Gwado Ayoker, Otto; Remijsen, Bert. (2014). MariaBocayOnak_DownWithIllness, 2014 [sound]. University of Edinburgh. School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences. Linguistics and English Language. https://doi.org/10.7488/ds/84.
The recording at the center of this item is a narrative, in which Maria Bocay Onak tells about personal experiences - two bouts of serious illness while she was a child. There is no term for the word sickness or illness in Shilluk. That is because long ago, people look for causes of illness. Diarrhoea and flu have names. Diarrhoea is called ‘thøwi cïn/death of intestines’ and flu is called “ángongø.” For the other illness like dysentery or fever, they think that the person is bewitched. So, if an ordinary person is ill, it is said that his/her body is painful, if it were not diarrhoea or flu. But if the person is a king, chief or elder, people say he/she has flu, even if there is no real flu. That is because people think that such people can’t be bewitched. When Christianity came to the land, people stopped accusing witchcraft and say that there is something unknown in the body. The word for the un-known is ‘jwøg’. So, people say ‘ree da jwøg’ he/she has something un-known in his/her body. At present, sick people are taken to hospitals, where every disease has a name. But ‘jwøg’ is used for sickness in general. When a person is sick for a long time it is called ‘budø/lying down’ like in this story. Maria was sick for a long time. She was shocked by the thing that she saw in the farm. That was the cause of her illness, which was followed by the itchy rash. In the second part, she tells another story; about bilharzia which she got in Kilo Kamsà in Northern Upper Nile.
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