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Oral Text 1: How the Bumai clan claimed Dirka by means of a trick

Ulijeholi (Bio-iton-giga) Konyonomora, Jinka, December 1970.


Zugo ojono ros bai chuk Jinka bhuyo.
The dog put the people down1 well behind (to the east of) Jinka.

When nga irrese ma warroiny tuno.
They came [in this direction] and crossed the Omo upstream.

Na hey na ibe Kasha
Then they went [south] and passed Kasha

na ibe Maaji.
and Maji.

Na hey Gegolo.
And then they went to Gegol2.

Na hey na hey Dirkaye; na bage baa.
And they went on to Dirka3, where they stopped.

Huli bage bai, Chai el bai.
When they settled down there, the Chai were already there.

Na Chai wheno na Mun nise bi.
So the Chai came and the Mursi killed a stock animal.

Na belesene morr na chibesene Chai.
They cut the peritoneum4 into strips and tied the strips round the necks of the Chai.

Gia chibesene rehi a ge.
The Chai did the same to the Mursi.

Komoru se ke (Komoru a Konyonomora song:
The Priest (the only Priest was Konyonomora) said:

“Chai a gwodinaanano, a zuaganyo”;
“The Chai are my brothers, they are my people”;

“Kasha a zuaganyo”;
“The Kasha are my people”;

“Siyoi (Dolkamo) a zua ganyo”.
“the Siyoi (of Dolkamo) are my people”.

“Anyi bare kebelesen morr.”
“I have cut up the peritoneum”.

Bume wheno. belesen morr.
The Bume (Nyangatom) came. He [Konyonomora] cut up the peritoneum.

“A zuaganyo” se Konyonomorai.
“They are my people”, said Konyonomora.

Na Bumai ibane shogai na ojosene rra tui.
A Bumai took a sharpening stone and put it in the hot spring.

Na ibane chalai (chalai a gal, gal a komoruiny)
He took a necklace (it was a gal, a priest’s necklace)

na lome ngoye.
and wore it round his neck.

“Inye gal lomi kiong?” se Komoror – “ani Komoru?”
“Why are you wearing a gal?” said the Priest – “Are you a priest?”

“Anyi kolomi hung”
“I am just wearing it.”

“A galanano. Na tolom na hale aino”.
“It is my gal [said the Priest]. You can wear it and then give it back to me.”

Morra bag chalai na oku kiango tui na gara.
The calves swallowed the necklace and it went into their stomachs and was lost.

“Chalai wa gara!” – Bumai se nganga.
“The necklace has gone!” said the Bumai.

“Oku morragwi kiango tui”.
“It’s been eaten by your calves.”

“Na hale kemeeneng? A barari hang hang hang.
“What shall I do?” said the Priest.

“A barari. Hale kemeeneng?”
“It’s a special necklace – what shall I do.”

Bumai ib morra na bel kiango, baaa...
The Bumai got hold of a calf and slit open its stomach, baa…..

Gwini – i hololoi.
He looked inside – it was empty.

He threw it away.
Ongon gasho.

Bel ngaina, baa…,
He opened another, baa….,

gwini – i hololoi.

looked inside – it was empty.

Bel ngaina, baa…, gwini – i hololoi.
He opened another, baa…, looked inside – it was empty.

Bel ngaina – arru chalai.
He opened another – and saw the necklace.

Iba na aje ena.
He took it and gave it to the owner.

Konyonomora se ke:
Konyonomora said:

“A bhanano.”
“It’s my country.”

Nong Bumai se ke “a bhanano.”
But the Bumai said “It’s my country.”

“A bhanunu?
“It’s your country?”

“Inye bemesi ong?”
“What did you do [to make it yours]?”

“Anyi bha tui ahi tinano ihe.”
"There is something of mine buried here.”

“A ong?”
"What is it?"

“Ihe – kau rra na kodolaino.”
“It’s here. Let’s go to the hot spring and I will show you.”

Na hey kare.
They went together.

Shoraana shogai.
[The Bumai] pulled out a sharpening stone [from the hot spring].

“Ga gonya – anyi bikinging a bhanano”.
“Look here – it’s been my country for ages”

“Ee – a bhanunu chirr”. Konyonamora se nganga.
“Yes, it is your country” said Konyonomora.

“A bhanunu chirr”.
“It is certainly your country”.

yok teli bai.
They stayed there.

1 It is said that the first people were brought down from the sky by a dog, at a place called Zaleb.
2 On the Mui (Karba) River and now the location of the headquarters of the Omo National Park.
3 Dirka is the name of a low range of hills, about 30 km west of the Omo and south of its tributary, the Mui (Karba)
4 The peritoneum is the transparent membrane that lines the abdominal cavity. It is widely used in this way for ritual purposes amongst East African pastoralists, including peace making.

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