Descriptive notes (2004) by Santino Lual, a member of the Dinka Malual song and dance ensemble:
Sudan is a multi-ethnic, multicultural country. There are many languages spoken and many tribal groups. This recording features songs of the Dinka Malual of southern Sudan. We continue to sing them in our new home in the Northwest (USA).
A nineteen year old civil war has destroyed many things and has dominated Sudanese life and songs for two decades. When we sing, we sing for the great people who have fallen, for the dear ones we have lost in the war and for the unwillingly separated families. We also sing for reunification and the power to overcome the obstacles to peace. For us, these are sacred songs, traditional ways to express our feelings about the past and our hopes for the future.
Songs are used to address many issues including appropriate conduct, the tragedies that affect families, the troubles caused by poverty and many other situations. Our songs are also used to keep account of historical events and to educate younger generations. These songs have the power to encourage the lives of people, especially when a person experiences unbearable circumstances.