Thursday, January 23, 2014

Interview on the myth related to the origins of the Dinka Agaar. Recorded and transcribed in December, 2006


It was like this, our clan was originated from Rumbek. They were the people who were inhabitants of Rumbek and they were called “Tiak”. And the other name was called “Pabuut.” Those people they were very strong. They can defeat every tribe around them.  If they go to war the symbol can bless them and they will be the victor of the war.  So there was another man who was beny-byth from another tribe called Manchan Awout. That man, he had a hatred of these people because they are strong, they defeated even the tribe. So he killed a red cow. He removed the tongue of the cow. He cut the tongue of the cow into pieces. He removed the heart of the cow. He cut the heart into pieces. He mixed that one with a certain (?). I don’t know how to call that one, but he mixed it with it. Then he threw the pieces of the tongue and the heart into different directions saying that “this tribe can be scattered everywhere.” And that time, the people got started what the Beny-Bith did. Other people moved up to Pakom. Other people moved up to Raie. Other people moved to this area, like my grandfather came up to this area and he married from here. So the people they scattered all over the state of Lake State. And now they have peer people in this area. They have peer people in Pakom area. They have people in other area because they were casts by this Beny-Bith to scatter. And they have two symbols. One of the symbols is crocodile. We call it “Nyang”. And they believe that if you eat a crocodile by mistake, you can get leprosy. Or what your uncles can get cracks. When you see someone with cracks, you might say that he may have eaten a crocodile by mistake or you have stepped on the crocodile’s bones which is dead. That is how they believe.
And they believe that the symbol of the grass is like a god. It can bless them as well as you can have many cows because the grass bless you. You can sleep in the forest and the grass can guard you. You can wake up when you are safe. And it can help them when you go to war you can kill a bull for Grass. When you go to war you can have victory over that war. It can bless your daughter to marry with many cows and you have wealth. That is how the symbol of the grass they believe.
And if Beny-Byth want to build another man called Makuer Gol, he has a big church for his god. They called church in Dinka “Luok.” is called “Luok.” If you want to renew the Luok roof, the person who can come and take out the first grass is our tribe. They believe that they have a good spirit, they have a strong spirit. When they remove that one another clan will come and remove that and they put on the new grass.
And our clan also believes that when you burn the white grass you can have eye infection. It is because you have burned the white grass. Like maybe if you have that one, you take it and you burn it, the new one, not the old like that (pointing to fresh grass as opposed to old, dry grass) you can get eye infection. Then they can call the Beny-Byth and he can perform some rituals, they can slaughter the goat If they discover it is because you have burned the white grass they can call Beny-Byth. Beny-Byth can bring water and then he can wash your eyes and he can kill a goat so that you can get healed.
(The name of your clan again was?)
Pabuut. Yes
(There were two other names?)
Yes. The first name wasTiak.
(What does that mean?)
I don’t know about Thiak. Just name. And the name Fabute is just name
(Who told you that story?)

Yes, My uncle