INSTRUMENTAL Aug 1, 1972 - 36A Drum Patterns Pokwo

02 Track 2.mp3

Recording #36A

Place of Recording: Pokwo

Date of Recording: August 1, 1972


Informant: Agwa Alemo

Date of Transcript: April 20, 1973

1 000 Agwaga

Information: beat displaying the technique of the large drum.

2 027 Agwaga

Information: beat with all drums: 1 large and 2 small.

3 051 Agwaga.

Information: Large drum only.

4 069 Awawa.

Information: Calling the people. 3 drums. Person who is beating the large one will have the small one beside it. Ad the small drum with one stick and one hand. Hear the small drum. The one who is beating the large one will beat the large and the small at the same time.

5 123 Dudbul.

Information: A long song which includes many people in the village. Like Agwaga beat but with differences. Using 3 drums.

6 163 Dudbul.

Information: One drum and one stick.

7 176 Dudbul.

Information: Small drum with 2 sticks.

8 181 Dudbul.

Information: Large drum demo. Like Agwaga but different: difference I Agwaga will sound like the small drum has gone to the palace. Dudbul sounds like: Beating is similar but the sound is a little bit different. In Dudbul, beating can hit the drum with the elbow as many times as you can but in Agwaga beat, can be hit only once. (at a time.)

9 216 Abongo.

Information: When pelicans line up and go in line, the people line up also, one person will sing a song and they will go by line. Girls by line and men by line. This follows the Dudbul in the dance. 3 players when people sing a long song, Dudbul, they will seem tired. Without singing sometimes, they will dance to this beat to allow themselves to rest.

10 242 Abongo.

Information: One drum with one stick and one hand.

11 245 Abongo.

Information: One drum with two sticks. (There is no difference in the way the small drums are played when it is Agwaga Dudbul and Abongo. One drum with one stick and one drum with two sticks)

12 251 Abongo.

Information: Two small drums together.

13 256 Abongo.

Information: Large drum. The difference is found in the way the large drum is beaten. Can use elbow as they like.

14 286 Obero.

Information: All drums. 3 drums. The similarity between Obero and Awawa. Only 2 persons who beat the three drums. The one who beats the large drum also beats the small. The best part of dancing in Anuak area. People will be very, very tired. They will keep jumping and moving on until the song is ended. There ae no short Obero songs. The songs which are sung for the old past generation, explaining what they have done. Usually very long. All the girls will sit and shake their hands. Not an implication of begging though it looks like it. To move the upper parts of their bodies.

15 341 Obero.

Information: One drum one stick and one hand.

16 354 Obero.

Information: Large drum and one stick and one hand. Large drum and small drum.

17 375 Okamma.

Information: After Obero, every girl will select a boy to dance with When the girls will come first in front to sing a song of Okamma. Each boy will come with his girl. Girls are ways the people who sing songs. The boys do not sing. These songs are love songs. After they become tired of jumping, they will move around and each girl will follow her boyfriend. After that the boys and the girls will be named after their uncles, grandfathers, fathers and permanent tree, etc. by exchanging each girl will tell her father and uncle and the boy will do the same. Naming their animals. In that kind of dancing there are some active girls who can remember what the boys told her. The parents of the boy and the boy himself will be very glad and give something to the girl. The boy will shoot a bullet and the parents of the boy will give a prize to the girl. If the parents of the girl or relatives are around, they will give something to the boy also. A spear, goat, beads. Bracelets. The prizes are not for marriage but to make the girl pleased. Now days, instead of giving some money you can give ivory or special beads. If then get money an exchange it for the money mostly the use of money is done these days (Competition between Anuak and Ajuiba tribe, dance competition. In Adongo When they got to the Okamma, the Anuaks won the competition.) Ajiba tribe uses only the Kruma dance.]

18 423 Okamma.

Information: One drum, one stick and one hand.

19 426 Okamma.

Information: One drum, 2 sticks.

20 436 Okamma.

