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Women of Fire and SpiritFaith, History, and Gender in Roho Religion in Western Kenya$

Cynthia Hoehler-Fatton

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780195097900

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195097900.001.0001

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(p.211) Appendix

(p.211) Appendix

Women of Fire and Spirit
Oxford University Press

A Roho Ballad (Wer Sigana)

Sung by the Arum church choir from Kapisul, Abach, during the Sikukuu mar Rapar, January 21, 1991.


  • We mondo angʼisu da ulingʼ thi ka iparo jalamo,
  • Odongo nokelo Roho, ma JaMusanda kawango owangʼo. (repeat)
  • Wiu kirwil, wadwa paro Mango, Odongo jakonywa,
  • Gima pod wawuoro ni Lawi Obonyo ratengʼ a onindo. (repeat)

  • Let me tell you, you should be quiet as you remember the faithful,
  • Odongo brought the Spirit, the man from Musanda was burnt by the Wanga. (repeat)
  • Do not forget, we want to remember Mango, our helper,
  • And what causes us to wonder is that Lawi Obonyo, the dark/black one, died [lit., sleeps], (repeat)

  • Yaye Odongo Mango

  • Oh, Odongo Mango
  • JO-OLO:

  • Odongo Mango JaMusanda ne okelo Roho,
  • Ndalo mochwere ma ne okwong nyuol kuom Joluo. (repeat)

  • Odongo Mango, man from Musanda, brought the Spirit,
  • The everlasting, which first appeared [lit., was born] among the Luos. (repeat)

  • Isay a oyoro

  • Isaya made his way through
  • (p.212) JO-OLO:

  • Isaya oyore thimbe madongo motamo wangʼ ji,
  • Wathagore ma nyaka namba oromo pinywa. (repeat)

  • Isaya made his way through wildernesses that had overwhelmed others,
  • We struggled until the emblem filled our country, (repeat)

  • Turfosa Aloo

  • Turfosa Aloo
  • JO-OLO:

  • Turfosa Aloo, koda Persila ne otingʼo tonge,
  • Mi gikedo lweny ma iro odum to mach bende liel. (repeat)

  • Turfosa Aloo, along with Persila, carried spears,
  • Then they fought the battle; the smoke billowed and the fire blazed, (repeat)

  • Oloo, wuon Awuor

  • Oloo, father of Awuor
  • JO-OLO :

  • Oloo, wuon Awuor, ne gikelo Roho kuom jaratengʼ to piny ne ok oyie,
  • Omiyo jogo owangʼe kendo ne giyiko Odongo Kakamega. (repeat)

  • Oloo, father of Awuor, they brought the Spirit among the blacks, but the country did not accept it,
  • Therefore those people burnt him, moreover, they buried Odongo in Kakamega. (repeat)

  • Nyithiwa

  • Our children
  • JO-OLO :

  • Nyithiwa, paruru Oktoba e wangʼe hik piero aboro
  • Barnaba bende owewa; wana chom kure ka jogo oduogo? (repeat)

  • Our children, remember it was the month of October exactly, in the year [19]80,
  • When Barnaba left us. Now where shall we turn if those people [i.e., the enemy] come back? (repeat)

  • Pate wa duto
  • (p.213) SOLOIST:

  • All our pastors
  • JO-OLO :

  • Pate wa duto notimo neno kar adiera,
  • Laktare duto notimo neno ma wawinjo te: (repeat)
  • Kweri ma wuod Aringo; Okiri ma wuodi Goyo; Omunga ma wuodi Asiso; Ndolo Matthayo ne ni kanyo; Hundho Kojowa Ree; Odiero min Musa be onindo. (repeat)

  • All our pastors have borne witness to the whole truth,
  • All doctors have borne witness such that we have heard it all: (repeat)
  • Kweri, son of Aringo; Okiri, son of Goyo; Omunga, son of Asiso; Nodlo Mathayo was there; Hundha, from the home of Ojowa “Ree”; Odiero, mother of Musa, died as well, (repeat) (p.214)
  • Notes:

    (a.) According to traditional pakruok (virtue boasting) convention, ratengʼ (black) symbolizes bravery (Ocholla-Ayayo 1976, 47).