London Maori group Ngati Ranana led the welcome party at the opening ceremony for Origins: Festival of First Nations, held at the Scoop by Tower Bridge on the chilly Bank Holiday Monday. A large crowd sat in light drizzle to see the performers welcoming all the First Nations people taking part in the festival as they arrived in London; we also heard Pete Postlethwaite as an Elder of the theatre community give thanks to the programme and the people within it, of which there is a slightly windblown but nonetheless heartfelt clip in the video.
There was also a passionate speech by artistic director Michael Walling and a startling Inuit dance by a lady with a painted face and fetching sealskin boots. A jolly set of tunes on a pipe with a strong rural Irish feel and a Native American response completed the experience. All in all, a rich afternoon of cultural insight despite the best efforts of the chilly grey drizzle to drain the colour out of proceedings.
Origins: Festival of First Nations continues until 17 May, for more information and programme details, go to the Origins: Festival of First Nations website