Information: 2 drums, one with 1 stick and hand and one with 2 sticks.

21 442 Okamma.

Information: Large drum. One hand and one stick.

22 468 Drum beat for a dead king.

Information: When a chief or a king dies. The song of a king or daughter of the king or a chief or a nephew of a chief If they die, they will beat this with all drums. With the same beat. No change they will keep on with this patter. In Baro river will beat this best. The Odolla, the small drum will be beaten differently.

23 523 Drum beat for emergencies.

Information: When there is an urgent case, people will be called If there is somebody who is lost, they will beat like this. The person who is lost will her the beat and will come. Will know the direction of the drum and he will come. In Gilo river, to send a message they send a person with a horn rather than beating the drum. The town is so large.

24 550 Drum beat for boasting.

Information: For boasting Explanation included on tape. Calls for the whole village. When they are eating their food in Bura, they start playing like that. They will be running around the Bura.

Text: Each one is praising his bull. The goodness of the chief, how the chief makes them happy.

AUGUST 3, 1972

25 608 Abongo.

Text: When our chief boasts or moves around recalling his bull what he was named after, in his village. I was supposed to go and visit NYANG OCAR but our village became like Dembi Dolo where everybody knows it. Our chief became the protector of the village and the Amhara tribe. When he comes, you better salute him. This is the time of making beads similar to a bracelet they name it after a watch. This is the time to making watches. Repeats.

26 645 Dudbul.

Information: A person who is named after pelican: OCAR (Ochar) They became the protector of the village; became the doors of the village.

Text: Our chief became the bank of the village. Nobody will overthrow him everybody in Anuak nation appreciated and I appreciate him. He can give me a prize. I swear in the name of our chief who is like a governor. Which cannot be compared with the other chefs also? There is a person who is named after Hippo: when this person died, I still crying for him. Was still recalling the death of his friend. You try your best to keep your village if the position we have. (advice to the chief) This song which we named as a dancing song. It is not sung by another person but by OTHETI, the one which I’m going to sing for you will be very interesting than the one I sang. When our chief wears cowboy slacks (wrangler) he looks like a son of His Majesty. Those who were against us, they beg Arabs to unite with them to come to destroy our previous village. What can I do, our young fellow fought with the groups of military? Repeats. Girl singer.

27 733 Dudbul.

Information: Light sounding girl singer. Explaining about greeting between the young generation.

Text: Our young generation fought with a lion and our wives which is called AJULO made a beer and we danced at the same time. I heard that AJULO was given to an old man. We looked for her. Where was she taken? This side of the river and the other side of the river. That girl just went away from our generation because we are poor. Another wife of my friend might give me a price also instead of her. The dancing: who is beating the drum? It is the boy called, APORA. It is Apora who is beating the drum. The boy and the girl friend must be greeted at the same time from me. We are named after the sun. There is one boy included in the song, I greet you. Whom your grandmother came from where the sun is (believe that the grandmother came from the sun) (The relationship broke when the palm tree fell down) In history there are some in the heaven and the other in the earth and they are visiting each other before the palm tree fell down. (Saying about the old men, when the old men run and when he kicks, he doesn’t look like a young man. Means he isn’t healthy.

28 885 Dudbul.

Information: Girl singer. There was a boy wo married a girl but he paid only one demoui. Because her husband paid only one demoui, she made a complaint that to look for another husband.

