On Monday 17th June we had a very special visit from the Lions of Zululand. The come from Zululand which is in the South of Africa. We knew they were here before even seeing them as there was a lot of whistling, drumming and singing filling the corridoor. Then they lept into the school hall and performed a story of their heritage for us! We were all amazed at their energy and could not wait to spend the rest of the day with them.
This was sooooooooo tiring. They must have so much energy. We learnt how to perform an African dance ready for the end of day 'dance off.' Cool moves included head height kicks, loud shouting, wild arm movements and a lot of laughter! Courtney managed to kick her shoe off. Luckily Lea caught it before it hit her on the head!
First we found out about the history of Zululand and the significance of the performance clothes. The clothes the Lions Of Zululand during the performance were the clothes that their ancestors wore.
The shield (IHAWU) is made out of cow hide, with triangles on the back to slot a stick (UMGOBO) in. The stick is used to make the shield strong. The top of the stick is decorated with strips of monkey fur. The shield was used for protection and the seperate stick (IWISA) was used for walking. In the performance the IWISA was used to bang the shield and make music. The IWISA was made out of a Sweet Thorn tree. Inside the tree there are two colours a mahogony and a pale yellow wood.
The animal skin (IBHESHU)which was worn during the performance was from a deer. It is used whole as a uniform for over the back of your behind and another (ISINENE) made from Gazelle, Cow, Zebra and Deer skin for the front. On you head a headband (UMQHELE) which is made of Gazelle skin. On their legs more skin is placed. For the sound (AMAFEHLEWANE), a nest of a bug nests are filled with small stones and tied around the ankles.
In this workshop we learnt about Zululand and how to speak in Zulu.
We were taught the Zulu song in Zulu. It had a catchy melody line but the words were quite tricky to learn. This made us realise how good the Zulu's were at speaking English. We all found it really challenging to speak and sing in Zulu. We all tried our best ready for the 'sing off' at the end of the day.
The Lions of Zululand can be booked for a wide variety of events and can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org