Agwagas July 6, 1972 - 4B Pokwomo
Place of Recording: Pokwomo (village)
Date of Recording: July 6, 1972
Informant: Paul Abulla and Henry Akway
Date of Transcript: September 16, 1972
1 000 Agwaga.
Information: Informing the people that our chief did not simply fight unless he is aggressed. We are going to make a big Agwaga for our chief, but when will I be given something. Praising the chief talking of many things that the chief has been doing to them, kind, warrior. Informing the chief if you kill him directly why don’t you murder him illegally. Doing something that the dog has done. One against the Gallas, the Ethiopian government. When they fought the Galla, we have found your tricks, the only thing to do with you if you cause something us, we have to fight you. The chief knows what to do. He has recorded what you have done. Informing the people that at this time we fought the Gallas, we chased them and they ran but we captured a machine gun. He became shy. The Ethiopian government became shy. He would never come to our village again but would be going through the grass. That evening the flag does not raise. Was down. Shame of what has taken place and afraid of what to do. These raw meat eaters. These people who oppress people but then revenge is given they become afraid. Praising the chief, said he is a very brave, man when we fought the Ethiopian, we divided into two, the other was chased to Nuer areas and others chased to Gambela. (Paul Abulla and Agwa Alem informants: July 24, 1972: Fought against the government
Text: Our chief is very powerful. The Ethiopians are eating raw meat People who eat raw meat, can they fight? We can’t say we defeated Gallas or that they defeated us. We separated without defeating each other.
2 038 Agwaga
Information: Paul N. informant, August 2, 1972: From Pokwomo against Pingngweo and Pumoli. All of these against these villages. This Pokwomo: all villages were against them of Etung. This year in May came here with their chief. Came and played and made peace among themselves. The village of Pokomo were troublesome all this time. Have enemies in this area. They made a song. Anuaks some years ago believed that there was a big stone in the river. All were asked to get that stone out. That stone could not be moved. When people tried to get that stone out, they could not. So now this is mentioned. Pokwomo was left like the stone, unsupported, nobody tried to help them when they were fighting the Ethiopians. Take the stone that was rejected in the water and did not come out when many people tried to get them out. Therefore, they ae strong people like that stone.
Text: Even when we wear rags, we have killed Gallas, some are moaning and crying for the captain called Gebreas. Our revenge is very nice. They killed two people, if you try to aggress the chief you are going to suffer and this is why you brought this steamer, brought certain steamer, came on the other side of, came by night silently, avoided the village and passed. You become like a thief, who passed silently. Not a problem for me to do anything. I’m ready to keep quiet, but if he steps on my land, that’s where I’ll fight him. Talking about Nile: we have now fought, what about when we go out tomorrow, we must be advised of what to do.
3 052 Agwaga.
Information: The same as the first one on the page. 1 000.
4 077 Agwaga.
Information: Repeat of the second on this page 2 038
5 095 Agwaga.
Text: Praise the chief, comparing him with a governor. Tried to make self brave. Swearing in the name of the chief. You have made me unhappy the future; there he is going. Came from Abel came to Pokwomo to perform some songs, I was trusting my future especially this Pokwomo when I song this song, my brothers re near me, we can enjoy it together (he was having a friend at Pokwomo, when he came for singing, this friend had died. Therefore, saying God has made me unhappy). You’re going to live long, this chief is very great even when his father left him, you the chief tried to protect yourself well. You are the great chief of all the Anuaks. We believe that we are under you and you are ruling us. Now praising the chief, saying the dancing is for Otheti for me; even though you involve yourself in this dancing, in the near future I’m going to sing a very nice song. Praise the chief you are my father; our village is like a pool of beer. Our business is to dance. When he put on the trousers, he looks very handsome like a prince. Referring to the song of before, when we were in the better field at Itel, when the Gallas surrendered to us, who did that big business he was our chief. His name is called (instead of putting the name of the chief he puts the name of his father). Aballa Olmedo: name of the father All of us are under you. We are now very happy. Eating and drinking when we fought the Ethiopians until they burned our village at last. It was due to witch doctors. Wizards. But still we resisted the force and captured many rifles. What can I say now, I’m happy. We have fought the Red people, repeated. It was we who fought the Italians. Why do you talk of my name, because of your girls and children? My mother has born me a daughter, but it was the destruction of God. I didn’t know this thing was going to happen. Referring to all the people, he was having a sister but later his sister died, and now every now and then he marries a bride but he can pay nothing what is wrong with this man he has nothing He is replying to them. Why do you talk of my name? the girls are too much. But when I was born by my mother, I didn’t commit adultery. I didn’t go after somebody’s girlfriend. At the time we danced, all my group married. I became like a certain bird, called (near the river, white in face, whole bodies red, once it goes to the river it will take a fish, when a person runs up to it, it must leave the fish) once he goes up to the girl, someone will go to the girl, pay dowry and take her from him. I feel sad when I think of my girlfriends, I have chosen many beautiful girls for myself but I remember wounds. The consequences result in wounds. Where shall I go Now, he has no wife at all. Beaten because he has nothing to pay for the dowry. Talking of the chief. Praising the chief, telling the people he gives dollars that are unaccountable and still looks for others in his house. He has become big like his father. But his stomach is great. The most important thing is to give me food. Praising the chief saying, he who is near the chief will be satisfied, and would also be asked about the girls of others. Praising all the people, explaining himself to them. All of you all of you. Let us be happy.
