Oberos Jan 14, 1973 - 46B Pokwo

02 Track 2.mp3

Recording Series B 7B

Place of Recording: Tierlul

Date of Recording: January 15, 1973

Performance: Leader in Bura

Informant: Agwa Alemo

Date of Transcript: May 5, 1973

1 000 Obero.

Information: As recorded before, teaching the song for the second night.

January 15, 1973 Taping in Pokwo

2 405 Dudbul.

Information: Started with a man named after a cow which has brown-red color.

Text: Saying, my poorness remains and it is not a sickness. Something which is given will never be hidden. There is a man named after ants or catfish. The things or the price you give is more than the other people paid. Because you finished your part you better play with your cow. Informing his generation saying I’m longing or planning for a long journey. When I get worried of my going away, I will never inform any one of you. Praising the wife of the man mentioned in the song. After a permanent thing and her father’s animals. Telling one of his friends saying I roaming about and when I sang this song, I was hoping of getting a price for it. Praises the wife of the man. Praises the wife of that man if she can give one spear. A boy after an elephant saying, my song has been accepted by many people and saying if I repeat myself, many times in the song it may be because I don’t get anything from you. Praising woman named ARIET saying it is not because I’m a singer but it is because I made myself lower than any of you to produce or sing this song. (Means he’s not a good singer) Informing a man called OJULO saying, don’t be tired of my poorness you can look for the girl who is fit to be married. Praising the wife of that man saying everybody wants you to be married by OJULO and not I alone. Praising a man and his wife when the wife of that man gives one spear to him. Informing this generation saying that how can I miss a price from you I am going to roam about and he praised one of his friends after his animals. Praised the wife of that man, the daughter of the king. Telling her she should give something which is fit. Going for a long journey is compared with if you don’t have clothes to wear or anything to put on your body. Anything which is given to the singer is acceptable. It is no matter if it is very small or a very big price, it is acceptable. Telling one of his friends about their friendship which is started during their childhood. He’s praising the wife of that boy saying that the relatives can support himself in any occasion. Informing his generation telling them that the song is for all of you not for a single person. Those who keep giving me food or those who feed me instead of my mother they replace her. Informing the grandson of king saying that if you could give two beads so that I can have them, and my bad luck also, is known in Anuak area by insulting me that I’m rude boy who is no good. If I plan for a long journey who is going to blame me. He answered, I will never be blamed by anyone because I don’t have relatives in OJUNA village. Informing a woman whom he knows saying that I’ve known all your secrets that a boy without parents will never be adopted in your village and I’m waiting for my son to go grow up a little, and after that I will leave on a long journey and not come back to the village. Informing one of his friends to give him a price and explaining about his loneliness also. Praising one of his friends and wife in the song, if they could show him the way of the gold mines. Informing his grandfather’s son saying that I have seen many things in my life before I got married. Praising the wife of that boy saying I’m very glad when you accept my song by giving me a price first of all. I’m still hoping that you will give another price for my new song also. Praising the chief of the village saying if I miss a price from you don’t be tired of talking to the common people. Try to arrange a price for me if miss it, it may be because I’m a newcomer in your village. Praising him that when he danced and walked in the meeting place, he looks proud and everyone knows that he inherited the place of his father. He's informing a chief and says all the singers became rich and I am still in my poorness. The poorness of common people is not difficult, it can be taken care of by a chief who can give anything which is acceptable. During the dancing those whom their fathers are known by helping the chief in leadership will dance proudly but those who don’t have parents or fathers will be considered as an evil eye. Praising his friends recalling back the life they lived during their childhood and going to the highlands of the Gallas.

3 649 Dudbul.

Information: Roaming: when you are relatives and you get a problem in the village, if you relatives have one demoui he will give that, to solve your problem. But if you don’t get it early, he will never be saying in anything till you get it. That is why he said in the song, the relatives are robbing each other.

