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Capturing the human hand motion from video involves the estimation of the rigid global hand pose as well as the nonrigid finger articulation. The complexity induced by the high degrees of freedom of the articulated hand challenges many visual tracking techniques. For example, the particle filtering technique is plagued by the demanding requirement of a huge number of particles and the phenomenon of particle degeneracy. This paper presents a novel approach to tracking the articulated hand in video by learning and integrating natural hand motion priors. To cope with the finger articulation, this paper proposes a powerful sequential Monte Carlo tracking algorithm based on importance sampling techniques, where the importance function is based on an initial manifold model of the articulation configuration space learned from motion-captured data. In addition, this paper presents a divide-and-conquer strategy that decouples the hand poses and finger articulations and integrates them in an iterative framework to reduce the complexity of the problem. Our experiments show that this approach is effective and efficient for tracking the articulated hand. This approach can be extended to track other articulated targets.