Text: Said because the people were dancing (usually done in a village) we are dancing in the village of our father. Which they protect from Amhara. You are still our wife and don’t agree or don’t listen to those who are telling lies. Don’t boast that I’m married in front of the people. Our village lies. Our village also is a rich village which there is nobody who had no wife. They all I’m hoping for an elephant we can divide its ivory. Because of your poorness. I felt very unhappy, and I’m begging for beads. When he is begging for something to share with his friend. One boy who is named after corn. When the new corn is boiled in the water it will change in color. The boy is named after it. During the time of this boy, many boys got married and they are looking for demoui. Our king became the bank which is known to every Anuak. They giving out what he has. How can I miss the price when this is the time when the relatives help each other Those who are dancing it is because I didn’t have a sister and also my poorness med me roam about. Go from place to place. He’s begging only for something to be given to him. Not because of the song. It’s good for the generation. When the teacher teaches everybody in the class, not half of the students, but if our king or leader wants to give a price, he must give the price to those who sang a song to the village. Appreciating one of his friends who gave him 5 beads of demoui (The bank in Anuak area, the chief and the king re the bank because they are having many daughters. Those who make mistakes in the village they will give cow or one demoui for their mistake and this money are kept there with the chief.)

29 1092 Obero.

Text: When you say something in public. Our chief was controlled by those who are telling lies. He would have given out some money. Liars telling him, don’t give him something. Solo girl singer. A person who sang this song was the poor man and the chief decided to give him something. But he repeated part, because of the liars I missed what was supposed to be given to me. Don’t confuse our chief because he has many things to solve in the village. The case of this Amhara and some other cases in the village. A man in the village called OBOK. When our chief died you took the place of him. Which you re having to do what he was doing. The song that I sang last year I got10 (of something) and there are some people who are against me beause of that. Our chief always used to give a cow and your prime minister (Nibur) you are also to arrange the village in a good position. You see the case of Amhara and Galla by catching innocent people. (Study the case of the Amhara and Galla what is the reason) Our village was supposed to be the nicest one, but it is a destroyed because of the Gallas who catch people to pay taxes. This is the duty of the elders to arrange (to fix the time to pay taxes) in order to let the people to come to the chief to pay taxes rather than letting the Gallas catch them on the way. (The right way is for the common people to pay the chief and the chief goes and pays the Gallas) (Gallas take people to pay taxes, though saying I have paid already, they will never agree. Put in prison and let them out only when someone comes with his papers) (Usually pay three times for a year) One man called PURO in the village. Said by making this arrangement, we will have a good time as we have before Galla influence. Before coming into our area.

30 1279 Dudbul.

Information: A song sung to the chief to appreciate him when he danced with his wife.

Text: When the chief danced, they will keep quiet in the village, even the drunkards. No one will shout. They will listen to his speech or watch his dance.

ANUAK Project: FIELD NOTES – August 3, 1972

Retyped: June 20, 2019

12:25 Arrive in Tierlul and sit down in the well cleaned area which we have found where the sound of the generator does not distract us nor leave an imprint on the tape. We sit down and then are men immediately by the girls who want to sing. Because we are so low on batteries, I hesitate to listen to them but we do and hear at least five songs.


1 319 A song for General dancing from Pokomo. Written by Acur, one year old and sung by Acan Ojwato from Pokomo, about 15 years old.

2 344 For general dancing from Pokomo. Written by Otheti 1 year old and sung by Acan Ojwato from Pokomo.

3 384 General dancing from Tedo. Otut the composer made in 1961-3. Sung by Awar omot from Tedo about 16 years old.

4 463 General Dancing from Pingudo, composer not known. Sung by Aduk Ojulo from Pingudo. About 17.

5 573 Obero sung by Ajulo for an alive chief, Gwok Ariw from Pingudo. Written this year. Ajulo Oman from Pingudo about 22.


All the following are sung by Omot Opiew from Oboa. He is also a composer of fine quality. Since he is a composer, he says, that it is very easy for him to learn other songs. Therefore, he knows many. The old composers in his village died so he took over.

1 000 Agwaga from Oboa by Ocan (Ochan) Very old. Those of Oboa came to Pingkew. There were under a king named Odiel Ojulo. The king won battle. The chief in Pingkew was Obolo.

2 045 Agwaga from Oboa by Ocan. Very Old.

3 059 Agwaga from Oboa by Ocan. Very old. Pingkew was destroyed at that time.

4 074 Agwaga from Oboa by Ocan also very old. Against Pingkew.