Text: Started with the chief. After his animals one is an elephant and another is a big bird which has black-white color. Saying what could be done for Anuaks. Praising one of his relatives saying that a gift which is given to a relative is appreciated. Our generation leader who killed an elephant and brought the tail of the elephant home we danced and played for that and what is left in our village is only pistol to be brought by him. Those who are roaming about could be insulted because of their walking or going to a far place only. Praising a girl from PINYUDO saying that I thought that being away from the village is better than being in the village itself. Because a man is known in the village by his relatives. Informing a man who is named after a lion saying you don’t know the love of this village and you can give me spear which is remaining from you. (Means: if you have a relative or a parent in OKUNA everybody will love you but if you don’t everybody will hate you) Praising the wife of that man in the song. Said the love of OKUNA will be finished as the clothes torn off. Praising a man and his wife in the song saying that even the people of GOK became tired of these rumors or bad rumors of OKUNA VILLAGE. Informing a man who he knows from GILO river saying that it is not a curse to go away from the village and also a bad rumor which is being said by the people will be tired of saying it. The rumor after a long journey. (When he was still in the village people were insulting and saying rumors against the man and he decided to go for a long journey to let the people forget the insults and the rumors) One of his friends, praising, saying if a wife of a poor man is married by a rich person she will come back and also, the relatives used to rob each other always. Said when the animal goes it breaks the clouds (airplane or pelican) Praising a woman saying the daughter of the man named after the bird or the animal which breaks the clouds in between. All be glad if you can give one spear. (Not an airplane – a pelican) Saying it will never be pushed it just goes alone to fish in PINYUDO village. Praising a man who is named after a hippo and his wife who is the daughter of the king. The daughter she can give a dollar for him. A man named after geese saying when the small ones are being taken away by other birds saying, I’ve been for a long time without singing a sing. Informing one of his friends who is named after an elephant. Saying I had dreamed as you gave me ten spears which was being said by the women that they are the special spears. Which is DEM. (Marriage spears) Because this is your village these liars who are wearing coats will never throw you out from your chair. By repeating you in your song I hope you can give me only 5 beads which can be seen by the people during the dancing. When you dance in your meeting place you dance proudly and fearfully. When I sleep at night, I didn’t feel sleepy all night. I had seen the dancing place as the place where the people drink beer and some or all people say that OJONGI is poor now before he got married. When he is married where will he get money to pay for his wife? They answer that he will get a demoui because of his work. He praises one of his friends in the song said because I didn’t see the place where people get money, I dreamed that I caught a leopard. (Grass flooded on the water. It floats on the water – compares himself as that kind of grass (water hyacinth) Because people hate him because of his poorness he compares himself as that kind of grass. Just swimming in the air, is not settled. Those who are dancing in the village will be proud and the next dancing will be danced in KENYA also.

4 864 Dudbul like.

Information: The people are ready to go for dancing they sing this kind of song. Very close to Dudbul song.

Text: Saying, this village is like INDIA. The generation of an Elephant when our girls wore shoes the beautiful ones can be identified during dancing.

5 886 Dudbul.

Text: Informing the generation by saying that I’m going to sing a song this year and father don’t miss giving me a price. You the son of GOY. (Goy is sometimes a dove and there is a fish is also named this) light grey. Praising a man who is named after a fish and his wife after a permanent thick forest. Praising his friends in the song saying that OKUNA is a very large village which can dance for a long time. And praising one of his friends also telling him that the thing which we discussed is not forgotten by me. Praising a man named after ivory and his wife. Praising a woman also because of her active working in the village. Praising his friend and the chief in the song saying that I’m asking God for my poorness. (Not God but the king taken as his god). Praising his friends also after their animals and their wives after permanent and their fathers’ animals. Praising one of his friends after his years. If he can send him a price for his song. (Not in OJKUNA area. Very far from where the singer is) Informing his generation saying that my songs are becoming valueless because they give nothing for his songs. Praising the chief saying when I hear that he is giving out prices to his people it makes me very glad sometimes. He is giving prices to his people freely. Praising people after their animals and the chief also after his father’s animals. Telling his poorness to him. That I’m poor which you can give me something for a price. Where will I go for my poorness. To beg for my poorness. I’ll be crying to you my father.

6 1080 Dudbul.

Information: Apotho: bad luck saying: My bad luck is never been away from me. This song is going badly because of my voice…stops.

Text: My bad luck is being heard by all people. (A snake fish – a man named after this snake fish) Informing him and his wife saying, where will I go for my poorness or where will I get pay for my poorness. Praising his friends and their wives saying the singer will not differentiate any price. Woven bracelets can be given.

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.