Luo traditional songs were popular among the Luo-speaking community in the old days.
But these days, even other tribes enjoy them because of the traditional instruments used to create them, such as drums, horns, flutes, rattles, nyatiti, Kinanda and the Abu.
Most of these songs are performed by schools in Nyanza province during music festivals.
Here is a list of some of the most popular Luo traditional/folk songs:
1. Dodo Dance or Dudu Dance – A Luo Traditional Dance
Well before colonialism, Luos had a diverse spectrum of musical genres.
One of them was Dodo, also known as Dudu, a beautiful song and dance performance by older ladies in the community.
Dudu was a performance that featured beautiful dance sequences known as Nyono with a slow to moderate rhythm.
This was probably done to convey the dance’s core and appeal to the target age range.
Sigalagala, which means ululation and pakruok, which means chants, generally in praise or jest of someone, were used to break up the performances.
2. Kothbiro by Ayub Ogada
Koth biro is a popular Luo traditional song composed and sung by Ayub Ogada.
Kothbiro means rain is coming.
The song urges people to bring the animals into the shelter before the rain drops.
This song has received international recognition, specifically in Europe and America.
For example, it has been featured as a soundtrack in films and TV series such as NBC’s The Philanthropist, and The Constant Gardener (2006), including the 2016 Olympics Opening Ceremony in Rio De Janeiro.
3. Obiero by Ogwang’ Kokoth
Obiero is a traditional Luo song by the legendary ohangla king, Ogwang’ Kokoth, that was released on Sep 11, 2020.
The wonderful mix of drums, Nyatiti, rattles and kinanda will remind you of the good old days.
The song still gets massive airplay on Luo radio stations
4. Otieno Ochako Thume by Aloka Ohangla Group
This famous Luo traditional song was recorded in 2011, in Aluny Village, Nyanza, as part of a field trip for the Singing Wells project.
The popular Ohangla Luo musician Otieno Aloka is the lead singer of the group.
People from the Caribbean Island love this song because it’s deeply ingrained in their genetic makeup.
Watching and listening to those women dance makes them cry with joy.
The song is also popular among the Acholi people in Uganda and South Sudan.
5. Dodo Group ft Ogoya Nengo – Wendi Berna
This song was recorded and shot in 2011, in her hometown of Rang’ala, Nyanza Province with The Dodo Group.
It was done for the Singing Wells project.
The singing style of the Dodo Group is Do Do. Ogoya boasts exceptionally powerful voices, 4 “shaker” players, an outstanding drummer, plus a group of dancers.
Listening to this song reminds you of the good old village days.
6. John Wanga by Joginda Boys
Joginda boys is a popular ohangla group in Nyanza.
They perform in many functions in the regions and beyond, such as weddings, bride price deliveries, burials and so on.
John Wanga is one of their projects under the Singing Wells project.
This is one of their performances under the Singing Wells initiative that occurred in Aluny Village, Nyanza.