❓ apayuthnaye-akerte // faq
How do I use Indigemoji stickers?
Firstly, find some WiFi and download the Indigemoji app from the App Store or Google Play. You can now look through the stickers and share them to text messages, WhatsApp, Messenger or social media platforms. On Apple platforms they also function as a sticker pack, allowing for better integration onto your phone. Because they are stickers, they can’t be used in-line with text on social media platforms - instead they will behave more like images. In 2021 we also added them as a custom sticker set in Signal.
Why don’t they behave exactly like normal emojis?
Emojis were originally developed in Japan before being adopted, expanded and used around the world. The official emoji set is now controlled by Unicode, an international consortium that approve and manage what emojis are adopted into the official set. To get a new emoji adopted into the official set, you need to go through an extensive application process, a process which recently rejected a key symbol of Aboriginal Australia, the Aboriginal Flag. Therefore we’re making our own sticker sets to reflect our own languages and cultures.
Is there an emoji keyboard?
We would love to make one. But after trialling various platforms we have yet to find a way of making a keyboard that is both user-friendly and secure. If you have suggestions, let us know!
How were the Indigemoji stickers made?
The concepts and artworks for the first Indigemoji app were made during eight weeks of free digital art workshops at the Alice Springs Public Library, overseen by a group of senior Arrernte advisors. The workshops ran all day every day of the summer 2018-2019 school holidays with a team of youth workers and local First Nations artists. We also worked with local art centres and other Indigenous organisations to make certain emojis. All artists and advisors were paid for their time and contribution. We then worked with a graphic designer to help us polish our final designs, learning some higher-level graphic design skills along the way. The app was made by Ingeous Studios in Cairns, an Indigenous-owned and run technology and design company. It was funded by Indigimob and the Northern Territory Government. See full credits for the project here.
In early 2022, a group of Kaytetye speakers got together to begin to develop Kaytetyemoji. They had approached Indigemoji, who developed Australia’s first First Nations emoji set in Arrernte in 2019. The Indigemoji team decided to offer resources and support to a Kaytetye language project like this. Over many months, our team went through a process of translating the relevant Indigemojis from Arrernte to Kaytetye as well as designing 44 new emojis for plants, animals and other important parts of Kaytetye life and culture, with the help of graphic designers. We made recordings of the word to match each emoji, along with example phrases which you can find on this app. Read more here.
What language are the emojis in?
There are many different dialects of Arrernte spoken today. The language of the original Indigemoji emoji set is Eastern and Central Arrernte spoken around Mparntwe/Alice Springs, Amoonguna, Ltyentye Apurte/Santa Teresa and Titjikala.
The language of the Kaytetyemoji set is Kaytetye, spoken around the Barrow Creek area of Central Australia, north of Mparntwe/Alice Springs. Kaytetye is an endangered central Australian language, with only 109 speakers listed in the 2021 census (a decline of nine per cent since the previous census). To find out more about the emojis and to hear an audio pronunciation of each emoji name visit our website.
Why did we make them?
Our aim is to share a slice of Arrernte and Kaytetye culture with the world and increase our representation on digital platforms. Each emoji has been carefully thought through, developed and approved by a group of senior Arrernte and Kaytetye advisors and other community members. We want our kids to feel that their language and culture is relevant and that they have opportunities in this new digital world.
Why aren’t there any stickers relating to the sea or other parts of Australia?
These sticker sets were made with young people, artists and linguists on Arrernte Country in Central Australia. The initial Indigemoji app predominantly relates to Arrernte life and culture. A new set, Kaytetyemoji made by by Kaytetye people was launched in 2023. It relates to Kaytetye life and culture. As we are committed to supporting the release of sticker sets made by their own communities, we would not presume to represent the cultural content of other communities. We would love to share everything we’ve learnt and help others make their own emoji stickers! If that’s you, just get in touch!
Who is Indigemoji?
Indigemoji is a collective of individuals that came together to produce this app. It is not a business or formal organisation. The copyright for the artwork and cultural knowledge remains with each individual artist involved. They have licensed the use of their work to the emoji bosses and broader team to be included and shared through the free apps. Read more about the collective here.
I want to suggest an Indigemoji or make a set for my mob!
Mwerre! Yewe! There are so many more we could make! We're keen to help any way we can and share what we've learnt. Send us an email at email@example.com
I want to help out!
There’s so much we want to do next, like animating the stickers so they move! If you’d like to donate to the project we’d love to hear from you.
I’m having technical issues!
Sorry to hear that - get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll try and help!