Oberos Jan 6, 1973 - 41A Tierlul
Recording Series B 2A
Place of Recording: Tierlul
Date of Recording: January 6, 1973
Informant: Agwa Alemo
Date of Transcript: April 23, 1973
1 000 Obero.
Information: Not Odiel. (the people living along Gilo and Acobo Rivers use the animals whom their grandfather or their uncles are named after mostly. Difficult to translate quickly. Have to dig deep to see their meanings.)
Text: Praising the kings after his uncles (Only) named after a buffalo. A huge king when he walks in his palace or coming from his palace. I prefer to have much money which can be paid for one wife from him. The leaders name is AGWA. I can cry against my father because I didn’t pay enough to my wife’s parents and I hope he would increase what was left for me which he didn’t pay me. You are having a good leader. He can give out many cows. A man named after crocodile: crocks eat the advisors always. Means there are some people who say don’t go to a deep place of the river. They are eaten. Praising the wife of the chief. Saying she will give me an ivory bracelet. Don’t make any confusion because of the song. It is not the first time to prevent a singer with a price. This is already known that a singer always receives a price. (There are some people who didn’t agree to give him something.) A cow which is given by a king if he dies it will remain. (Though the cow is dead he will still be named after that cow.) Father you didn’t fulfill what you said. You have realized that I was in need of something from you. And you gave me demoui. In TEDO village, there are many liars who can cause argument between the clan. The generation of OLAD. This is your responsibility. To keep the village in peace. Praising one of his friends whose name after catfish. Our chief is the chief of love and not the chief of war. Praising the daughter of the chief who is the wife of the chief saying that why don’t you conclude the talk of my price. (If you sing a song for some leaders if they are very interested in it, they can you marry a new lady so they can pay all things. They can complete the money for one wife.) Many years ago, TEDO was having its high position but during our generation people are against each other and they can change the song or any song to an insult. If you cause quarrel among the clans, you will never get any honors from other villages. Praising the elders of the village by advising them to improve the way of the village again. Begging the prime minister saying that my poorness will lead me to death. Praising the chief again saying you have made some poor people very rich and finish your talk or agree on one point with your wife. Praising the man who is shouting. Praising his friends who are living in Cham. If he can be given certain beads that kind that is the third to demoui. Begging the chief, if you miss to give me demoui you better give me the spear which can be charged to $60. (DEM) One of his friends named RUNNO being absent can be considered as a death. When you were away from me, I was thinking a lot about you. Praising one of his friends who was away for many years with him together. In TEDO VILLAGE even though your brother will be against me and OCAR was my best friend, we share some ideas with him. Praising his generation and saying my generation looks like the son of Arabs. They wear good clothes they comb their hair they don’t think of war.
2 285 Dudbul.
Information: The man who is shouting is the one who is being praised in the song.
Text: Tedo is a village which has many secrets. If you don’t show your gladness to anybody you care less about somebody and care more about yourself. (Tedo people practice clan warfare among each other with sticks) (The fighting caused by the clan made them separate to many villages. They trust themselves but don’t care about others) A man named after a medium sized fish, when you fish that kind of fish, take bread and throw it in the river and catch it easily. When I came from Gambela, the man who is called AGILA was the only person who sympathized to tell everything to me. Praising his friend saying he’s a person the first one time a price and his wife who is created very nicely all and straight with white teeth can volunteer to give me also. I didn’t think that I’m going to miss a price from you. Those who accept my song by giving something to me they are finishing their part. (I’ll never beg them for a price anymore, they have finished) Praising a man whose name after a clay pot. If still looking at you when will you volunteer to give me too. A man named after a buffalo, who has given goat, I can express your name in my song because when you give something you give it with your whole heart to a person. Praising the wife of the man who gave him a goat. When she pounds, she looks like a grinder (She pounds a great deal of corn) the corn she pounds is for us, she who took the place of our mothers. (Many people who are named after pelicans, a man named after pelican said, when it fishes, it doesn’t need any rope to put its fish in. It swallows the fish. Means when the pelican fishes, it doesn’t have a container to put the fish in, just swallows them.) Praising the chief and his friends saying that you have to give me some price during the dancing in the daytime. Praising their wives if they can agree to give some prices to the singer. (this man first praised the men after their animals and next their wives, the general idea of this song.) Continues to praise people with their wives together. Not after their animals, after their permanent things in their village such as trees. Praising a lady saying that the daughter of the IPO will never be compared to any lady or woman. She is active in everything. The daughter of IPO which has even hunted by the canoe in CIRO village.
