Oberos July 22, 1972 - 25A Pokwo
Place of Recording: Pokwo
Date of Recording: July 22, 1972
Performance: Various individuals
Informant: Agwa Alem and David Omot
Date of Transcript: November 4, 1972
1 000 Dudbul (Dancing song).
Information: Solo girl singer. Song from Okuna. If there is a dead body seen in the forest people in the village will investigate who went to the forest yesterday and who was not in the village. They will discover the one who killed the person. Very tight security among the Anuaks.
Text: When we go for dancing to another village, all the old men and the young boys in the village will go. In this year all the generations who were not dancing will come up to dancing this year. When the people were drinking beer, we refused to quarrel or to get angry with each other. Speaking about God, if there is difficulty, I’ll ask God to settle it for me. If I’m rich enough I can supply demoui to everybody but the prime minister, Nikwo who said he is going to give a dollar which is not going to be enough for everyone in the village. But then I walk to the forest alone, I met a devil which was about to kill me. I’m a man without relatives and I hope my mother will come to me with beer easily. You tell to every girl in the village because the dancing in the village is becoming very low. Is not heard by anybody. I don’t like a liar who is going to the chief preaching about false things. I don’t like a quarrel or to eat anybody in the village. A liar can be known on his face. There are some liars in the government.
2 120 Obero.
Information: Illea. July 24, 1972. Solo man with drum accompaniment Song for the chief of Illea.
Text: Begging the chief: You are a very small boy to lead the village. The leadership started with your father who was very small when he started to lead this village. November 11/1972. Praising Nyiqugo. I have come to your village. I changed my village to your village. I’m surprised about our small chief. Because our village is very large to be led by this small chief. Those who help the chief with leadership I’m begging them about something to be given to me. Mentions the names of the animals of the old men. Mentions the gift. I know that I’m singer which can beg something from you who help the chief. Saying about those who came from that village to come to your village they went to destroy your village. I was suffering in my village, now I’m in your village and I get everything here. the village is standing because of you. Until now I have made no mistakes in your village and I have dreamt that you will give me something. The chief’s wife, I’m not only begging the chief, even you. This is something known for me, when I reach the village the first time, everybody will accept me with happiness and pleasure. As long as I stay in the village some people will start neglecting me.
3 272 Obero.
Information: a continuation of the same song, but this time with the singer closer to the mike and the townspeople joining in as well. Leader, townspeople and drums. “He’s a good singer” (In Anuak area if you are very, very poor and you are a good singer you can go to another village and sing songs and the chief will give you a good price and you can marry (when this song was sung, those who help the chief with leadership will prepare something to be given to the singer.) This kind of song is to the chief and his followers. The chief will give only to the singer special gift for the singer perhaps beer for the people who are singing with. He would get a cow, or demoui or aspera ($60. Dem spear) or a gun, etc. People would only get beer. This man was in Ebago left Ebago now in Illea. So, not given something by this chief. If you are mentioned in the song you dance with the song. If you are missing, your relative can dance and give something to the people. During Okama, the relatives of the girls which with you dance with will give something to you and to the girl. The relatives of the girl will give you something and your relatives will give the girl something. By that time the boy will be glad and will pick up a gun and start shooting. During the singing, they will call the chief saying he is a nice boy. You could give him something. He will be called a citizen of that village.
4 441 Agwaga.
Information: Leader and townspeople. (notice the length of the notes held out by the singer – a unique singer) He got the sound of his song from Somali singers. And also, some of the words. Some Arabic words. He would pick up those words from the radio. Also, a certain fellow in Pokwo. Friend working in the clinic. This man for the Sudan and competes with Odiel. Odiel has 3 wives but still wants to marry more. Usually a singer is very poor. Girls will volunteer to marry him. Marry me until you get the money. Parents will say after disagreement, you go as you like. Notice the Arabic influence. Different words and Arabic melody at 565. Whistles. (very improvisational style) (rainy season – the rain of August impacts area. During rainy days of August, there will be starvation for 3 weeks or a month. And everybody will think what am I going to eat tomorrow. So, because of that, you will be thinking a lot about what you are going to eat and abut your poorness. A very hard time for the people. Throws in several languages.
Text: God, what can I do about my bad luck. He mentions the name of the chief. Saying I’m not lucky, up to now I got nothing from my villages. When I think of my poorness, I’ll be coming to you. Or I will be crying to you because of my poorness. Drum added. God, what can I do? I swear in the name of the chief. Is repeating the same song. When I cry because of my poorness, I’ll be crying to you. Because of the rain of August (during the rainy season), I swear in your name because of my bad luck. Mentioning the name of the wife of the chief for me. Tell her about my bad luck Nyiqugo or Kagwang mentions that he looks like God. I’ve nothing to say but God will help you. Why don’t you ask me why I came to your village? What do you know about me? Now you are the elder what can we do? You are the chief of the former son. So, this is your village. Now it is your responsibility to take care of the people in the village. Mentions the chief’s grandfather.
5 799 Dudbul.
Information: (In an area when the song is sung for the singer for the chief, you sing a new one to your friends and the people who are known in the village explaining about something in the song that out sang for the chief. Perhaps sometimes people will not understand your ideas, you can say that my ideas was to get something like this and this from you and the chief. The singer will never sing in the form that he sang it for the chief. He will sing it in general dancing (therefore this is a Dudbul and not an Agwaga) The beating of the small drums is similar but the beating of the big one will be changed. Only the small drum will not change. Only the big one.
Text: Saying something about the chief. The son of ODEIR now out are my father Mentioning his friends’ names explaining to them about his bad luck. Mentioning his friends and relatives that are known in the village. But not so much the chief. (this song is not the same as the one preceding.)