OBERO January 16, 1973 - 48 B9A Pokwo

01 Track 1.mp3

Recording Series B 9A

Place of Recording: Tierlul

Date of Recording:

Performance: Leader in Bura

Informant: Agwa Alemo

Date of Transcript: May 19, 1973

1 000

Information: Calling the people with the drums. In Bura at Tierlul. They are looking for one stick which is missing.

2 097

Information: Singer begins his song again. The learning process continues. (People say, why don’t you sing it clearly. He answers, I’m drunk and when my blood circulates, I will sing it perfectly.) People saying, you finish it today, make it clear to everybody so they can sing it at home. It is known to everybody now.

3 291

Information: Begin to add the drums for the accompaniment of the song. The drum is not clear. The people are saying why are you beating the drum like that. Drum is getting better. Are using two drums only, did not bring the big one. Notice the rhythmic change in the singing as the drums are added. There were supposed to be 3 drums. Drumming is still not very good. Improving. Singing becomes strong as the people and the drummers get the rhythm. (The part of the bishop(?) in the village is not clear, to sing it high or to beat the drum quickly, can’t sing it soft and …when they sing it low, the drum will be very different from their voice. So, the part of the bishop(?) must be sung medium and the drum part has to go together.)

4 600

Information: Singing not clearly parts of various Agwaga songs. (In Pinyudo area all people will come together and learn the song first. After that, they will tell the girls to make beer and fix a day for dancing. Will sing the old Agwagas first then the new song will be sung by all the people.

5 740 Koro.

Information: A short song sung after that song, a man or a girl will praise the people after their animals and permanent things. All men and some girls will jump together till they get tired.

6 800

Information: Repeats beats of his own song again (while singing the previous song he was not singing it clearly so people said, forget about that song and go back to your own song. Adds drums again. Note that the rhythm of the song immediately changes. Improving it. Finished at #1182.

ANUAK Project: FIELD NOTES – Jan 15, 1973 - Monday

Retyped: July 5, 2019

2:00 p.m. Pokwo. Toks house with many children and chickens. Tape 7B, Last third.

Singer Ojongo Omot from Okuna

  1. General Dancing from Okuna by the singer, 1971.

  2. General Dancing from Okuna by the singer, 1970

  3. General Dancing from Okuna by the singer. 1967)(very short)

  4. General Dancing from Okuna by the singer, 1977 (shout at end.)

  5. General dancing from Okuna by the singer, 1969.

Tape 8A

  1. General dancing from Okuna by the singer, 1964.

  2. Nirnam from Okuna, 3 years by the singer, 1970

  3. Nirnam from Okuna by the singer, 1970.

  4. Nirnam from Okuna by the singer, 1970.

  5. Nirnam from Okuna by the singer, 1970.

  6. Agwaga from Okuna by old man, Odolla, many years old as are following Odolla is the singer’s grandfather.

  7. Agwaga from Okuna by Odolla.

  8. Agwaga from Okuna by Odolla.

  9. Agwaga from Okuna by Odolla.

  10. Agwaga from Okuna by Odolla.

  11. General dancing from Okuna by Odieng (this name is unknown to Paul)

The little children watch people dancing. Small boys watching. Younger watching. Children may learn when they go (boys) out with the cows and the goats. They practice and learn by night. Play in Agwaga. Will try to act as good singers, will try gain in the general dancing. When old people observe that that boy is better to lead people in singing, he was about 12 when he was recognized as a good singer. When he learned his songs, his grandfather died when he was very small.

How does he make his own songs: makes the songs secretly without telling anybody? When he gets the song formed, he goes to a lonely place to practice, there he may make changes. When thoroughly learned he would report to the chief. Then the chief informs the whole village of the song to be practiced.

How long to teach people? Sometimes 10 days or a month if it is very difficult. Probably by night. He says that eh forms songs when people are happy. That is for general dancing. For Agwaga: usually if any event, fighting, songs made against village and praising people having success in fighting. Chief would be included in singing.

  1. Obero from Akuna from the dead chief. By the singer 6 years ago. About 65.

  2. Nirnam from Okuna, by the singer.

  3. General Dancing from Okuna by Ojulo.

  4. General Dancing from Okuna (incomplete)


  1. General Dancing from Okuna, repeats the incomplete one. Abowo. Notice whistler in the background.

  2. Obero from Abol. Made while the king was living (The dog should not bark for nothing)

  3. General dancing from Gok. Jo no-Jor by Okok. Extremely long.

  4. General dancing from Abol by Okede. 1959. (3 years before the Sudan movement’s is found in the song. When he was young “The girl you love “

Finish taping at 5:00 and pay $4.00.

8:00 Walk to Tierlul and wait in Burra.

We wait for about 15 minutes as people assemble. The man in charge of the village then begins to beat the drum and the people come more quickly. The crowd swelling as the evening wears on from the 6 or so men originally there to the 200 or so eventually there. The singer eventually comes, having finished his meal. Being unmarried it is very difficult for him as he must live off the kindness of others for meals. This is true of all unmarried, though perhaps harder for him as the people somewhat fear a song writer as he may include their name in a song in a way that is not complimentary, some keep from him. Even those in his own age group who in this case are members of the Burra.

Having had too much to drink, he is active, making gestures as he sings and encouraging the singers very strongly, as the drum beat is added the singing gains great animation. Much more than singing done without the 2 drums (3 are normally used in an Agwaga – but being very heavy and having to be transported from Pokwo, it was not brought) the singing is strong and quite sure with greatest strength coming from the children. Even during the strongest singing however, the boys set up and do not pay attention in spite of threats on the part of the men. It seems that the age group below the Jobura was not present. There seemed to be a large break between ages of participants and those of Burra. Because of drink, his performance is not of the highest nor most serious quality. But the final performance is a long way from the first singing of the song. I believe that the tapes will show a very interesting development from start to finish. We agree on a fee of $15.00. because the chief did not pay him any more than that for the song. He argues that because it is a good song and because I am rich, he should get more, but the matter is closed. I give the money to Paul who gives it to the man in charge. It will be up to the singer to distribute the money as he so pleases, but that is up to him. We leave at about 10:00 and return home by 10:10 after a very full day.