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Yoruba proverbs (Owe Yoruba)

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Eight
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Yoruba proverbs (Owe Yoruba)

Post by Eight » Tue Mar 17, 2015 6:43 am

1) E ba efon l'abata e yo obe ti, omi le ro pe o mu ku ni?
Believe my date of birth at your own peril.

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Re: Owe Yoruba

Post by ayan ogufo » Sun Apr 05, 2015 4:59 pm

Eight wrote:1) E ba efon l'abata e yo obe ti, omi le ro pe o mu ku ni?
Do you know the story behind this proverb?

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Re: Owe Yoruba

Post by Eight » Tue Apr 07, 2015 10:32 am

ayan ogufo wrote:Do you know the story behind this proverb?
Somehow. I once watched a cartoon depicting it.
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2. San l'anrin aje ni n mu ni pekoro.

Post by ayan ogufo » Tue Apr 07, 2015 11:08 pm

2. San l'anrin aje ni n mu ni pekoro.
Literary Meaning: Ordinarily, we walk normally but wealth causes one to walk majestically.
Usage: Used when someone starts to become arrogant to you because of wealth. It is a reminder that he wouldn't be like that if he was poor.

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Re: Owe Yoruba

Post by Eight » Wed Apr 08, 2015 10:37 pm

I decided to edit my first proverb after reading Ayan Ogufo's format.

E ba efon l'abata e yo obe ti, omi le ro wipe o mu ku ni?

Literary Meaning: You meet a (dead) buffalo in the yard, you all rush to get knives in order to share it. Do you think it drank itself to death?

Usage: You do not rush to exploit a ready made opportunity or chance because it must have been the result of someone else's hardwork.

The story behind it: There was a hunter (I can't remember his name) in the olden days who had hunted for animals for weeks without any result. He eventually saw a buffalo (efon) and shot it. The shot was not enough to kill the buffalo so the buffalo ran off after being shot by the hunter. The hunter on seeing that and remembering that he had been without food for days ran after the buffalo for it was expected that the bullet would eventually have an effect on the buffalo, it would overbleed and consequently die.
Since the buffalo had outrun the hunter, it died in a yard in a nearby village before the hunter could catch up with it. People of the yard found a dead buffalo in their compound and assumed that the buffalo was given to them by their gods or ancestors. They all rushed in to get their knive in order to share the buffalo among themselves but before they could cut the meat, the hunter met them there and stopped them from sharing his game. He said,'E b'efon labata e yo'be ti, omi le ro pe o mu ku ni? i.e You meet a (dead) buffalo in the yard, you all rush to get knives in order to share it. Do you think it drank itself to death (of water)?

Image

Extra Analytical Info: From the picture above, the buffalo specie called brachyceros could be found in the southwestern part of Nigeria (Yoruba Land) and somewhere close to Edo state. The northwestern part down to Kwara state also had the species. Therefore, the proverb is truly Yoruba and is geographically verifiable.

A picture of the exact type of buffalo the hunter killed
Image
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3. Aparo kan ko ga ju aparo kan lo, a fi eyi ti o ba gun ori ebe.

Post by Mayowa » Sat Apr 18, 2015 10:02 pm

Proverb: Aparo kan ko ga ju aparo kan lo, a fi eyi ti o ba gun ori ebe.

Literary meaning: No quail is taller than another quail except for the one that ascends a ridge.

Usage: Every man was born equal (Only opportunities make some men better than the others). This proverb can be used to encourage someone who thinks that he cannot achieve a goal even though he has equal chances with others that are pursuing the same goal with him.

There are some people who believe that aparo also means a peacock but I believe in the exclusive use of okin to mean a peacock. Moreover, from the proverb, it can be deduced that the ebe in this context is a ridge made with hoes on farmlands. Since quails are more of farm birds than peacocks, I believe that the men of those times took that proverb from what they saw about quails on their farms. By the way, the ridges serve as the opportunities.
ebe.jpg
Ebe (ridges) on a cassava farm
ebe.jpg (9.33 KiB) Viewed 34407 times
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Quail.jpg
Aparo
Quail.jpg (13.18 KiB) Viewed 34009 times
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4: Igba iponju la n mo ore...

