Photo gallery: Maasai tribe a hit with pupils in Blundeston, Corton and Somerleyton

THE sounds and songs of east Africa resounded along the east coast this week as a group of Maasai tribesman showcased the traditions of their nomadic culture.

The Osiligi Troupe of Maasai Warriors performed at Blundeston Primary school on Tuesday to raise awareness of their culture and funds for their village of Kisamis, near Kenya's capital Nairobi.

Pupils from Blundeston, Somerleyton and Corton primary schools were treated to a performance that included lullabies and songs sung in the troupe's native language of Maa – along with a display of their traditional jumping dances.

It came as the tribe began a tour of schools and theatres across the area. It aims to provide an insight to their nomadic culture, as well as highlighting their struggle against poverty.

Blundeston Primary's headteacher, Kate Schonhut, said: The children were particularly enthralled by the hunting the lion scenario with shields and spears.

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'Pupils joined in with singing a Maasai song and learning the Maasai style of dancing. Life in their village was described and comparisons made with our children's lifestyles.

'Children were also encouraged to ask questions about their jewellery, costumes and artefacts. Afterwards, the performers toured the school and were amazed at the facilities and resources, especially the computers and whiteboards.'

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The tribesmen visited Norwich Maddermarket Theatre on Tuesday, before making appearances on Wednesday at Bungay's Fisher Theatre and at the Warren School and The Ashley School in Lowestoft.

Yesterday, they were due to appear at Roman Hill and Poplars primary schools in Lowestoft, before performing today (October 5) at the Denes High School, the Canopy Theatre in Beccles this evening and at The Seagull Theatre in Pakefield, tomorrow at 7.30pm.

The Maasai tribes include the pastoral Maasai who range along the Great Rift Valley; the Samburu of Kenya, and the semi-pastoral Arusha and Baraguyu (or Kwafi) of Tanzania.

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