Love Songs July 27, 1972 - 31B Tierlul

01 Track 1.mp3

Recording #31B

Place of Recording: Tierlul

Date of Recording: July 27, 1972 3:00 p.m.


Informant: Agwa Alemo

Date of Transcript: March 10, 1973

1 000 Love song.

Information: Same song as previous side. 11 820.

Text: Even though you’re married I will never be married. Boys voice strong and clear with can accompaniment. She’s lovely and needed by many Nuers and Anuaks because she looks very beautiful.

2 011 Love song.

Information: Boys voice. Love song. With can accompaniment. The new dancing is from Juba. It is sung like many Arab songs. The type of dancing the drummer drums for those who dance and the Anyanyas are moving around.

3 037 Love song.

Information: Boys voice with can accompaniment. Sung for Ningyoni. (when Ningyoni was the leader of Anyanyas he moved from one village to another. People would know this movement. When he knew that, this certain thing was going to happen he talked with Joseph Othniel to report of his travels.)

Text: Said, when they finished the part about Ningyoni, they sang about the girls who worked very hard. Admiring her business and beauty. This part is found in many love songs. A rich man doesn’t look for himself but he needs a girl married by a poor boy. When I see a girl like his Majesties daughter, I do forget my poorness. If you refuse me why don’t you tell me because the money cannot be decayed.

4 099 Obero.

Information: Older fellow singing. Obero. (Or the word Deburr or Obero – but) This song was sung for one man, from Agwas clan. He fought Arabs and Gallas at the same time. (Agwa was very small at this time. Killed many of Gallas and Arabs and these Arabs and Gallas organized together to look for Agwagas clan and wanted to finish them. But when this leader found out that they were looking for the clan, he gave himself to them and he was killed by the Arabs. He is famous, he was never defeated. MEDHOW OWAROGWAL. Also, from Agwas lineage) When he gave himself to the Arabs, they sang this song. He and Agwa’s father did not like the Gallas.) (Agwa’s father heard that MEDHOW gave himself, he was in the Gambela area but when he tried to go back to Gilo river area for the death of his brother, they killed Agwa’s father in the village of PERSONGO. Agwa was a very small child at this time. Agwa’s father was a King)) that is why Agwa is named Agwa, a kind of exchanging. My father died and I was born. (Note the quality of the singer. The high and low parts can be very clearly heard in this song - a very fine singer.) (When Agwa came to school in the Gilo river area, they feared that he would be killed because of his father. So, said should not call him Agwa Alemo but just Agwa.

Text: Saying about the leader, called MEDHOW, fought German people (The Germans did not come to that area). Many secrets in this song. Singer said if you knew that the rain is going to come would you have a seed for planting. And you people of Adongo we know what you are doing, you killed the king legally. I was supposed to go and play where the king lives, but there is a liar or one person saying lies to the king and the people. Those liars who are saying wrong things to the king were known because of the talk of lying that they did those Gallas along the border of Sudan came to the area. Mentioning the people who fought in the field with him together. Mentions about Agwa’s father in the song when mentioning the powerful ones who fought. Mentioning the work, he has done in Anuak area and the control of the people. Including Arabs and Gallas If there were no strong kings at that time we would have been defeated by the Arabs and the Gallas. Or colonized by them. Mentioning the generosity of the king in freely distributing the goods gained in battle. The things you captured from Arabs I can have one of them. Last part mentioning the names of the people. Said, if he can be given a wife or something that was captured from the Arabs.

5 315 Obero.

Information: This song cannot be a dancing song, the Obero for a dead king. Not allowed for the king’s songs to be danced. But for a dead chief. They will use it for dancing. If they sing it during dancing, people will cry.

Text: I’m tired of crying because of the dead people day after day sung for a dead king. If I cry my tears will finish and it is better for me to cry by song and not by showing tears. A savior or helper if he was killed by a person even though I was a coward not to avenge I could collect my relatives and friends. (Means the king cried by himself and was not murdered) this singer when he married, this king paid all the money for his marriage and he said, when he was very small, he used to buy clothes and many things that were necessary for him. Because of his death, I didn’t get clothes that were supposed to be given to me. JWAK (bad God: Devil) when the Devil kills a best friend or relative there is nothing to be done and he doesn’t have a reason to be killed. (The devil doesn’t have a son to be killed.) (this king and the man who sang this song, their mother is sisters) When he was caught by the disease, he didn’t become fearful. Mentions when he united many many people and many different tribes, even though black or white or red, it was just the same. When the king died his wife and his daughters’ sons were separated and this man was very tired. Trying to work for all of them. The king was trying to work for all of them. The king’s relatives were trying to inherit his place. They were sharing together. This man tried to borrow one demoui to pay for the wife of the king. I didn’t get such a relative to go with me to borrow this demoui but I went with the big wife of the king.

