Agwagas July 25, 1972 - 27B

02 Track 2.mp3

Recording #27B

Place of Recording: Pokwo

Date of Recording: July 25, 1972

Performance: Olok Okae from Cham


Date of Transcript: August 4, 1972

1 000 Agwaga.

Information: (another name for Cham Okola) Therefore, they named Cham as Okola. This means Cham is big. OKOLA. The human guest is good, but not the same as the chicken. As a guest it would not be good. Wouldn’t not help cleaning the fields or helping with building the house. But the human will help you. At the same time, he can kill an animal. A person is better than a chicken so people do not serve. He is telling the man who is begging. A guest is good if he is a person but bad when he is a chicken. That man was from another village. He is telling him, do not think that I’m a bad man. But when accommodate a man as your guest, he will help you (the there is a leader in the village, there is still a whom they call the landlord of that village. Certain people who are the owners of the land. When the chief wants to use something/ into a pool of certain place. When they go out there, the landlords of that village will say something before anything is done. If they want to fish in a place, then get permission, before calling people in. that land has power to prevent anything bad within the area. Crock or snake can’t get person. Anything certain places where the landlords will first talk and then they can go and fish. Talk about from their grandfathers, grandfather said something. Bring things together, say this and say this. If that man refused then no one can use the land. He must give permission. He should be asked. Go to the landlord early in the morning (2 a.m.) bringing nothing; people arrive, and sit and the landlord will talk. He will tell them to go ahead with it. People will then kill the hippos or whatever. If you kill 10 hippos will take all the right arms of the hippos or completely give one hippo to the landlord. Anuaks came from East Africa when they reached here, they found other people. The people who were here at that time were called OLEN. So, there we reached and the Anuak occupied the places. When they could not resist the power, they left the area the OLAN went. Those who remained his grandfather was OLEN when found there, he was called out and stayed in the village. The river is still considered as theirs. They started dividing the land when they reached a certain place. When they divide, depends on if grandfather runs fast. Runs for the land. Run that way in the forest. Marking the trees as a boundary till they go some miles, known by all. When certain places are reached, known by all that this land is the land of certain people. Any group can proceed, a good place gotten and would be named for them. If a man is poor, he might go to a chief or king, and ask to buy land. May be given enough demoui for a wife. That man would be given from the chief if there is river, he might sell it out. But without blessing would have river rights, but no land. Can be captured by chief or by Nuers. Supposed to be with their uncles. If they have the village of their uncles, will be always their village. Since they are many, I number there can be if the man dies, he can leave one son in that village. The other sons will go to their mother’s home Crowned by their uncles also when these men who remain in the place of his father dies, if he has no sons, some of these men will come from where they are and assume the rules. If the King has sons, then his brothers would not have a chance. A man in Paul’s village died in 60 and had no sons, his step brothers were alive. He was a teacher, his brother died in 66 He called for his brother. The called for his brother, in the camp. A major in the Anyanya. Called back and made a King Ping Bago. Land of Bago Ping means land.

Debour DEBOR: ANOTHER NAME FOR THE ANUAKS. All people. Namely the Anuaks a special name for them. Not used frequently.

In Anuaks, the generation like those of Bura, they are named accordingly. Small generation when reaching a certain year will be named. Nirnam made will be there in. A special person will be chosen a well-known man in the village. Will be called KWORLAK. The commander; he will be their commander. A big man. He will lead them outside, when they kill what they promise to kill, they will be named after they finish this is done in chief’s villages, not kings’ villages. Named: King will call the old men and search for a good name for them. Have their name till they die. What a good number. If according to the agent, perhaps not enough. 4 or 5 different agents. In big villages 200 or 150 boys in the group. Names given when really young, after a few years some will have their wife even at 18 years. When they are fit to fight something. These fellows named would be below those in the Bura are called LUOP. If they defeated them, why did they not take over this is done by the Chief. Another chief will come if this chief is dismissed. He will make new ones for himself. New Bura. In the Kings villages, this group of people is not made in one place. Near him he will have another group, the NYITWAL. These people are close to the King. The Koryak and the king. Here departments. For tribal work, Niko and the second Niko: people of high rank.]

ANUAK Project: FIELD NOTES – July 25, 1972

Retyped: June 12, 2019

1:00 We arrive at our place of recording at Pokwo and meet with a man who has come up river earlier in the day. He has come with the express purpose of singing. He is an older man, very dignified in appearance proud in bearing and very ready to sing. He is a singer from a village where he is no longer living. Therefore, it has been a long while since he has been able to lead a people in singing. The songs he knows are not known by the village where he is at present living. In addition, being a foreigner to the village where he is living now, he has not been called on to sing. And so, he is coming full of songs and anxious to begin.

We sit down immediately and he seats himself on the mat in front of us and begins with great power and fervency. As he continues one song after another, the sweat begins to pour off his face and down his short beard. He lifts his shirt to cool himself but he keeps on singing. The only reason he stops at first is for me to change tapes.

