Owe Yoruba - Yoruba Proverbs
Kíkọ́ ni mímọ̀, òwe àjàpá.
Learning is knowing, Àjàpà's proverb.
(To know, one must learn.)
Iyán ni oúnjẹ; Ọkà ni Oògùn; àìrí rárá ni à ń jẹ ẹ̀kọ; kí ẹnu má dilẹ̀ ni ti gúgúrú!
Pounded yam is food; flour dumpling is medicine, not having anything is eating cornmeal cakes; that the mouth not starve is popcorn!
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“Má fẹ̀ẹ́ ọwọ́-ọ̀ mi kù” tí ńyan gúgúrú fún eégún; eégún náàá ní “Má fẹ̀ẹ́ ọwọ́-ọ̀ mi kù”; ó fún un ní ọmọláńgidi.
“Just so you won't find my hand empty” roasted popcorn for the masquerader; the masquerader also responded with “Just so you won't find my hands empty” and gave him a wooden doll.
(Stinginess will not win generosity in return.)
Masqueraders supposed to be the embodiment of ancestors are credited with the power to grant boons, including children, to supplicants. A person who makes lame excuses while offering inadequate gifts to the masquerader will hear lame excuses and receive worthless boons from the masquerader.
Jagajìgì ò mọ ogun; ogun ń pa elégbèje àdó.
Loading the body down with charms has no effect in a war; war kills even the person carrying fourteen hundred juju gourdlets.
(One should trust in one's arms rather than in one's charms.)
A kì í yin ọmọdé l'ójú ara ẹ̀; ìfàsẹ́hìn níí ń kángun ẹ̀.
One does not praise a child in his presence; only backsliding results. (Children should not be praised too highly; they should always be made aware that they can be even better.)