Agwagas July 13, 1972 - 12A Ebago
Place of Recording: Ebago
Date of Recording: July 13, 1972
Informant: Paul Abulla
Date of Transcript: August 3, 1972; Direct conversation
1 000 Agwaga.
Text: Mentions the names of the people.
2 017 Dancing Song.
Information: People in a circle. Repeating at the end. On this repeated end part, all of the people would be dancing.
Text: Mentions the names of the people and saying that we must save our country. A man came from Gore. I have no relatives to help me. Who is going to help me? Mentions the names of the beautiful girls.
3 070 Obero.
Text: I’m begging the chief to give me something. Mentions the names of the people. There are some people saying that they are going to attack us here and destroy our village, but this is not true. They are liars. Continues to mention the names of the people. We will not fight any longer. We must stop.
4 170 Obero.
Text: Mentions the names of the people. Begging the chief. Anybody who is poor will be helped by the chief. I only cry for my poorness. Mentions the names of the beautiful girls. He was given something by the chief before. Then he says that I will not ask the chief to give me something again.
5 354 Agwaga.
Text: (Older leader) We have to fight. Mentions the names of the people who were in fighting saying that we have to move to Gambela.
6 425 Agwaga.
Text: (Older leader) We have to go to Gambela. Repeated part by the people.
ANUAK Project: FIELD NOTES – July 13, 1972
Retyped: June 8, 2019
2:30 Left Pokwo by boat traveling downstream for 30 minutes to the relatively large and attractive town of Illea. There we walked through sawgrass and corn above and over our heads up to the village which is a way away from the river. We sat down as is our custom with the men under a tree who brought out skins. After some conversation, Paul brought out the points of our visit and coming visits regarding the taping of their musical literature. As we had visited the chief several weeks before, this was not new to them and they readily agreed to our return. They suggested that to start next week on Monday would be preferable to our beginning immediately. To this we agreed. We left Illea at about 3:00 and headed back up stream, stopping to see the chief at another village, Ebago.
4:00 We stepped ashore, and were led to the elders who seemed very disposed to the idea. They then suggested that perhaps we would like to hear them sing immediately. To this I agreed and quickly prepared our equipment. The children who had been listening to the discussion now became a most enthusiastic and well sung chorus with a very strong and quite excellent leader (an older man, 50). After singing one song, the leader sat back assuming he was finished. I then replayed the tape for him which entranced him. He then immediately asked if we would like another. And another. The first and third songs were particularly well sung. A second man then volunteered to lead a short song, which he did… this war song was accompanied with mock attacks by several men on the periphery of the surrounding group now grown to about 100 people. As is seemingly characteristic of their singing, they sing with great power, full voice, intense and original rhythm, wearing themselves out…giving all they have. Several were active in displaying acts of pantomime, with expressive facial and hand movements, driving home points and giving attention with their eyes to me or to the leader. One lady in particular had the attention of the leader and he of her, and they exchanged a kind of dialog. The drummers using only the two smaller drums, again displayed originality and rhythmic drive.
We were asked to provide money for something to drink which we refused saying that we would provide when we were finished with the project.
5:00 We left for Pokwo. Stopped to pick up our cook who was getting corn and continued on our way returning home by 5:45.