3 507 Agwaga.
Information: Strong beginning by man above. Interesting intervals as he begins. Sung to ABULLA a king. (A man who fought Ethiopians for many years.)
Text: Our king is active who wants to deal with Gallas. (Galla is a common name for Amhara, Gurage, etc.,) Guns will never miss, can kill any person and will never miss. That has our leader done. Though everybody heard that there is fighting between Amhara and Abulla, he was glad, his drum was beaten and he was shooting and killed a person of the clan of OGILO. (Means when Gallas went to fight against this man, they influenced some Anuak to go with them. The first man who was killed was Anuak. From OGLO clan) When Amhara’s brought many weapons the Amhara leader was ASSFEW got fed up and threw his gun away. While a leader of ten people was shot in the forehead. You try your best because there are many rumors coming to us. And those who were tired of Amhara influence when they joined us, they will never go back to their villages. (Those who fought against the Government were not from only one village they were the units of many villages around Gilo river.) Those who boast of our king they resigned when they heard that ASSFEW who used to eat pepper died. (Gok people who supported Amhara).
4 552 Agwaga.
Information: Agwa knows this song, sung in 1963. (The war between Tedo and Ojallo broke away because of the wife of the king of Ojallo. Who was married by (committed adultery by one of the Tedo men? When the king of Ojallo made a plan against Tedo people, he called them to join his party in Ojallo. During this dancing all the people of Ojallo were away, many were away because of the plan which was made, when the clapped their hand for the king, Ojallo people came behind and they killed all of the Tedo people. When those of Tedo who were the few remaining, they made a long plan for that, to let Ojallo people forget what they had done, so they heard that the few people were left in Ojallo, most of the people when away for dancing in another village. So, the people of Tedo went and killed all the ladies and the few men who remained in the village. This is the Tedo song.)
Text: All Anuaks why don’t you ask that man why he is angry, he’s mad and we didn’t consider the people whom we killed as the main or important people. Because we killed ladies. (considered them as nothing) when they came back from dancing, they were very upset. (You Anuaks ask why they are angry, we did not consider the people we killed as important) There is a man who left from watching the ladies, was killed by the Tedo people. His name is AQUOTHI, known in Ojallo. Those who came from dancing they were having nothing to say except sitting lonely or crying lonely because they have seen the dead bodies and the bloodshed mixed with the feces or waste product in the home of the king (they collected the wives together of the king and killed them in the home of the king, their feces and blood together were found in the home of the king). A second plan is always dangerous. There is a man who sang Agwaga song when Tedo people were killed. They insulted the citizens of Ojallo village. If he had seen you, you would have been like those ladies who died. They asked a man known from Ojallo also, how is the condition in your village by now. The singer said, the poorness of missing wives and daughters made them very upset because there is no lady who can make food for meal. Our chief cannot be compared to any chief. He who had allowed the young generation to kill all the women and children.
5 594 Agwaga.
Information: Curo, you will be helped by God. (Curo can mean either ants or catfish) Sung when Tedo people Adongo people. By that time, AGADA, king burned down all the villages in the side of the Sudan and he was trying to come to the side of Ethiopia. (Tedo is right at the border of Ethiopia) Tedo people defeated Adongo. Because they were joined together with some Anyanyas.
