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.


The recording at the center of this item is a burial song (this notion is explained below). Burial songs are usually short and very strong in wording because the composers are overcome by sadness. The burial of kings, big chiefs and chiefs of war takes a longer time (up to four days for kings and two days for chiefs) because it needs preparations and special families and many people are involved. During the burial time people sing and dance day and night singing burial songs accompanied by drums, bells or clapping. This burial song of Kalayker was shown to the composer on the first night of the burial ceremony; he said that he could not sleep, but only felt that he was in a mood that was like a dream. He got up singing and went to the centre of the village and people joint him singing his new song. Tungo is the Shilluk name for Tonga, and it literally means 'frontier, boundary'. In the translation of the song, it is sometimes translated Tungo, and sometimes as 'frontier'. This ambivalence relates to the fact that the performer alludes to the literal meaning of a boundary that offers safety. The difference between a burial song and funeral song is as follows. 'Maado' is a burial song. The title is 'Maadi' in construct form, so Maado of Kalayker is 'Maadi Kalayker'. Maado is not Ayaar [funeral song, BR]. Maado is sung at burial time. Ayaar is composed carefully. sometimes people hire composers to create songs for 'Ywog" which is done after a year or so, depending on the financial situation of the clan in question. "Bereavement" can apply to Maado that is burial song and not to Ayaar that comes after a year or after many years.

Data Citation

Gwado Ayoker, Otto; Remijsen, Bert. (2014). TupacLaaWol_songKalayker, 2013 [sound]. University of Edinburgh. School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences. Linguistics and English Language. http://dx.doi.org/10.7488/ds/28.
Date made available15 Jan 2014
PublisherEdinburgh DataShare
Temporal coverage23 Nov 2013 - 23 Nov 2013
Geographical coverageSouth Sudan

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