Scandal Studios – Ugandan Recordings
This group consists of OJ Murugut on orak (calabash) and lead vocals, Ojwee Nahman on the rigi rigi (tube fiddle) and Olweny Maurice Abitingson on orak, vocals and nanga (also called ‘trough zither’, because it resembles a water bowl for cattle). Acholi artists traditionally wear feathers on their head -called ‘kono’- while singing and dancing, drawing attention to their movements.
This song belongs to the genre of Larakaraka, a courtship dance in which the calabash is used as instrument. This dance is performed in order to find a girl- or boyfriend for eventual marriage. Young men play the rhythm, by holding the half gourd and striking it while dancing. The best dancer hopes to be picked by the most beautiful girl, who will dance towards him, takes his calabash and then moves away. The boy will follow her to sit down somewhere quiet and talk about love. This is the beginning of their engagement.
OJ Murugut: “Poverty in this world prevents me from sleeping at night and eating during daytime. I have no money to get married or to enjoy life. Fortunately in the clan I belong to, it is allowed for girls and boys to have relationships without having to marry right away. In this way boys have time to safe money for the dowry, because marriage is expensive. We must work hard in order to get money, so if you have any talent you better use it!”
* Production: Evert Daniel Aalten
Camera: Karin van Bemmel