Rain interrupts our efforts and so we move under the protection of the clinic roof. And the singing goes on until 4:30. By this time, he is obviously tired though not as tired as we are and the session ends. He would have continued if encouraged to do so but he was anxious about starting down the path back to his home again. The following towns are represented in his songs. He sings the songs in groups, first from one town and then from another: Cam, Nyigila, Oedo, Ojalo, Adongo, Pocala, Okadi. (Recheck these spellings.) The gentleman’s name is Olok Okae.

We pay him $5.00 for his efforts.


35 4F 13’ 125x closeup of man singing.

36 4F 3 ½ ‘125x Closeup of man’s face.

0 2.8F 3’ 25x closeup of man’s face at different angle.

1 2.8-1.4 3’ 60x same as 0 except camera on end.

This was an extremely profitable day as far as quantity of songs sung, the authority’s nature of the singing and most important, the wide range of villages represented.

Recording #27B2

Place of Recording: Pokwo

Date of Recording: July 25, 1972

Performance: Olok Okae from Cham

Informant: Agwa Alemo

Date of Transcript: February 3, 1973

  1. Agwaga

Information: Between Nikane villages a dispute broke out because of a cow. He (a stranger has come into the village and goes and lives with a certain group in the village. They give the guest protection not to be attacked by another certain group I the village. They will defend him against others in the villages. When an Ethiopian went to the area, first they settled along the Baro river, when they finished along the river, the people of Gok village fought with them for many years and the Ethiopian could not pass to make a station along Gilo river. When they finished the war with the Gok people they tried to pass and make another station. Made an agreement with the Gok village and wanted to make another station The Nikane people fought against them also. The Gallas and those of Gok together. The Gallas and the Gok people were chased away. (were trying to make a police station.)

Text: Don’t quarrel because of a cow. In the village there is a liar who keeps walking between the villages saying this village is preparing to fight against. The singer abuses the liar saying, what have we done to this liar. We shared food with him. Why would he do this. Appreciating a person in his village. Saying this is your war. Your time to fight those villagers and us. He has mentioned about the stranger of another village saying a stranger has no voice, no right to say lies against our village. Appreciating the people of the village. Because of the division of the villages of Nikane, mentions the names of the famous people in every village. Telling them like advice not to divide the villages They say he is our guest. Counted like a brother. Mentioning about the people of his village saying if you want to fight against thoe of my village, they will never give you excuse unless surrender. Talking to the villages of Nikane and Gok village. Mentioning the names of the guest and others in the village. Showing appreciation.

  1. Agwaga.

Information: A man called OTIET. This song was produced because the war was between the Gilo people and those of Ajwara. Not produced in Cham but in Gilo area. A certain person in the village. The Gilo people burned down their village, he cried and said what bad luck.

Text: Otiet don’t cause a war, because a bullet can be like bread that cannot be digested without water. Because we fought many leaders, if we fight against the Ajwara people, we will chase them away and some will drown in the water. The singer said, it is not your bad luck but because your people were cruel. Insulting. Not translatable.

3. Agwaga.

Information: Song sung to recall the wars that they fought. Produced in Cham. (If the singer produces a song against another village, if there are some powerful in the village, he will consider them as a liar even though they are not. Tede and Cham villages fought a small war between them. Cham defeated them and burned their houses down. Because of the boasting that some person has done in Tedo village, that man was mentioned as a liar. Because his boasting was valueless, he did not face the war. He did not fight.

Text: By this time if there is another war, we will kill many people. As much as we can which the vulture will eat and yet flesh will remain on the ground. Mentioned was made between Nuer and Anuak. Mentioned a person in his village comparing him like a flood. He defeated them like a flood. Asked where you during the war. Why are you saying lies he was praising the people of his village. Simply praising. Mentioning their names.

4. Agwaga.

Information: “This is a new song you better tell him.” Ojalo village comparing a lion and leopard. Tedo and Ojalo don’t like each other. First, they ignore about their differences’ small dispute between the people. (A culture in the Anuak area. When there is a war, though you are defeated, the king or the chief will never run away. For this reason, many people will die because of the king. They will fight very hard even though they are defeated. If the king goes to fight, if his people is defeated, he will never run away.) a lesson grandfather tried to teach Agwa. If there are too many people attack you die in the same place. Not in different places. If you run away you may be killed there. Always be in a group. And die at the same time and in the same place.) The thing that causes war in the Anuak area, small pool. Many times, the border of the village is the river. If the river takes another way the meander will become pool or a lake because of this a village will say it is my meander. And another village will say the same the war will break out between these two villages. In this song the war breaks out because of the pool.

Text: Saying there is no difference between lion and leopard. They are the same. Mentions the lion compares the village of Ojalo with the lion. First when you see a lion it will never come to you. It will bow down its head first. Our village is like a lion. It can ignore. He has mentioned the chief of DEEPA. The chief of DEEPA died because of his greediness. His ears were cut off and hung on the drum. Because of this greediness we don’t want a war between you and us. (they did not fight)