MIX July 28, 1972 - 34A Peno

02 Track 2.mp3

Recording #34A

Place of Recording: Peno/Tierlul

Date of Recording: July 28, 31, 1972


Informant: Agwa Alemo

Date of Transcript: March 24, 1973

1 000 Thumb piano

Information: Song between Gilo River and Gok people. Gilo river used to insult Gok people back and forth. One young boy from Gilo river married a beautiful girl in Gok because Gok boys were jealous because of the beautiful girls, they produced this song against Gilo river people. This is an instrumental piece with no voice. Circular form. Repetitions. This song is the one that led the Anuaks to the modern dancing. What Odiel is doing. With the bottles, etc. (Gallas and Amhara’s really like this kind of music.

Text: The song goes like this: the girls named AKOTI we greet you. The boys who married AKOTI was ANYELA. A person with evil eyes. This boy is a person with evil eyes and is not fit to marry this AKOTI. His village has mosquitoes that will not let a person sleep. A very bad village. The Gilo river people replied, GOK is the place where there is no fish or meat to eat. Where there is no Nile perch. The Nile perch has fungus. The Gok people eat this. Fungus – or mold. Insult each other back and forth. Gilo river is a bad village because we share the mosquito net with the prime minister together. Gilo river people replied, the chief of Gok said, don’t take my teeth out because I will not have any teeth to eat rats with. Continue with insults.

2 047 Thumb piano.

Information: Changed to a different song. Notice the cadence between songs. Performer is very good.

Text: When a boy fell in love with a girl, he will send a message to the girl, and he will say to the messenger, come back with a good reply. Repeats. Come back with ah good reply. Saying, tell her that you are greeted by your lover. He is expecting to come bk to come back with a good result from you.

3 076 Thumb Piano

Text: Incomplete. Admiration of the government of the Anyanyas the government of the Anyanya is like a flood.

4 095 Pitches of the Thom

Information: Each one repeated 3 times. From left side to the right.

5 140 Agwaga.

Information: Solo girl singer in Tierlul. July 31, 1972. Agwaga from Gok Depach. Recalling the village as the previous one.

Text: Our village became as in former time when OGWOL was leader. (When he was a leader. We having a system, for example, if I smoke, today I don’t have tobacco. I would like to have tobacco today, he will bring many packages of tobacco and put the bullet in the gun, say that no you are in need of tobacco, you better finish all these packages, if you finish, I will not kill you. If you don’t, I will kill you, I you say I am very hungry and I need something to eat, he will order his wife to make a big bowl full for you and if you finish, he will not kill you but if you don’t, he will kill you. Was he teaching the people a lesson or not? I’m not sure. He was a chief. The people feared him, did not ask him. People feared him, would never say anything in his hearing.

6 243 Obero (Achenya)

Information: I’m Okiech from Gok. (In Oberos asking for gift. Admiring the people that he is asking from. Always found in an Obero) this man was away from Gok, when he came, he sang this song. (Men and boys have their own animals. The ladies do not have their own but take the names of their husbands.

Text: Mentioning the names of the people. To those who asking them for a gift. He mentions the names of their wives. He mentions ones of his best friends in the village. She said, my animal is working slowly, very slowly and I’m Okiech from Gok Depach. Probably referring to the lizard or turtle.

7 333

Information: When Gok people swore not to eat a certain animal. (Translated before) Mentions the one who was in the parliament.

Text: Saying, when you were elected to be in the parliament, old people were unhappy, they were not glad. When we killed an animal that we swore for, the part we are going to have will be heard in many countries and pictures will be taken to RUSSIA. My animal carries its own house and sheets or blanket and moves slowly. (Turtle).

8 388

Information: When the generation swore not to eat meat or drink beer, they will select known man in the village as their commander. The Gok people selected a man called DHOGO. The man selected would lead them in many ideas how to behave and how to hunt the animal. There are those who oppose the generation.

Text: We don’t think they are going to hunt the elephant because they are a weak generation. Those who joined with the Ethiopian government were supposed to be killed one by one. When we go to look for an elephant, we didn’t have provisions with us. When they went, they killed a big elephant and caught a small one and asked the question, where will our small elephant be taken. The answer: it will be taken to Addis or US. Repeats.

9 436 Dudbul.

