TRIBAL leaders from East Africa have been reunited with artifacts from their distant homeland at an Oxford Museum.

Five members of the Maasai tribe, from Tanzania and Kenya, met curators at Oxford University’s Pitt Rivers Museum to help them better represent their culture.

The initiative follows concerns by members of the tribe that their culture was not being sufficiently respected in the way artifacts were displayed.

It followed a previous visit by Maasai leader and campaigner Samwel Nangiria, who said: “Seeing the way Maasai sacred objects were displayed in the Pitt Rivers Museum I felt shocked.

“We are a living culture, not a dead one, and we want to talk to the museum about how they can change this. I believe that working together we can honour my community and present our real culture in the museum.”

The Living Cultures initiative is a collaboration between the museum, a Maasai campaign group called Oltoilo le Maa and community development organisation InsightShare.

Laura Van Broekhoven, director of the Pitt Rivers Museum said: “We have a longstanding record of working with indigenous peoples in many different areas, but we have not worked with Maasai communities, so we very much welcome the opportunity to work together and start this process.”

InsightShare director Nick Lunch said:

“Confronting our imperial past and bringing Maasai stories up to date, we aim to raise awareness of the struggles indigenous peoples face to protect their land, culture and communities.”