Conference on the Buñansaη
l-r: Añara Jeme, Kalilu Baji, the Nagra 3 tape recorder & jds. Añara is listening to his own singing with earphones.
The microphone is hanging from above in the middle space.
The set twenty-four verses (links to the left) were sung by Sulemane “Añara” Jeme of Jilakunda at the funeral of Jaan Baji in the town of Jirem in 1965. Each verse is followed by comments made by Añara and Kalilu Baji (my principle informant) after the sing. Throughout A. refers to Añara and K. to Kalilu. When not marked the text is given by Añara. (You can hear each verse by clicking on the audio controller at the head of the verse. You will need a plugin that can play a .mp3 audio file.)
In transcribing the sound files various difficulties in the translation arose either because of the difficulty of hearing the verse, or, more central, obscurity of many of Añara's illusions. This led me to arrange the interview pictured above. The major portion of the comments recorded here come from this interview session. A subsequent session was also arranged..
On arriving a Jirem prepared to record the funeral sing I found Añara sitting in the audience. He was pointed out to me as a master singer. He then told us that because the deceased was a relative of his he did not feel it appropriate to join the sing. However his friends persuaded him to join the singers and he complied warning me that "a dry well needs to be primed." I made sure that he was primed and he was warmly welcomed by his companion singers.
I have included a page that provides free translations of the song verses. At the moment we have just one, verse #2. A long and a short version are given. The short is based solely on the sung verse, while the latter absorbs material from the comments. If someone should like to contribute free translations feel free to forward them to me: firstname.lastname@example.org (English or French only). If they are appropriate I shall post them on the page.