A clever initiative from Australia — indigemoji. From the About page:

This project began with a tweet. A tweet featuring a list of emojis with Arrernte words next to them. A tweet the internet couldn’t get enough of.

A few of us had recently been discussing why there weren’t any Indigenous Australian emojis out there. We didn’t have a good answer, except perhaps for the obvious – that no-one had made any yet. And then we saw the tweet and we knew it was time, so we rang Joel. Soon we had a team of emoji bosses in place – Joel Liddle Perrule, Veronica Dobson Perrurle and Kathleen Wallace Kemarre and together we began dreaming of what a set of emojis from Central Australia could look like. […]

Indigemoji is now a sticker set of 90 emojis representing life, culture and language of Arrernte Country in Central Australia, closely considered and guided by our emoji bosses. Each has an Arrente name, the traditional language of Mparntwe/Alice Springs, words we hope you’ll learn. We’ve also developed emojis for special totemic species, either endangered or extinct. A simple emoji of a bilby or a bandicoot promotes their memory, their name, their places in the landscape where they sprang into existence in the Altyerre and where they moved about on their epic journeys. This way they remain in our landscape.

There are links to Apmere angkentye-kenhe, a site about Central/Eastern Arrernte, and a Māori emoji site. (Arrernte previously at LH: tongue twister, Dreaming.) Thanks, Bathrobe!


  1. For some reason McAfee thinks the site is Phishing related.

    I note that the .com name and app was launched by “Ihanktonwan Dakota Artist David Bernie” in 2016.

    It’s a good name; there’s plenty of indigenosity to go around.

  2. I hope someone will do the work to push a subset of these from stickers (system-dependent graphics) to Unicode emoji (plain text).

    By the way, if Unicode accepted every flag not associated with a recognized country or a standard geopolitical subdivision of one (like Scotland or Massachusetts), they would quickly change from Unicode to Flagicode. “The line must be drawn … well, somewhere, and here is the best we could come up with.”  —Not Jean-Luc Picâde

  3. Slightly on topic but related to indigenous languages, I’m not sure whether to be pleased that our new Minister for Indigenous Affairs gave the first speech in Mohawk EVER in the House of Commons or appalled that we’ve been a country for 152 years before it happened. At any rate the last decade has seen some very encouraging improvements at both the political and grassroots level, so there are concrete reasons for optimism.

  4. @John Cowan: I had no idea that stickers had that meaning. It adds an extra layer of (probably unintentional) humor to xkcd 1293: Job Interview.

  5. explainxkcd 1293 is vague about which sense of “stickers” is meant, and doesn’t flag the possibility of a pun. I was surprised, because I usually find explainxkcd over-analyses things, but then again that may be sample bias.

  6. The main issue I have with Indigemoji is that it is almost entirely in English The Arrernte is mostly tokenistic or decorative in nature. If you’re going to revive a language, you put it on an equal footing with the dominant language, so that a speaker of that language can read it even if they don’t know English.


  1. […] Hat reports on the new Indigemoji, emoji created to reflect the culture and knowledge of Aboriginal groups in […]

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