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It seemed like there was a dearth of apps for New Zealand’s Māori to express themselves digitally. But now there’s Emotiki, which calls itself the world’s first Māori emoji app. And it looks pretty awesome.
It’s not true Emoji as you would find in your smartphone’s keyboard — the folks at Unicode call the shots on that. They’re more like images you can share via your messaging app.
The app was created by Te Puia, a Maori arts and culture institute based in Rotorua.
Eruera West, Te Puia’s project manager, came up with the idea following concerns from young Māori who said they had no emoji to show off their culture.
Te Puia consulted with Māori elders during the app’s creation process, and she says the response was very positive.
West hopes not only just Māori kids will use it, but anyone who has an interest in the culture.