iltyem-iltyem1The Iltyem-iltyem project is a partnership between Batchelor Institute, the Ti Tree community language team, and Dr Jenny Green of the Research Unit for Indigenous Language at the University of Melbourne. Sign languages are in daily use in Arandic communities of Central Australia, and are a highly valued form of communication used alongside speech, gesture and drawing practices.

The project team built the Iltyem-iltyem website for people who want to teach and learn Central Australian sign languages. Because the project began with Anmatyerr people from the community of Ti Tree, the website has been named iltyem-iltyem an Anmatyerr word meaning ‘signalling with hands, using handsigns’ (which comes from the word iltya, meaning ‘hand, finger’.

The image on the right is from a film Murumpu Wangka! Kukatja Hand Talk on the Iltyem-iltyem website, showing Kukatja speaking women Payi Payi Sunfly Napangarti, Linda Charmawina Napangarti, Manaya Sarah Daniels Napanangka, Mayan Kathleeen Padoon Napanangka and Maudi Mandigalli Napanangka, all from Balgo WA.