Otieno Aloka

Group Information

Otieno Aloka is a musician best known in Kenya for his hit song ‘Kanungo Eteko’. In our session with the Ohangla group he plays the orutu, the second major instrument of Luo music.

The orutu consists of a hollow wooden box that has monitor lizard skin stretched over one side. The string used to be made from fibers of the sisal plants but is now made from a variety of repurposed materials, including bicycle brake cables. When played with a bow, orutu creates different notes determined by finger pressure against the central stick. It provides a fast-moving, melodic accompaniment, similar to the fiddle in folk and country music.

Recording Information

Date of recording:

29th November 2011


Aluny Village, East Alego, Kenya

Audio by:

Steve Kivutia, Ketebul Music. Mixed by Andy Patterson

Video by:

Patrick Ondiek, Ketebul Music; Jimmy Allen, Abubilla Music