FOCUS Page 6 A lullaby for a crying child

06 Track 6.mp3

Lullabies: The Anuak have a body of songs that are used to soothe the crying baby. The lullaby need not be a specific lullaby to be used as one. A love song or a dancing song will serve this purpose as well. The words may not be appropriate for a lullaby they need not tell a story. The lullaby may include nonsense words or simply name the baby over and over. The singer may identify the parents and the grandparents of the child in the song as well, effectively identifying the lineage of the child as well as indicating it by name, and in doing, praise the child and his parents.

The Setting: The village of Tierlul is a five-minute walk down a well-traveled path from Pokwo. Most frequently, after arriving, we sit down under a tree o the close edge of the village. On this day we are visited by a variety of individuals, but work proceeds slowly. The woman Akis, a young mother sings this lullaby.

The Song: Mentions the grandfather's the father's and the uncle's animals. In so doing, the child is mentioned. The singer doesn't know the name of the animal for the child's father. Therefore, this is probably not the mother of this child. This is a common lullaby.

The Text: My child cries because she is very hungry. Your mother doesn’t know how to pound, that is why you are hungry. I fill my mouth up with boiled corn to feed the baby and make them quiet.