Boys and girls from Zua Primary School are very good at dancing and singing. On 20th of October 2016 we had a cultural performance day at the school to show different local dances to our friends in Estonia and other countries.
In front of the schoolhouse boys did the traditional War Dance. It is a dance usually performed on funerals. The tradition comes from old times when different tribes of our area were always fighting. When a person who had married to a different tribe died, their family members would suspect that somebody from the new tribe might have killed this person. To make sure if this had happened, they would dress in menacing war costumes, take weapons like bows and arrows with them and go to the funeral. There they would perform a dance to threaten the people of the new family and see if somebody gets scared of them. It was believed that he who shows fear might be the killer. These days the dance is performed as a traditional ritual, not out of necessity and is an important part of every funeral. Of course we did not have a funeral at the school, but because students have seen the dance done many times, they could show everybody what it looks like.
Then we gathered under the baobab tree where boys and girls showed different local dances.
Later in the day Godfred from class 5, who is a very talented musician, built a Kolog (local guitar). To do it he used a calabash, goat’s skin, pins, string and wood for the handle. When the instrument was finished we could sing and dance some more. We also learned to play one of estonian traditional instruments, the Parmupill (Jaw harp).
PS! We will add videos of the dances later, in December 🙂
On 19th of October 2016 the students from Zua Primary and Zua Junior High School embarked on a field trip to a nearby hill called Amuhizupelig. We were accompanied by teachers from both schools and by a member of our community who knows the area very well. His name is Baga’ant.
Before starting the trip we gathered together, said a prayer, sang a song and listened to instructions by our teachers.
While taking the trip, we collected different edible or otherwise useful plants and made short videos about them. The typical landscape around our school is quite flat, there are no big mountains or valleys. Because of that people can grow a lot of crops here. We saw fields of maize, millet, okra and other plants all around us. Also there are many useful trees such as shea trees or dawadawas. On the way we saw a lot of animals but only domesticated animals like cows, sheep and goats. No lions or elephants or crocodiles 🙂 As we got farther from the villages there were more grasslands, bushes and wild trees.
During the rainy season the trail we took is very hard to pass through but because by now the dry season is starting and there are no more heavy rains, it was easy enough to reach our destination. To reach the hilltop we had to make our own path through the high grass.
The view from the top of the hill was very beautiful, it’s possible to see all of the surrounding area from up there. We spent some time on the hill relaxing and playing games and then returned back to school. The trip itself was not so long: alltogether we walked for about two hours, but because of the hot weather and the sun we felt a little bit tired afterwards.
Back at the school we watched some videos of the field trips taken by our friends from Kolga school and wrote letters to them.