Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: January 26, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412964623 | Print ISBN: 9781412936361 | Online ISBN: 9781412964623| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Proverbs and Teaching
Proverbs play a crucial role in the education of people in the path of wisdom. There are more than 1,000 written collections of African proverbs, and scholars estimate the sum total of African proverbs at more than 1 million. This is an incredible body of wisdom. Proverbs are the repository of the most precious philosophical and religious ideas of Africa. Proverbs are memorable sentences of traditional wisdom reflecting a keen observation of human existence and conduct and a long experience of life throughout the ages. African proverbs transmit fundamental values of life. They deal, among other things, with education, moral teaching, the concept of God, marriage, government, the relationship between individuals, and the meaning of life and death. Proverbs are a particular form of a skillful literary genre. They tend to be a compact statement of wisdom expressed in a poetic and enigmatic fashion. The meaning of a proverb is ...