This item consists of a recorded Shilluk song (wav file), accompanied with annotation (in Praat TextGrid) and associated information: metadata, permissions and speaker questionnaire. The associated information is also summarized, in a spreadsheet. The TextGrid annotation includes Shilluk orthography, translation, and comments.


This song is about anxiety over marriage, which is very important, particularly for a woman. This is evident from the dedication of a child, a week’s time after birth. The boy is dedicated to defend the land, so his maternal uncles come and make spear heads out of mud with handles made from atego grass. They put the things in a new basket and go around the hut with the child carried after them as they cry, “Bwönyø ábï! Bwönyø ábï!” meaning: “The Arab has come! The Arab has come!” That is because Arab is the first enemy of the Chollo. And if the child is a girl, she is dedicated to marriage. So, the maternal uncles make cows and goats out of mud, put them in the basket and go around the hut with the girl-child carried after them as they cry, “Wøbb a kà! Wøbb a kà!” Meaning, there are the young men (who will come to marry her bringing cows and goats). Marriage is important, especially for the girls. In this song, a young man from Ogot, did come to marry the girl, but it is very unfortunate, because the young man is not marrying with cows from his sister’s dowry; he has no sister; which means he is accumulating wealth for his marriage and this takes a long time. He should not start looking for a girl before he finds cows. So, his marriage took a long time. And then people began to worry: People say to the girl, “Why don’t you go to Ogot? There is plenty of dura!” The girl is not happy about this. She is worried. On the other side, the young men of Ogot are telling her not cry, because Ogot is a village that pays ten cows at once, plus a big bull for the funeral rites of the grandfather. They are asking her not to be worried.

Data Citation

Gwado Ayoker, Otto; Remijsen, Bert. (2014). EmmanuelOkwacDhikwan_songWorryingAboutMarriage, 2008 [sound]. University of Edinburgh. School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences. Linguistics and English Language. http://dx.doi.org/10.7488/ds/16.
Date made available10 Feb 2014
PublisherEdinburgh DataShare
Temporal coverage22 Feb 2008 - 22 Feb 2008

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