Dudbuls July 24, 1972 - 26A Illea

01 Track 1.mp3
ANUAK PROJECT / Illea / GENERAL AREA (unreadable)
ANUAK PROJECT / ILLEA / Singer Standing among Crowd

Recording #26A

Place of Recording: Illea

Date of Recording: July 24, 1972

Performance: Soloist, drummers and villagers

Informant: Agwa Alemo and David Omot

Date of Transcript: November 18, 1972

1 000 Dudbul.

Information: (I am Odiel who sang may songs in the villages. This song was sung for the chief of Ping Mala and his followers.) Sung by soloist without accompaniment nor with crowd participation. This song is special for the chief so no one will sing along nor use the drum. (In Anuak area, if there are new songs, they will be sung by many villages if it is interesting. Words make the song interesting. Praising the people who have killed good animals. Sound of the song. Words are the most important.

Text: Praising the chief and his wife. My luck, I hope that I’m going to be rich. For the songs that I’m singing. Praised his friend, saying, I have been helped by God in your village (Ping Mala). Praising the evangelist and his wife. Speaking of his character. Odiel was praising the man shouting in the background. You knew my character when we were in Ebago. (Man became very happy. Called the animal that his has killed. Shows that he is put in the song. Sung in public and indicating good character) Praising the chief saying there will be no other man coming to overthrow you. Praising his friend according to the animal the father of his friend killed.

2 088 Dudbul.

Information: Odiel sings without accompaniment or singers. On Baro river, there is a system of government: if somebody makes a mistake in the village, he will be chased away by the chief. The man will look for another village which is good for him. Sung for the chief.

Text: Mentioning the name of a man called ODOL. I cry that I’m going to get something from you. Praising the wife of his friend, my poorness will be seen by God. In my journeying to every village it seems that I’m abusing the chiefs of the villages. I will beg the chiefs who help the poor people. I came here because of hunger, not to get something from the chief because I have sung many songs without getting any important thing. When he sang this song, he hears that the wife of his friend was sick. In my journeying on the Baro river, I’m not lucky because I’m hearing bad news from my village. Praising the chief, you are the root of the tree, you are responsible for PingMala. The man who is shouting was praised in that part of the song. Odiel said, I thought I am going to beg from you, God said if the king gives me nothing, I was going to come to you

3 177 Dudbul.

Information: Odiel singing without accompaniment or singers. Praising the man who is shouting with his wife, saying keep the village in a good condition. (a member of the town government) (In Anuak area, if the new song is sung, it will be studied by many people. Word for word. If it is very interesting, people will be happy to sing it. If not, they will ignore it. People will study the song week or two, singer will gather them together in a Bura or another area, he will sing it first by himself for 3 days is going to sing it by himself. After 3 days people who are very intelligent to catch the words will sing it. If the singer's voice is not good, he will teach it to somebody, then that person will sing it to the public.) This song for the chief in particular but also for the public. Without accompaniment to let people really catch the words. Some in Illea would know this song. Just a few. If they used the drum people would be eager to dance. (Probably because of the death in the village: the week before. Did not use the drum. In this area if the chief die, people will just wear a sheet or not take shirt and trousers off for 6 months.

Text: The singer was been isolated from society, praising a certain woman. I asked the gods with all my experience. (Anuak were believing in God who blessed and god who cursed. There is confusion. Sometimes the singer mentions the god who cursed people.) I will give myself to the God who cursed people. (Because of his poorness, he is not fit to live.) Because I don’t have good relatives, I give myself to God to help me: The God who blesses people. Saying the chief is becoming like a god.

4 251 Dudbul.

Information: Song sung for the chief of Ebago. This chief had been in prison in Gore for 10 years. When released Odiel sang a song for him. This is the song he sang. The chief was responsible for the death of a man beaten from Gilo. Because he was leading the village. A guest from Gilo married the chief’s daughter without money therefore beaten until dead.

Text: Mentions the name of Nyiqugo. Because our chief has been released from the prison, greet him with a salute. Everybody you better see with your eyes because our chief made no mistake. They released him from the prison. There are some people that are against the chief. They were propagating that he would not be released but that he would be killed in the prison. When the chief was in prison the first wife of the chief took care of the village with her son. In this part he praised her. Saying, when your husband was in prison you looked like him and I’m now begging you without your husband together to let me have something.

5 308 Dudbul.

Information: Soloist with villagers, from Ebago. In Anuak area, if all relatives died you will be like the man who has not fit to be in. If people come against him, he would be protected by the group that he is in. this mentions several times in this song.

Text: Mention names according to animals. (Difficult to translate because of mentioning the names according to animals.) You better listen because our chief was brought from the prison by God. Drums added. Continues to mention names according to the animal. Giving himself to God saying God will help me. (the God who blesses) Man is good if he shows pity for everybody in the village. Mentioning the names of the people according to their animals.

6 475

Information: Soloist with villages and drum. Refer to 26A 4 251. Repeat of the song of the chief who has been released from prison.

7 535

Information: Soloist. Song sung for chief of illea. OBANG CHAM With trumpet when Obang Cham wants to feed people the song of the drum will be heard by many villages and everybody will be laughing and happy.

