INSTRUMENTAL July 28, 1972 - 32B Various Peno

01 Track 1.mp3

Recording #32B

Place of Recording: Peno

Date of Recording: July 28, 1972


Informant: Agwa Alemo

Date of Transcript: March 17, 1973

1 000 Dancing song.

Information: Anyanyas wanted to buy bullets but found the source difficult. They went to the gold mine area to get bullets but there they were attacked by the Ethiopian right-wing soldiers. The Anyanya killed many Ethiopian and captured a machine gun which they then gave to the General Lema in Gambela. This put them in the good graces of Gambela the relationship between Gambela and the Anyanyas. Became strong. Joseph Othiel gave Lema many cows and much money. He was the governor of Gambela) this song is about the war between the Ethiopian and the Anyanyas at the gold mine. Anyanyas did not use machine guns. They were using smaller arms. The black people because of the things done in the South Sudan and with the Ethiopian government they sent a telegram to Russia and China and America from Juba. Anyanyas sent this telegram. The leader of Anyanyas was Abulla Masse, the captain. When they fought Ethiopian sent by Ningyoni to buy these arms. When the Soldiers tried to bomb Anyanyas, Anyanyas stood and ran to capture them. The policy of Anyanyas during their war, when they see the Arabs are very strong to kill many people, they run to them. So, they will fear them. Will run shooting which will cause fear in hearts of the Arabs.

Text: This is what they did with the Ethiopian government in this song. Repeating part. When Ethiopians tried to bomb the Anyanyas they ran to them. Add accompaniment. When Ethiopian government tried to defeat or colonize us, we refused because we are a government by ourselves. In the war they warned the governor of that area, he said they chased away all the people who were in that town. Ningyoni Ojulo was not mistaken but HIM was mistaken at that time. Those soldiers who fought against Anyanyas say that they were commanded by HIM to go and fight the Anyanyas. When during the war, when were about to catch each other Ethiopian soldiers ran away and we got drunk by the things they left. The meeting which is going to be done for this war was to be said without mistake. If we hear some mistake in it, we will never leave. The war will continue. Repeats. When we were about to capture each the Ethiopia government ran away and we got drunk by what they left. In last part he mentions insults of the rich people. Saying some are lame, one eye or leg or deaf. How can they compete with me to take my wife?

2 160 Marching song.

Information: Anuaks know that they are pushed in Sudan or in the south by the Arabs and the Ethiopians one thing in Khartoum. Agreement. Those who are in Sudan must be given different ID cards. Anuaks so those Anuak in Sudan have no right to come to Ethiopia and vice versa. Can’t go across the border. Agwa is sure there will be fight. There is the practice of free movement over border for the purchases of goods. There Agwa is quite sure of fights. Without accompaniment.

Text: Swore not to eat wild pig: main idea was to kill an elephant. Said when we killed an elephant our celebration will be done in a town in the Sankuru. Accompaniment added. Therefore, the same song became a dancing song. Even in this dancing part, he is singing admiring his wife in many forms and different ways. Saying we are like chewing gum, stuck together. (If he goes to drink, he goes together with his wife. When he dances, he dances with his wife. No one else. He has a strong moral policy) (When the girls make flour, shaking flour) You dance like the girls who are shaking flour. Repeating. The father of his wife was wanting to give his wife to a rich man. He is advising to not accept his wife. Repeating this part. He sang the marching song and joined this part for his wife.

3 283 Agwaga.

Information: Different singer. This song was sung when Agwa was at Peno. Peno sang because of war between Peno and Pohl. Pohl is across the river and those who were farming the other side of the river were kept from farming by the Peno people. Pohl is a very dangerous village causing war. They are antagonistic causing strife) (the revenged killed one of the evangelists he was converted by Agwa brother and became an Evangelist. When Agwa left Peno with his brother, the Evangelist became the preacher in the village. OWARO OMAN. He was killed for revenge about 2 years ago) When Anuaks hear a part where they are uneasy about, they will cough. They like war also. Many will go to war and choose sides and fight each other.

