Agwagas July 14, 1972 - 13B Opanya
Place of Recording: Opanya
Date of Recording: July 14, 1972
Informant: Paul Abulla
Date of Transcript: August 4, 1972; Direct conversation
1 000 Agwaga.
Information: Talks about the chief.
Text: The chief is very good to us but there are some people among us who go to the chief saying, do not give to this fellow. Mentions the names of the people. The people will die alone, they want to be killed by others. (die a natural death)
2 048 Agwaga.
Information: Talks about the chief. This is a short song but is repeated. Involved instrumental ending.
Text: Ordinary people are unhappy. Though they are unhappy with you they will not kill you. Not all the people are unhappy, just a few.
3 100 Agwaga.
Information: Compare this with 9A 4 116.
Text: (Joined by men in Burra) we have nothing to eat. Beat the Odolla so the chief will give us something. Repeats.
4 138 Agwaga.
Text: I have no song. Mentions the names of the people. (joined with others in Burra). You must leave that village. Repetition. The people are fighting.
5 236 Agwaga.
Information: Talk about the chief. Animal name: each man mentions the name of his animal. Usually a bull or a wild animal. Are simply bragging about themselves.
Text: Mentions the names of the people who were very strong.
6 277 tuning.
7 313 Instrumental. Agwaga.
Information: Voice after instrumental introduction. Very short with repetition. Notice ending.
Text: Asking the chief to give them something. (joined by men in the Burra) Talks about the chief.
8 418 Agwaga.
Information: (repeated notes) a certain bird – large) song against that bird. Bird seen in spring and winter. A very pleasant song. Bird is called an ALULOR. Compare this with 9b 4 153
9 476 Agwaga.
Information: Against a small bird.
Text: Let us look at your back. No. Why because I have tobacco on my back. People asking the bird. What about our tobacco. It’s very good, very strong and hot. Repeated.
ANUAK Project: FIELD NOTES – July 14, 1972
Retyped: June 8, 2019
2:20 We leave Pokwo by boat traveling up stream to Opanya.
2:50 We walk through saw grass and corn fields to quickly arrive at Opanya. The Anyanya village has been deserted because the boys have been called south so we sit under a tree among the men outside the village of Opanya itself. We wait for a considerable time until the same gentleman we heard previously arrives with his thom.
3:40 He sits down and begins tuning his instrument and proceeds to break a string. These strings, held in the base of the instrument by an iron peg run upward to the cross bar at the top where they are in six masses of string which are in turn tightened by twisting around the cross stick. He spends considerable time separating the strands but then ties the whole group in a rather uncertain knot. He then concludes tuning.
His first songs are rather short today as he is complaining of being hungry. As he continues however, he sings longer songs and is later joined by the fellows sitting around. They listen with great attention and quiet. He is apparently singing old war songs known to the older men. One song he sings is religious. I wonder if this tribe uses drums in addition as the form of these songs is different than the general form of the songs, we have been hearing which have the repeated chant like part sung by the entire group. The entire group here seems to sing much more and more continuously without the chant patterns so evident.
Again, he uses a unison style with his instrument and voice with occasional extra parts for instrument. Where the pitch of his instrument wasn’t quite right, he sings properly with the voice anyway and the instrument being played flat to the voice. Tuning of the thom is done relatively from string to string, comparing relative pitches and checking one against another or against the whole pattern of notes. It is possible that the instrument is tuned upward in the sequence of songs sung. This should be check on. If this is true the relative pitches of each of the notes remains the same though the tonal base is raised.
Photos: Agfa ASA 50 CT18 color fil
6 5.6 and 4 distance 13 feet. Shot of recording of old man. 125sp
7 1.4F distance 8 ft. Closeup of man playing thom. 125sp
8 5.6 and 4F Distance 40 ft. General shot 125sp
9 2.8F distance 3.3 ft close up of man’s face. 125sp
10 5.6F distance 50-60 ft. recording area. 125sp
11 5.6F Distance 30-40 ft. telephoto men listening. 30sp
12 5.6 F sp 30 distance 26 ft. Telephoto old man watching performance.
13 8-5.6 F 30 feet view of audience.
14, 15, 16 Side and front profiles of performer. Light in question.
Several shots of area from Opanya to Pokwo far river bank with telephoto.
6:00 Conclude work for the day and return to Pokwo by 6:45 because of engine difficulty.