Information: Another voice. Soft woman’s voice unaccompanied. Sometimes they mention names according to the generation where the mother is from. If there is a permanent large tree, in the village, everybody from that called by that village will be admired to the big tree. If I’m or my mother is from that village, I will be named after that tree also. According to the animals the animal which you are named after cannot mention exactly but they will mention it indirectly. They have 3 or 4 types: 1st named after your animal, second after your mother or a big tree in your mothers’ village, 3rd, after your grandfather and grandmother, 4th after your uncle. If these people have different animals, you will be named after them so to admire a person in all directions. This is what they do always in Dudbul songs As well as Obero also. All this song mentions the names of the people according to their animal’s

Text: Mentioning the names of the people according to their animals. As a proverb: the lady was named after the turtle. If I want to call her, I would not call her as a tortoise I will as, an animal which carries house and bed sheets together.) General idea sung of the same age generation. Lady who sang this song said, her animal passed from JUBA and if translated, means an airplane. Her animal is an airplane. She mentioned when ants build an ant hill, moves slowly around the ant hill. When it sees a person, it will put its head in. Again, mentioning the turtle.

10 521 Obero.

Information: Another term in Anuak, If I’m detained or going to do something, I will say you take my place. I’m coming back soon. If I say there for an hour, when I come back, I will be asked, where did you stay. I’ll say I bumped my leg. When you get bumped you want to fall, because you’re about to fall down you just went on.

Text: Mentioning his friend and admiring him. His friend is named after something which grows more quickly than others: cows. People can be named after their cows according to different colors. In this part, they sing they mention the name of a person named after a cow which has gray brown color. Mentioning the name of his friends. Requesting them indirectly telling them like a message that you tell all my friends that I didn’t get money to pay for my wife. So, they can hear and help. Singer mentions in the song, that he was confused in his own village, if he wasn’t, he would have gone to beg for a cow in another village. (Lineage, putting people and grouping them in a song according to their lineage. I have to go and visit this lineage so that they can give me something.) Last lady having… It has built its house in the border and sometimes the flood takes its house away and moves slowly and moves slowly. This is shouted after the song. Last lady is still mentioning the same thing. It passed from Juba it passed from Juba.

11 665 Obero.

Information: Solo woman. Voice scratchy. From Pokomo. These who are living on the Baro river they have two villages. One can be on the river and one can be back from the river. The singer always is confused because of the two chiefs. This man is explaining or expressing his confusion between chiefs if he sang a song, he would never get a price from any of the chiefs. A dollar demotes everything down. If they sing songs, they will be given dollars. This is not helpful. Then they can consume the money immediately. Before they were getting demoui or cow.

Text: Said, everybody has heard the sacred of Pokwomo, when we fought or when our chief agreed to fight. The singer said, I’m really confused what to do about all the chiefs, because all the songs I sang, even though they accepted it, nobody will consider it among those two chiefs. A man in the village called, OPOL. I give chickens to Amhara but they didn’t want chickens but they wanted all my secret to be out. Because what I gave was given for nothing, he will die because of that. Their car left when we fought with them. And that may be the curse of God. Mentions those of the war at that time. Singer said, that we always ask the chief because of our poorness. Those who sing songs, they always ask the chief because the chief has money more than any in the village. When my money is borrowed by somebody, if that person doesn’t want to pay me back, I’ll go and ask but he said, the song I sing I will never go and ask for the money to be given to me. As the money which has been borrowed from somebody, Mentioning the chief and how he rules the village. Our village was destroyed by the Ethiopian government but it was not because we had made a mistake. Mentions (In our area, if you fight with the government or kill somebody, you will be in the area, for a long time and no one would show you to the government. The chief who fought the government was there around the villages thought the government was looking for him. He was there. They are still looking for him. Mentioned, those soldiers who fought with us was not to protect themselves, they fought because of the salary. The money they got. I’m always supporting the chief because he I poor. (Otheti is the singer-composer. Not singing in this version but is the maker of the song) Mentioning his wife who he missed because of his poorness. Said, during the last 10-15 years, poor people in the area get the money for marriage from the chief. But by now, there roaming around because of the dollar influence. The chief who fought the government did not want to kill many soldiers. He used to walk at night around. Encouraged his people. Which excited the people. I’ asking you about the price and I’m not expecting to miss the price.

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. Aginas 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.