Text: Said, the war that we fought against the Pohl people we didn’t kill the pure Anuak but we killed the half caste of Nuer and Anuaks. We ignored the Pohl people many times and they didn’t realize that we have kept what they did to us. (Or we remembered). Our leader agreed to fight those who used to eat snake fish. A long fish with one only one bone, soft bone throughout. The king sons are not allowed to eat this. A person with bad eyes, when he sees a child looks on a child and will make him sick. The song says that the Peno people killed a person with the evil eye. Still claiming that they did not kill the best people in the village. They killed the son of the chief and they abused the chief of Pohl village. Saying if you join together with your husband, that is the Ethiopian government we will still revenge. Because of our ignorance many villages blame us saying we are cowards. But we’re not. He mentions the leader or the chief of Peno, saying our chief agreed to fight if you are willing to revenge. Just revenge. When we killed the son of the chief, people didn’t cry by beating the drum Because so many died in the village. They did not beat the drum (as they usually do when son of a chief is killed) they simply kept quiet. (Another meaning of that sentence, everyone is sitting lonely thinking whether he is going to be alive or not) those handsome people during dancing cannot be considered in the war field as handsome people because some of them are fear to fight or die in the field. Abusing part: difficult to translate: abusing the wife of the chief. Insulting her in a bad way. Still insulting saying all the big ladies in the village they try to curse each other in their village. They were questioning themselves, who caused this war between Peno and Pohl. When Peno people defeated Pohl, said these who did not die they ran away so Peno people started to kill dogs and chickens because people ran away from the village. Repeats.

4 674 Dancing song.

Information: Original singers with accompaniment.

Text: When they made a coup against POCHELLA Arab station in Anuak area, they said Ningyoni agreed not to attack ADONGO. But to attack POCHELLA. (Like a dancing song) You are beaten by a rich man. Saying to a girl. Because you were given by your father and not by me. To a rich man. What I can say for the rich people is to let them die so that we can take their wives. Always a rich man seems like an old man who doesn’t comb his hair and doesn’t wear good clothes. Even though he buys a comb, he buys it for nothing, not to comb his hair. If I have a friend in ADONGO I would have bought him a razor. When Anyanya called for a meeting the ideas that were given by Ningyoni was to fight Adongo and Arabs only. We will give ourselves because of our land that was given to us by God. Repeats. You were given by your father to a rich man and not by me. I didn’t hear of any rich man who has produced a song in the world. That’s what I think of a rich man is to let him die so we can take their wives. The girl that we were sharing with a rich man became mine. Tape runs out without completing.

ANUAK Project: FIELD NOTES – July 28, 1972

Retyped: June 14, 2019

9:40 We leave Pokwo, heading downstream to Openo (Peno). It is cloudy with a hint of rain. A cool traveling day.

10:20 We stop at the police post in Etung and check in with the Amhara lieutenant to inform him of our destination.

10:40 We arrive at Peno. We land at a clear flat area and sit with the men, the Burra. Paul first holds conversation with the fellow we have come to see, Nyingoni Ajwiar from Owelo. Being friends, they discuss the injuring of the chief by one of the Anyanya while being drunk several days before.

11:15 Taping session begins with Ningyoni seated in front of us. The chief seated on a raised section under a tree, the men of the Burra watching in a circle, the younger boys at a distance under the shelter of a house roof, close enough to do whatever the Burra requests. (If they fail to, they will be fined a goat or more or whipped) The women and children are seated at a distance by the houses. Ningyoni is a song composer of great repute and also a person who has traveled around to a great extent within the tribe. So, his songs have been composed in a variety of places at a variety of times.


235 a WAR SONG WRITTEN IN 1966. N. Composer. About Anyanya fighting Arab supporters in Otello. N. was present and made this song. Made on behalf of the Anyanya movement.

(N. wants to find a drum or a tin for rhythm, but has difficulty. Soon a man with a gourd and a man with two bottles: a beer bottle and a whiskey bottle arrive and form the accompaniment. The gourd is played as a drum and the bottles are played alternately pounding them on the ground causing two different pitches to sound. The placing of a finger over and then off the top of the larger bottle also causes a pitch change.)

273 Love song. N. composer in 1966. From Tedo village. Anyanya headquarters from 1966-70.

310 Love Song. N. Composer from Tedo.

335 Love Song. N. composer. A new song made in Peno.

360 Love Song. N. composer in Peno early this year.

420 War Song. For the Anyanya. Composed in April, 1966. Can hear one two three four referring to company numbers. These companies took part in the actions at that time fighting the Arabs. “la la la – ladies were in a circle. Singing don’t shoot again, surrender so you are not killed.

MOVIE FILM: Of man singing at Peno and man with bottles and drummer. Closeup on hands.

