Maori Emotiki Join Emoji Crowd

People wanting to text in a Maori “accent” will be able to do so in July with the release of a special set of distinctive green emoji in New Zealand, called “emotiki”.

Along with more usual ideas and emotions, the 150-character keyboard will also reflect Maori-specific concepts such as moves of the ritual haka warrior dance, as well as flax skirt, outrigger canoe and whanau. There’ll also be a small number of animated gifs, including one for pukana – a fierce expression with stuck-out-tongue used during the haka.

They emojis are the work of the Te Puia Maori cultural centre, which said it was going to keep them under wraps until July, but had confirmed their existence after being “thrilled” by the response online. The idea came from youngsters using social media to celebrate their performances at traditional Maori song and dance events, according to spokeswoman Kiri Atkinson-Crean.

“All they could use were expressions and symbols from other countries,” Atkinson-Crean told the Stuff website. “We wanted to give them another form of this language for an opportunity to express themselves.”

Giving emojis a local flavour is becoming increasingly popular. In November 2015, the Finnish foreign ministry unveiled a set to represent the country in a “tongue-in-cheek” manner, replete with symbols for sauna-goers, a hard-rock headbanger and a Nokia phone.

Original article by BBC, May 27, 2016.

Photo by Te Puia.

Tags: BBC  emoji  emotiki  Te Puia  

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