The rhythmic chanting of 7 Maasai warriors began. The constant river of sometimes breathy and sometimes guttural human voice was interspersed with shrill faced-paced Maasai speech from the main storyteller for the song. It is a sound which engenders quite an emotional reaction, especially when backed up by the sight of the warriors and tribeswomen in their celebratory finery and beadwork.
But no, this wasn’t in the Kenyan bush with the Masai Mara as back drop, this was Framlingham College theatre in Suffolk on a Wednesday evening. About 200 people came to see them perform. They all left with a smile of their face – and mostly with some Maasai beadwork on their wrists or a hitting stick in their hands!
The troupe leave their families each year to tour the UK with the help of organiser John Curtin who does an amazing job on their behalf. The respect and friendship on both sides of the relationship is palpable.
After about 10 tours their community back in Kenya has been transformed from one of dire poverty to one where the village has access to a school and clean water and other such things that we take for granted here in the UK.
During the evening, you get a chance to talk to the troupe and learn more about their lives. It’s hard not to come away from such an experience without a feeling of respect for this tight-knit group of people.
The Osiligi warrior troupe are currently touring the UK playing to some extraordinary number of venues for weeks on end. If there is a performance near you, you really should try and see them. The list of remaining dates can be found here – https://www.osiligiwarriors.co.uk/dates.html
If you’d like to visit Kenya and really get to know more of Maasai life, as well as getting close to the wildlife of the Masai Mara. Consider joining our ‘The Maasai and the Mara’ tour in February 2014 – led by a Maasai elder who is also a silver-level wildlife guide.