MIX January 7, 1973 - 42B Tierlul
Recording Series B 3B
Place of Recording: Tierlul
Date of Recording: January 7, 1973
Informant: Agwa Alemo
Date of Transcript: April 25, 1973
1 000 Dancing song.
Information: Continuation of dance in Tierlul among young people. Man singing simply praising himself after his animal. Odiel singing but not with Anuak words. Flute can also be heard. Note the nonsense syllables that Odiel uses. (This modern dancing is leading all the younger ones and the children to be acquainted with drink. It is so much a part of the dancing. Odiel is singing because he is well known. Also, some singers have limited ability. Some sing only Agwaga or Obero. Odiel sings Dudbul, Obero and modern. He doesn’t sing Agwagas. (A teacher has a tremendous responsibility because the people imitate you. I try my best. Students were smoking and drinking. I convinced them by speaking and example not to follow those practices.) Show them that I still know how to farm. Farm with and cultivate together. That is very important. Working together. When the starvation came. Carl (Templin) gave $500 to buy corn or grain in a far place. Carried corn with them together. They learned that Agwa was not completely changed) Whistles, Somali type singing. Flute player. (Continued fear between Masengo and Anuak. Masengo still refuse to have Anuak for teachers though the Anuak are beyond them in education. They say the Anuak must stay in their area and we in ours.)
2 395 Agwaga.
Information: Solo voice. War. I classify and identify those brave people and the cowards. The song is from OKADI when they fought with Arabs.
Text: Praising a man after a buffalo saying when buffalo comes, he used to attack where the ladies or women are kept. When our king goes for attacking, he can capture ladies or boys and beat them. There is a man who is named after giraffe, he’s informing them to give something to him.
3 443 Agwaga.
Text: There is a man called ABIR. OKADI is becoming famous or ahead of all generations in the villages. During the war some other people will run away and Ajiba tribes who are among them will be fished. When OKEDI agreed to fight against some people they will make their king or their leader dance first before the war comes. OKEDI was not able to be defeated by all Arabs. (A union of Arabs and Sudanese) When we fought against different tribes one man was shot before he shot his gun to us. Our leader who is like Buffalo fought and defeated all people. (I missed that part but I will get it) There is a man called ONGOM (died during the war.)
4 537 Flute solo
Information: Not a song of Anuak. An imitation of Ethiopian playing of flute on radio. Also, when the Ethiopians come together for tella, for drink.
5 570 Dudbul.
Information: Praising a man need after a buffalo. The generation of OKADI village.
Text: The wives that I married I missed them because I had no money to pay for them. Same song after short delay. (Okwar, I lost it, I missed it) Repeats. Said that I didn’t go to the gold mines and if there is no money which is given by God. I will never come back to a village. Praising one of his friends and his wife. In the way of informing them that I missed my wives because I had no money to pay for them. I didn’t ask why OKWAYA ran away. He ran away because he married a new girl. Don’t’ refuse to accept your new wife. Because if you refuse to accept her there may be a dispute. Between you and her parents. Praising the granddaughter of the king. You give your nephew a gift. Those who have money to pay for their wives can pay but the wives that I married have been married by rich boys also and how am I going to live in the world. It would be better just to marry my wife in my absence. Praising his friends after their animals and permanent things. (Permanent things; if the village is founded there may be a big tree which had been there and sometimes if it is one on the river bank there may be a very deep lace in the river. The daughter of the eldest people of the village will be praised after the deep part of the river and the tree in the village.) When he found himself in a bad condition, he starts selling very small things and some lying people say that I will never get anything from my selling things. Praising one of his friends, being riches not given to certain people. Even a poor person can be rich if he works very hard. Praising his wife who was married by another person and he said though that man paid 10 demouis I’ll keep my selling things so that I can catch up. To what he paid. Praising the wife of his friend comparing her with a grinder. It would be better if people can contribute one time of Sophia to you so that you can pound it to make a beer for us. During dancing in the daytime, you better come with your ten spears as a gift to me. Informing one of his friends, by saying that I didn’t know that I’m going to be rich by going to the gold mines and coming back and selling what I got. There is a man named after Pelican. Said it is only you whom I’m looking for the gift from you. He was called by some other people to include their names in the song he is going to sing. But he said when I was very full, who gave me his daughter to marry with, her money. He’s praising his friend’s wife. (In some areas you ask your wife to make food for the group. You ask her.) Even our wife is not being told to make food for us. She can make it by herself. Without being told. Informing one of his friends in the village saying, accept any gift, one spear or one bracelet is acceptable. For me. He’s praising the girl who gave him one spear. Said, let me be alone with our leader and I see our leader giving rich people money besides me. (Means the king was giving those who married already besides him) Which village or place am I supposed to go. Because a poor people and rich people are still begging our leader together rich people have been given a cow. The village of AKWAY was not able to be defeated by Arabs and Amhara. This land will be your land up to the border of the mountains. The death of ABAC (Abach) was because of the war that broke way between OKADI and the Arabs.