PHOTO: No 20 5.6-4F 50’ shot of general recording area at Peno.


  1. 000 War song. Against certain village that supported the Arabs called Adonygol. N. Composer.

  2. 013 Love Song. N. Composer.

  3. 022 Love song. When Anyanya were in Tedo Sung there at Christmastime.

  4. 038 Love song. Written this year at Peno. N. composer.

  5. 062 Love Song. Made in Gambela 66-67. N. Composer.

  6. 084 Love song. Tedo in 66 N. Composer.

  7. 095 Love song Tedo in 66. N. composer.

  8. 107 Love song Tedo 66 N. Composer.

  9. 129 Love Song 71 Written in N. way to this place (Peno)

  10. 147 General Dancing. Written by N. in 72 at Peno. Sung by Okelo Okoth.



25 4f 10’ Shot of older singer t another angle.

11 183 Love song. Written by N. at Tedo sung by Okelo, a young fellow of about 18.

12 199 Nirnam about an elephant from Peno by N. Sung by Okelo.

13 222 Nirnam about an elephant from Pokedi. Ny. N. sung by Okelo.

14 228 Love song from Pokedi. By N. sung by Okelo.

15 251 General dancing. For the chief of Okedi written and sung by N.

16 414 Love Song. Composed while in Gambela 65-66 by N. and sung by N.


1 000 Love song written by N in 68 at the time that Anyanya got into trouble with the Ethiopians. This was made against that accident but made like a love song. Sung by N.

2 044 Love song against accident with Ethiopian police. Mentions machine gun captured from Ethiopians at that time. Made like a love song but with the words of the action. Sang by N.

3 071 Love song. Made in Owelo in 71. (N. village Sung by N.

4 089 Nirnam made in Okadi in 1966. Sung by N.

5 101 Love song. N. includes his wife in this. Made in Gila.

6 135 Love song. Concerning himself at Oboa in 1970.

We now move to a hut to get away from the wind and the rain.

1:15 Numbering interrupted by move and will have to be listened to again.

Agwaga. Against the village of Paul may years ago. Sung by Ogato Onywac from Pino. He is a man of this village and he also composed this.

Agwaga. Against the village of Paul sung by Ogato and composed by him.

1:45 Stop for dinner.

2:05 resume.

Love song for Owelo made by N. sung by N.

Love song made while in Gambela in 1965 by N. sung by N.

REEL TAPE 33a 2:30

1 000 For general dancing for Peno. N. made this song when he was young. Sung and composed by Ogato.

2 047 General Dancing. Ogato made this when he was young. An older man in his late 50s or 60s.

3 121 General Dancing. Sung and composed by Ogato.

4 138 Repeat of Agwaga about fighting between Peno and Paul sung and written by Ogato.

5 247 Agwaga. Fighting between Peno and Paul. Refer to above. Written and sung by Ogato.

6 270 General dancing by N. for Peno. 1 or 2 years old.

7 New song with voice only with drum. Love song by N.

8 350 Love song by N.

9 386 Love song by N.

10 414 Love song by N.

REEL TAPE 33b 3:15

1 000 Love song written in66 in Lur Waro (the forest-shoes) written and sung by Ni

2 031 War song written in Owelo March 1970 against Otallo village. Owelo was attacked by Otallo in 1970. Written and sung by N.

3 096 War song written in Okadi in 1965.

4 102 Nirnam written in Okadi about an elephant (Naech) in 63 by N.

5 124 Nirnam written in Oedo about Elephant in 63 by N.

6 140 Love song written in Okadi by N. (Notice the form of this song: fast-slow-fast) Against the old men.

7 210 Gourd, flute and voice and 2 bottles. Love song. By N.

8 235 Gourd, flute, bottles and voice; love song. By N.

9 262 Very short love song. Gourd, flute, bottles and voice.

10 272 Love song. Same above sung by N.

11 299 Dancing. Flute solo.

12 322 Dancing. Flute, bottles and gourd.

13 420 Bottles played by themselves.


1 000 Thom song.

2 Thom pitch demonstration.

4:30 Finish session. A highly rewarding day with a great deal of material gained in a relatively short time. The individuals involved worked extremely hard singing and playing their best and doing their best to please. Mark handled all photography including the measurement of the flute.

We pay Ningyoni $6.00 for his service.

6:30 Finally return to Pokwo.