Jaalen Edenshaw, renowned carver of monumental B.C. totem poles has tried his hand at creating Haida emojis for the digital age.
“Here is my Haida emoji set finally ready for download,” wrote Edenshaw to Instagram. “Only works on iPhone and what not now but will try and get it out on Android at some point. Haawa to Geoff Horner who collaborated with these and did all the computer work.”
Jaalen Edenshaw’s traditional art, which includes masks, canoes, and red cedar totem poles 13 metres high, is on display in galleries around the world.
With millions of emojis in use — the small, dashboard icons are a compressed expression of feelings and feedback to be used on social media, and in texts and emails. Some experts say they’re transforming communication, and even replacing words through expressive faces and signs.
In recent years, emojis have evolved to better reflect ethnic and cultural diversity. Last year, Australia rolled out Indigenous emojis for the first time, created by Indigenous youth in that country.
Edenshaw’s wide array of emojis are now available on the Apple app store, free to all.