Text: What do you want now? He had been in school for some years, asking the people of the village, what more do you want. Praising the NIKWO (Prime minister) Because of the good works, he said, mentioned the name of the chief also. If there is anything that you prepared for me, you better give it to the chief illegally without being seen by the people.


8 Dudbul.

Information: Soloist with townspeople.

Text: God, what can I do? What can I do? I swear in the name of our chief. God what can I do, I swear in the name of our chief. When I feel my fulness, I will be calling our name. Because of the rainy season, what problem have our seen that I have done? It seems to me that I’m the best friend in the village. Praising his friend and his wife also. Mixes different languages with sounds of the Somali. You are the leader of the village. No one will over throw you. (trumpet sound included) singing in a different language. And then back to Anuak. The villagers respond: You are the leader of the village and no one will overthrow you.

ANUAK Project: FIELD NOTES – July 24, 1972

Retyped: June 12, 2019

9:15 Paul comes to the house and after all arrangements are taken care of, we finally leave by about 10;30

10:30 Leave Pokwo for illea by boat with Paul, Mark, and an old lady and fellow who is learning how to drive the boat.

11:00 We arrive, walk through the saw grass and stop under the meeting place of the men. Here we wait. This place is so important to the men of Anuak villages that was each pass by, he puts his right arm behind his back grasping it with his left. This is a sign of respect for the place usually under a large tree where the skins are set out and the men sit or lie and talk.

Today we wait quite a while and very little seems to be happening. Eventually the chief comes out. He is the young man I met several weeks ago on our first visit into this area. He has just come back from being in detention for several weeks to get more taxes out of the village. They had paid $4.00 apiece earlier, but because there is no place for these people to keep such receipts as they have no boxes in the village, they are at the mercy of the government to extract more taxes, whether previously paid or not. So, this time, they got 3 dollars more per head.

Action is very slow and so Paul says we came the first time and you said to come back and you would be ready. We came the second time and you were not ready (because of a death in the village). Now we come the third time, and still you are not ready. What’s the matter with you fellows!? At that, the chief gets up and goes to his house and soon a man brings out his chair (he is the only one in the village allowed to have a chair). This is placed in the center of the area facing us. The men immediately move to the sides and a very respectful distance. Then the drums are brought out and then the children and women begin to appear.

12:00 Action begins with the women and children sitting to our left, the soloist in the center in front of the drums, the drums in the center, the men to the right and what dancing is done takes place in the far center, out of the shade of the tree, a perfect place for good shots over the action of the drummers. The leader is strong, expert and responsible for the composition of many of the songs sung. He is also the composer for several of the villages in the area, making his living as a composer of songs for several of these places. He travels around considerably and his songs sung today are from several places.

We use up 3 and almost 4 rolls of movie film as follows:

J 151736

J 086664

J 153064 All Kodak.

The following camera shots rerecorded:

Picture 12 4 – 2.8F 16’ 125x shot of man singing.

14 4F 16’ 125x drums and men dancing.

15 & 16: man singing and drums. Dancers. 125x

17 5.8F 50-60’ 125x General area.

18 2.8F 30’ 125x Close up of general area at different angle.

Mark Riemer makes the following report:

There are several drums going “full stick”. The singer sings the same words in Somali (or so says Ocwer). It sounds like a dialect of Arabic. There are about a million kids sitting around. The man singing is the composer of all the songs he’s singing. There are several exchanges offs with the drummers. When the men sing, he holds his hands to his temples. Some other middle-aged men get up and start dancing (about 8 or so). A woman joins them a little later. They have a variety of get-ups. One stuffs grass in his belt. Another man carries a burning log. Others have a variety of sticks, etc.: one has a kid but drops him when the kids start crying. After leaping up in a series of straight legged jumps and imitation hunting scenes, they sit down to listen. After listening to the recording just the man sings.

Picture 19 5.6F 30x 17’ Shot of singer with telephoto.

The singer’s name is Odiel Okelo.

The first two sides are continuous with little opportunity for stopping. Therefore, no song by song description appears here.

Side 1: Tape 2 for the day:

000 1 Short portion of song written for illea.

008 1 Song for general dancing. A solo for Ping Mala village.

050 3 Obero for the chief Opodni Abulla from Ping Mala.

100 4 Ebago; village. Composed for this village.

132 5 A song for general dancing for Ebago.

161 6 A song for general dancing for Ebago. This is a love song.

279 7 Agwaga: bugle blown for the chief, for illea. Bugle blown any time they feel like it. Speaks about how good he is. Built a school.

Picture 20 11F 17’ 30x Shot of drummer and singer in action.

Picture 21 and 22: 2.8F 25 and 10’ of bugler.

388 8 Love song for the chief. (Somali influence in spots)

Side 2: Tape 2 for the day.

000 1 Agwaga very old for illea against Pena village. We’re fighting them at this time. Sung by Jwalik Ogwoli

060 2 For an oath to kill elephant: made the song when the elephant was killed Made when they were young. The elephant was found near this area. Sung by Ogwoli.

115 3 Obero for the new chief of illea (sung by the lead singer)

2:40 The action stops, we discuss with the young chief the financial settlement and then pay the village $20.00

After making arrangements for the singer of tomorrow, we arrive home by 4:15. A full and very rich day. Well worthwhile.