5 100 Agwaga against Depa from Oboa by Ochan.

6 130 General dancing from Oboa and written and sung by the composer. 6 years.

7 234 General dancing from Oboa. Written and sung by composer, 6 years old.

(He obviously enjoys singing to the tape. He sings the chorus parts along with his own voice.)

8 282 Obero for Chief who is alive. Omot Kwot written and sung by the composer. Call certain Nuer to take over command if the village is weak. So, when the king took command, used his fighting men to destroy the enemy of the village. Then all things captured reported to the king. He then divided the spoils. Men, boys, demoui, et. Whatever is important is reported. The king then decides either to give back or give part of it. But the king will take a part of the cows, ladies or whatever. He might take one or take the whole thing. When he finishes his duty, he would go back to his own place and the village would remain under the chief. This song is 3 years old.

9 355 Obero for Omot Kwot. The chief is not dead at this time. But asked the singer to composer an Obero for him. It is formed as if he was dead. He is still alive, yet the song is for mourning. Made this year. He has not sung this for the chief yet. He never will. It will be sung after the chief dies.

10 430 Nirnam for Owelo. Regards hunting elephant. By Ojulo. 57 or 58.

11 472 Nirnam from Owelo hunting elephant by Ojulo.

12 490 Nirnam from Ocwing elephant.

13 507 General dancing from Abou. By Othethi written this year.

14 672 Agwaga for Obou against pingkew. Incomplete.


How does he compose? a gift from God

1 000 Agwaga, his new song. Taught it to the people last week and by yesterday he felt it was known by the village. Song is for Oboa. Made the song in July. Not against another village. Telling the chief about his difficulties. How well he rules his village. Begging something from the chief. Sang it for the chief last week.

2 070 Agwaga: singer also wrote this Oboa. Also, a new song.

3 125 War song. Composer not known. From Akek. The singer was small at the time he learned it. Against Oboa.

4 137 War song from Pingbago. The villages are very close together. A very old song. Composer not known, against Oboa.

5 182 War song from Arieth, made by Ocwiea in 1953.

6 201 General dancing from Ajwara made by Obui 1945-46.

7 263 General dancing from Ajwara made by Kwot 40.

8 325 Nirnam made by the singer in Oboa village hunting leopard. 61.

9 353 Agwaga composed and sung from Oboa. 1959. Against Centhoa.

10 400 Agwaga from Pochalla.

11 450 Agwaga from Pochalla 56 or 57.

12 459 Agwaga from Poketi. 56

13 482 War song from Perbong 56-57.

14 505 War song from Poketi against Pocala 56 57

15 582 War song against Pingbago from Oboa.

16 594 General dancing from Oboa. Composer-singer.

17 608 General dancing from Oboa. Composer singer booth 2 years.

18 650 Karo: dancing. Young and old in line. Also, girls. They come over and choose. From Oboa. Composed by singer.


1 000 Obero for the dead king, Com from Medho. By Kwot. From Ajwara. Died in prison in Malakal in 1955.

2 045 General dancing from Ajwara by Kwot. Made while that king was in power, 48 or 49.

4:30 Conclude work in Tierlul. As we walk back to Pokwo we hear the drums of an Agwaga at Pokomo. We decide in spite of the threatening rain to hurry over there and take in the event. Ladies from a town not too far from here were performing in the open space not in the Burra but I the field in front of it. Reports had it that they were expecting a cow for their efforts. I took movies of the action as well as several color slides. I hope to have gotten several good movie shots. The sound probably is not good because of the weakness of the batteries. The dancing seemed quite undisciplined this day though we probably came at the end of it. What we heard as we were approaching seemed better than what we saw after we arrived. Comments on the tape as well as comments and photo on the field should show the specific parts of the presentation.

6:00 We return to Pokwo very tired after the events of the day under the sun but thankful for the climax of a very fine 5 weeks of taping the must and dancing’s of the Anuak.