6 906 Flute solo.
Information: Very short.
7 921 Dudbul.
Information: This is the song of Okedi so we can sing it together. Start again with male solo and woman joining in.
Text: Praising leader of OKADI as the precious treasure. Praising a man whose wife doesn’t make beer or food openly, just sometimes. Some liars say that our village was destroyed but you our leader were still having strong power to lead it. Praising a man named after buffalo. Advising him that not to repeat what he did before. (He may not have given him something before) Praising the wife of this man saying when she carries flag during the dancing, she’s fit to have the flag because she looks nice and beautiful. Praising a girl who is weak in working. Saying she will never get a husband.
8 1024 Dudbul.
Information: Male voice with female added.
Text: Praising a king in Akway, he is above all the leaders. Praising a man named after buffalo saying the buffalo which his head used to be taken to the highlands of the Galla. You didn’t know the songs that was sung in your absence. People advised me to sing a song for my wife and she is a very beautiful which represented the place of 10 girls. He was asked to pay 10 demouis for his wife because she was a hard worker. There is a man who is named after water pipe: said my song has gone far away without getting something from it. This will be our time to dance a big dancing in our village which is called OKADI. OKADI village became apart, separated because of one liar. Praising the king and his daughter, sing don’t cry because of your loneliness. There may be big dancing in the future. Informing the man who married his wife by saying that he is keeping her for the time being. Praising a man called AKWAY. He was a freedom fighter of the Anyanya) Saying he became like a best brother. Song doesn’t choose any man. But those who can pay there making themselves famous in the village. Tape runs out before song is completed.
ANUAK Project: FIELD NOTES – Jan 7, 1973
Retyped: July 4, 2019
Sunday morning service at Pokwo church.
After dinner at about 3:00, Paul comes and we go to Tierlul where the chief on Paul’s request has given permission to hold a dance. In the area (not the Burra) older people are sitting and drinking beer. Young men and girls are dancing in 2 lines. 2 or 3 men at a time will move toward girls and back, some remain dancing closely to the girls, a particular girl. Singing is erratic. More random noise made rather than strong singing though this improves as the dance continues. Leader is the fine leader from illea and Ebago who we taped on January 5 and earlier during the summer. He stands and sings freely with his hands over his ears. The drummer, only one uses a long flat oblong metal can, beating on the edge and top of it giving the sound of a snare drum. He is joined at times by a flute player playing the metal flute we photographed earlier during the summer. He plays rhythmically but not related to the singer. The singer oft uses rhythmic sounds, when not using words. His singing is much different than his style of the other day. These are for the most part love songs which have more melodic interest. Somali influence seems in evidence. These being love songs, are more of a solo character so the Obero and Agwaga leader-group patter is not followed. These love songs are more or less known throughout the Anuak areas rather than limited to individual villages like the Agwagas which are written about and for specific chiefs, individuals and villages and are not sung outside of them. In fact, because they are often against another village with insults found in them, they would not be found and received outside the intended village.
We leave Tierlul after about 1 hour because of the similarity of action, the fact the people decided to rest and that we were due back for Sunday afternoon service. 2 rolls of movie film and a good part of 1 slide film taken. Tape 2 B and 3Aa. Dancing not very impressive singing by leader very interesting for its inventiveness and the foreign elements added to his performance.