6 153 Dancing Song.
Text: My stomach is white as cotton. What else do you want? I’m very happy. Repeats.
7 182 Love Song.
Information: You can talk with a girl through this song. (Informant Paul Abulla and Agwa Alem, July 24, 1972) Why don’t you tell me what you are supposed to say. If you don’t, I’ll get a better one than you. A popular song.
Text: Asking boyfriend of the girl friend. Why don’t you tell me frankly, I’ve got another one more beautiful than you? If you don’t like me, say so. I can get another more beautiful. Praising the young men and repeating the same words. Repeating. These girls are to you. The mature girls put out many praises.
8 238 Love Song
Information: This song is very nice but poorly sung.
Text: It is surprising how did we lose our love.
9 250 Dancing song.
Text: Asking, at what time did we lose our love. It was at 10 o clock. If you don’t love me why don’t you tell me. I have a beautiful one who just looks like you.
10 296 Dancing Song.
Information: In the Autumn, the Anuaks receive new songs when enjoying their maize. The song composer may make a lot of songs because people will be happy. Will be using this time as a marking for the complete year. Playing a lot after the corn is ripe. Messages will be sent out and the villages that play together will be in one place. Villages will do things special for the new chiefs (Kailwok: new chief recognized by other people).
Text: This time must be my time now. Praising themselves saying I’m sure that I will get some dowry this time. I’ve decided to go to Kutbudi. (incomplete.)
ANUAK Project: FIELD NOTES – July 6, 1972
Retyped: June 6, 2019
9:30-10_45 Taping session with Carl Templin discussing elements of the Anuak culture.
11:00 Leave for Pokwomo and is our custom, sit under tree to wait for instruction, visitation, or whatever. We have come to speak to the assistant chief about the requests notably by the women about payment for their services performed on the 4 and 5 of July. Because the two villages are related and ruled by one chief, the same faces keep popping up in both places. The thought of concentrating on only one or two individuals at a time is discussed between Paul and myself as we wait for word of the chief’s arrival. Since he is slow in appearing, we discuss other matters.
There are many clans in a village (meaning of clan uncertain) they solve marriage problems and if solved peacefully the chief will not interfere. (Clan – same blood)
Meaning of Anuak: a united tribe. Nuak to eat together, being united. Do things in a united and not separated way. “to share”. Eat play and go around together. Growth: long ago were more in number; but fought with themselves. Evidence of deserted villages of great size. Many have lost lives along the Sudan. The Anuaks have guns, Nuer do not. The government now prohibits fighting among Nuer and Anuak there are still fights among villages.
Horns on fence posts; from cows of feasts given by chief.
Education; children copy drumming. Observe very little children running while playing. Running in rhythm and making the audible sound of dance. “Dnah dnah.” Therefore, assumption of learning by imitation. No teachers. Everyone tries for themselves which develops into competition. Anyone can do the tricks for themselves. They can copy others.
12:40 Brought to compound in town. Two huts full of men. One mud side and the other the usual grass sides. The drinking house has the mud walls, for coolness. 20-30 men crowded into the small tukul in a circle drinking out of a common pot. Using straws (bamboo shoots) Opero: to drink the beer (ko o) Made out of grain. They sing songs. War songs against a village (Pumoni) and against the Ethiopian police. When they fight, they make songs against the people they are fighting and include the names of the people killed listing them in the song. So, they laughed when they come to the names. This particular battle occurred in this area about the time of the 2nd World War.
1:10 Outside, in the compound a man begins singing and dancing to the beat of a gourd turned upside down and played with real skill and variety. Good technique with playing using finger tips, palms of the hands in variety.
1:20 Move into the straw house where men are crowded into the hot room. Perspiration rolling of the black bodies and they singing with great power, let quite expertly by the fellow who refused to sing yesterday. (He was in a bad mood because of fasting or some such reason) Several men stand at intervals to drive home a point or to simulate warlike stances as the singing continues. A very dynamic situation.
2:00 – 2:30 Children involved in dancing and singing in the first area of contact. They sing freely and dance in a tight position around tape recorder. Movement of feet is limited to shuffling. Arm movements are free. Singing is loud and uninhibited but could not be classified as accurate. The drummer sometimes joined by other beats rather simple patterns on a 5(?)-gallon gas can laid flat on the ground. The drums are not used. The chief has to give permission for their use. And this is a rather impromptu dance.