This website is for people who are interested in Australian Indigenous sign languages – in particular sign languages used in Central and Northern Australia. One of the main parts of this website is the sign language dictionary, which has over one thousand short films of signs from eight different communities and nine language groups. The dictionary can be accessed by clicking on the link above. There are also links to other films about Australian Indigenous sign, to published resources such as posters, and to news about sign language projects in different parts of Australia.
The Anmatyerr word iltyem-iltyem comes from the word iltya ‘hand, finger’ and it is used in to mean ‘signalling with hands, using handsigns’. It . This website is named iltyem-iltyem because this sign language project began with Anmatyerr people from the community of Ti Tree. This word is equivalent to iltyeme-iltyeme in Eastern/Central Arrernte, rdaka-rdaka in Warlpiri and takataka in Gurindji. In Kaytetye eltye eltyarrenke means ‘use hand signs’. In August 2017 a Maningrida project team began recording sign languages used in the north-central Arnhem Land region. In Maningrida people often refer to their sign system as ‘actions’ so we called this the Maningrida Action Project. We then worked with signers from Kalkaringi and Elliott, and with Mawng and Kunbarlang people from Warruwi on Goulburn Island.