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. 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: “This world has many problems. Some young men have wives, but ours are not there because of poverty. During the festive season many weddings take place and people celebrate, but our fathers and grandfathers are not able to provide money for our celebrations. We see couples dancing, but our women are not there. We are alone.”
* Production: Evert Daniel Aalten
Camera: Karin van Bemmel