Text: One liar said he was going to defeat Tedo but never. When they chased the people of Adongo away, there was a man who volunteered to join the group of Adongo but he was captured by Tedo people. Said he was not a man of Adongo but a man of Ojallo. They killed him. Lies will bring many things among the people. Anyanya are the very brave people and Ningyoni advised Adongo people to come to the side of the Anyanya. Repeats.
6 799 Dudbul.
Information: Starts with a man named after the hippo. Don’t people get tired of hearing, give me something, give me something. He considers his songs as the important ones in the village. He may be the best singer in that village. So, if the people get tired of hearing his songs, who then is going to be the singer?
Text: A curse became true among us. Dudbul. Those who went ahead they have seen the consequences (Means, when you led ahead of everybody always you may be attacked by someone. During the war or during simply going for a walk. If you take the wrong way you may be abused by the owner of the home.) AKWIER when there is a meeting at home, they will separate one part for ladies and another part for me. The male part is called AKWIER, something done for the male only and not for the female. The female express honor to the male. This man who is named after the Achier with his wife were requested to give anything to the singer. The singer also said, he cannot choose the good price or the bad price. Any good or bad price he would accept. A book or a bracelet. A man named after pelican. Pelican which used to fish at night you better find a price for me from your wife. A man named after vulture; you never see a vulture bowing down when there is no meat. You see them bowing when there is meat. A man named after geese: it is not difficult job or work to give the singer a price. (You can give him any time, when dancing or when playing in the village) Praising a man named after buffalo. Buffalo used to go out early in the morning or during the time of the morning star. The wife of this man is ahead of everyone in the village by working or pounding or anything. (can mean also a first man or lady who uses to give price before anybody. First to give something to the singer) a man who is named after leopard he praising him with his wife saying, missing something made the singer worried always. (When you expect to get something, and miss it at the same time, you can worry) a man named after buffalo praising him that, buffalo which is used by highlands people for their marriage, praising that man after his animal. The leader of that generation is named after fire. The singer says that the generation of the fire how do you think that I am going to be poor. While you have much money. If it is like that, I will stop my shouting for you. This may be my mistake when I sing a song for my generation. If it is not for this male part, you females, you must give me something. I didn’t think I would get some price from you anymore because I’m really tired. I can study from your faces (Everybody seems to ignore his song) When I sing a song I was laughing and happy because my sister was helping me in many things. (Not a sister from mother and father – from different mother and one father) Praising his friends they were those who were agitated not to give him something. Sometimes they seem as if they are going to give something and sometimes not. You may complete your decision. Don’t go from one side to another. (make up your mind) A man named after pelican, when he praised him, like a pool for Masengo tribe where they can get fish. (the pelican comes with fish in his mouth and the Masengo throw it a piece of wood. The pelican vomits up the fish and the Masengo take them.) After I complete my song, I prefer ladies more than men because ladies give many prices to me. Those who said that Tedo village will be destroyed they were dreaming and were not telling the truth. What about our leader who is called AKWAY? He was brought there, or brought back by Amhara lie a big leader. AREW means a protector or shelter. If the village is round, if there is a problem coming from one side, will go and protect it. (Not Arabs, Amhara instead) Praising a chief, saying he’s fit to lead and too proud to the people. His wife also. Praises. (If a man marries 2 wives, the first wife will be the mother of the second one. If they are praised in a song, the first one will be taken as the mother of the second one. Without agreement of the first one, the second one will not get a price. She must have the agreement of the first wife.) You agree together, first and second wife to give me something. Praising a lady from Adongo because she first gave the singer a price. (Anuak cannot marry in their own village only but they can marry in another place as well) Praising the elders of the village saying how can I miss the price while you are just a protector of the village. Shouting, all people from Tedo say that you continue to sing a song. (Means with agreement from the people he was advised to sing a song of Dudbul or anything) Praising his wife saying when I first looked at her during the dancing she was looking like my mother. Praising one of his friends, named after certain bird like a pelican but black and red in his beak. Praising his group after their fathers’ animals. Praising a lady saying that the things I beg from you was not fulfilled. Tape concludes. Song not finished.