Using one's hands in human-computer interaction increases both the effectiveness of computer usage and the speed of interaction. One way of accomplishing this goal is to utilize computer vision techniques to develop hand-gesture-based interfaces. A video database system is one application where a hand-gesture-based interface is useful, because it provides a way to specify certain queries more easily. We present a hand-gesture-based interface for a video database system to specify motion and spatiotemporal object queries. We use a regular, low-cost camera to monitor the movements and configurations of the user's hands and translate them to video queries. We conducted a user study to compare our gesture-based interface with a mouse-based interface on various types of video queries. The users evaluated the two interfaces in terms of different usability parameters, including the ease of learning, ease of use, ease of remembering (memory), naturalness, comfortable use, satisfaction, and enjoyment. The user study showed that querying video databases is a promising application area for hand-gesture-based interfaces, especially for queries involving motion and spatiotemporal relations.