6 424 July 28, 1972 PENO Agwaga

Information: This song is from Ajwra. Sung against Adongo people. Not mentioned in the song that in that year, in the field of war they killed 40 young people were the king lives. Those who were the same as Agwas age.

Text: You liars who are reporting bad things to Arabs, we fought these Arabs in the field and because we don’t want to give our land to Arabs. (When they went to fight Adongo people, they were about to catch the king of Adongo and to fight Adongo people, they were about to catch the king of Adongo, and they said, don’t boast anymore because we missed you because of the flood. When they went to fight the Adongo people all the ground was covered by flood waters. You the wives of Arabs, called the Adongo people that where have you even when we came early in the morning. (When they went to fight Adongo people with the Anyanyas together, when they reached there, they had had nothing to eat and no bullets. They selected 150 people to go to the village to attack Ajiba tribes to get cows from them.) When they attacked the village, they named the people the first group Number one and Number 2 and number 3. Number one went to attack where the king was and the leader walked of Anyanyas walked around and said don’t shoot any bullets before the sun shines. He was insulting the Gilo river villages who were supporting Adongo people. Mentioning insults. If you Gilo river people were supporting Adongo people, if you hit Ningyoni we will burn down your village.

7 490 Love Song.

Information: The attack took place in Adongo. The Anyanyas attacked the area of Adongol where the women and children were and killed the women and children causing great dislike for them and also great dislike by members of the same lineage such as Agwa. After this time the people of Adongol and Adongo joined together and were not defeated again.

Text: Said when the rain we heard the bullets shooting in all directions. Mentions the three villages attacked by the Anyanyas, first Adongo, second Adongol, and the third, Laongo. (These are the villages who were united together but are very far from each other. Because of the bad behavior of the Anyanyas taking goats and cows with out permission, the Anyanyas were hated for this reason. That is why they were against Anyanyas.) They attacked these villages and killed many people. The bullets which were brought by Joseph Othiel I heard they were bought to attack the Adongol people. (This is in the song but the idea of Joseph Othiel was not like this).

8 554 A kind of Love Song

Information: It doesn’t matter what the words are saying ina love song. In the way of dancing. At last the Anyanyas went and burned the village. The leader at that time was JULKIR a Nuer leader. NINGYONI was over this man and gave the order to attack this village.

Text: When they went to attack Arabs village when they came from there, they heard rumors saying that OGOK village wants to be against Anyanyas and Anyanyas said if they want to be against us, we better go and burn their village. What is this? Those Anuak who are not educated can be united with Arabs while those who are educated hate Arabs greatly. I wrote a letter to those of GOK informing them not to be against us but they refused. I sent a message and they refused.

9 597 Love song.

Information: Saying about a certain girl. This person is across the river and the girl is on the other side of the river.

Text: Don’t control the girl to come to me. Though there is no paddle you take something to paddle the canoe to me. Now I’m calling you to see your face. Don’t think that I have money.

10 641 Love song.

Information: With accompaniment on a gourd. Love song from PINGNDO. Bottle accompaniment as well.

Text: Saying about a man who has much money, a poor boy who shares a girl together. The girl took the poor boy. Repeating that part. The girl took a poor boy when a poor boy went to the gold mine his wife was taken by a rich man. And he sent back the greeting to his wife. He said though I’m far from you I can see you in my mind going to Gambela and going to Gilo River. Those rich people they are greedy they don’t sympathize to any person. They don’t eat in a group but they eat by themselves.

11 740 Marching song.

Information: Saying against Adongol.

Text: When we attacked one part of Adongo we captured radio, cows and many things. The numbering was the group of Anyanyas. You are black like us. How do you expect to unite with Arabs rather than with us? And any of you who salute to Anyanyas will be forgiven. When Anyanyas were commanded to shoot they shot a machine which killed a group of children which were playing under a tree. Mentioned the government of Anyanya. The Government of Anyanya is like the flood. Two men who were selected to save the ladies, at first the Anyanyas killed the first man but the few ladies who were in a certain place with this man told the man not to shoot any more. Let Anyanyas come to capture us rather than be killed. The man refused and he was killed and the ladies were beaten by a stick, the young boys were killed and the ladies were captured.

