scheme based on these signatures is subsequently developed. This scheme exploits the features of principal lines and prominent wrinkles sufficiently and achieves satisfactory results. Compared with the line-segments-matching or interesting-points-matching based palmprint verification schemes, the proposed scheme uses a much smaller amount of data signatures. It also provides a convenient classification strategy and more accurate identification.