ANUAK Project: FIELD NOTES – July 27, 1972

Retyped: June 14, 2019

1:00 Tierlul begin work on a bright, pleasant day.


1 056 Love song. Oman Omot from Gok, about 12 years old. From Abwobo.

2 086 Love song. Song from Gok. Ojulo about 7 years old. Ojuly Aganya from Digira village.

PHOTO; 10 4-2.8 f 14’ Short of recording a boy singing.

11 11F 50’ Same as 10 from farther distance and different l.125

3 097 Love song. Ojulo Aganya

4 111 Love song. Sung by Odiel Ojaga from Ojalo. About 5 (no clothes on.

5 121 Love song.

6 129 Love song sung by Ojulo (Ajwara village)

7 168 Love song from Gok (compare with the same sung by little boy on the tape) Owar Otico from Ajwara about 20 years old.

9 193 Love song from Kano. Owar

9 216 Love song from Gok. Owar

10 255 Love song from Obuli Owr.

11 272 War song from Ajwara. Against village that supported the Arabs. When Anyanya were fighting against Arabs and Adoyo village which was sympathetic to the Arab cause. Sung by Okelo Nyigwo from Ajwara.

12 317 Agwaga from Ajwara. A new song against Adoyo and the Arab supporters Sung by Okele.

13 355 Agwaga. Very old song made for the Nya (King) at that time. From Ajwara.

14 423 Agwaga from Ajwara. Old song for the King.

PHOTO: 12 4f 16’ 125X Recording men and tin drum at Tierlul.

REEL TAPE 31A 2:00

1 000 Love song from Ajwara sung by Opiew Omot from Ajwra, about 20

2 024 Love song from Ajwara sung by Opiew.

3 037 Love song from Ajwara sung by Opiew.

4 043 Love song from Ajwara sung by Opiew.

5 067 Love song from Ajwara sung by Opiew.

6 082 Nirnam from Ajwara about elephant sung by Yalo Alwinye from Ajwara.

PHOTO: 13 2.8F 14’ 125X Recording man singing. Shot made down on subject about 2-3’ higher than subject.

7 122 Nirnam from Ajwara about elephant in 1963 sung by Yalo. Paul was in the village at this time.

8 152 War song sung by Yalo. Years ago, the villages were one. Nyer Aqui was ruling as king 21 villages, Ajwra and Otello. Later when the Aqui died, the village divided and Ajwara was given to Cham and the son was given Otallo (song of Aqui) Cham Aqui.

9 War song from Ajwara. New song against Otallo.

10 239 War song from Ajwara. New, against Otallo. Ajwara supported the Anyanya. Otallo supported the Arabs. The more educated were from Ajwara.

PHOTO: 14 4-2.8f 35’ 125X Shot of recording at new spot at Tierlul because of grinder.

15 2.8F 10-12’ Same as above, different distance and L.

11 282 Love song from Owelo sung by Opiew.

12 318 Love song from Owelo sung by Opiew.

13 342 Love song from Owelo sung boy Opiew.

14 404 Love song from Gok sung by Nigwa (our favorite young boy)

15 427 Love song from Gok made by Oleng Omot sung by Nigwa.

PHOTO: 16 4-2.8f 24’ RECORDING OF BOY.

16 480 Love song from Owelo made by Ningori and sung by Nigwa.

REEL TAPE 31b 3:00

1 000 Love song sung by Nigwa (same as opposite side which was not finished.

2 028 Love song from Ajwara sung by Nigwa.

3 040 Love song from Otello sung by Nigwa.

4 054 Obero for the dead Nyea who died in 1966. King named Medho Cham from Ajwara. A Donam is held when the Nyea dies. For an ordinary mane, that man is dead. But for a King they say Donam. That time the Nyea came from the river. When the Nyea dies, he returns to the river. This song then made up. Sung by Owar. Composed by Orio Kway from Ajwara.

5 145 Obero made while the Nyea was living. Both made by the same man, Okway from Ajwara. Sung by Owar.

6 174 Obero for the dead diking. Sung by Gora Odiel from Ping Bago (20 miles from Gila)

Conclude taping at 3:40. A very pleasant afternoon of taping owing to a pleasant spot and to the fact that many singes were sitting around and shared the work of singing. One would sing for a little while, another would be ready and sing, and so on throughout the afternoon.