Post by Eight » Thu Apr 23, 2015 12:19 pm

Owe: Igba iponju la n mo ore...
Opolopo eyan ni ko mo wipe owe yi ni ipari amo ipari re pin si ona meji.

1. Igba iponju la n mo ore, aba'niku ore kan ko si.

2. Igba iponju la n mo ore, igba isoro la n mo eni ti n fe eni.


Literary meaning 1. During your trying times is when you know your true friends, no friend will die with another friend.
Literary meaning 2. During your trying times is when you know your true friends, during difficult times is when you know who truly loves you.

The first proverb tells us that people who are our true friends come to our aid in our trying times but we should bear in mind that nobody is ready to die for or with his/her friend.
The second proverb is self explanatory.
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5. Ti ese o ba se erin, a o ni ri eran ajanaku ra l'oja

Post by anwo » Mon Apr 27, 2015 2:42 pm

Proverb: Ti ese o ba se erin, a o ni ri eran ajanaku ra l'oja

Translation: If the elephant does not make a mistake, we won't find its meat for sale in the market.
Usage: Used to say that nobody is beyond making a mistake.

Se mo tiraka? Mo ri ni ori Africa Magic Yoruba ni o.
Pari owe yi: Igba iponju l'a n'mo ore.

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6. Agba o ki n wa loja ki ori omo titun wo.

Post by Mayowa » Thu Apr 30, 2015 9:21 pm

Proverb: Agba o ki n wa loja ki ori omo titun wo

Literary meaning: The head of a baby carried on his/her mother's back in a market does not tilt while an elderly person is there.

Usage: Things are not expected to go badly for youths or a community at large while there are elderly people or people who are considered more experienced still well and alive to make amendments.
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7. Ti iku ile ko ba pa'ni, t'ode ko le pa'ni

Post by Eight » Sun May 03, 2015 11:56 am

Proverb: Ti iku ile ko ba pa'ni, t'ode ko le pa'ni

Literary meaning: If a domestic death does not kill one, a foreign death can't kill one.

Usage: If someone close to you does not betray you, someone distant won't know your weaknesses or how to kill you.
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8. Ti a ba so ada s'oke ni ita gbangba l'opo igba, ibi pelebe lo ma fi le le

Post by Mayowa » Thu May 07, 2015 12:25 pm

Owe: Ti a ba so ada s'oke ni ita gbangba l'opo igba, ibi pelebe na lo ma fi le le.

Literary Meaning: If we throw a cutlass up in the open two hundred times, it will keep landing on its flat side.

Usage: If you keep doing the same thing continuously, you will keep getting the same result.
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9. Omo eni o le buuru titi k'afi fun ekun pa je

Post by Mayowa » Tue May 12, 2015 1:19 pm

Proverb: Omo eni o le buuru titi k'afi fun ekun pa je

Literary meaning: No matter how troublesome or stubborn one's child is, one cannot give him/her as food to a leopard.

Usage: Used to appease someone who is angry with his/her child or close relative that the child deserves a second chance or forgiveness despite all the bad things he/she might have done.

A picture of Ekun
Image


Why some us believe that ekun is a leopard instead of tiger is because leopards are African anmals while tigers were never found in Africa. Tigers are of Asia and parts of Russia.

Image
Image showing where tigers can be found

Image
Image showing where leopards can be found.
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10. Ile oba tojo, ewa lo bu si

Post by Mayowa » Fri May 15, 2015 7:59 pm

Proverb: Ile oba tojo, ewa lo bu si

Literary meaning: When the oba's (king's) palace gets burnt, it only adds to its beauty.

Why it is said so is because the king usually builds a more beautiful palace than the one that gets burnt.

Usage: When something gets spoilt or lost, it is just a reminder that you will get a better one if you can afford to.
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11. Iran adaba ki n ba won sungbe, igi da eiye fo lo.

Post by Mayowa » Mon May 18, 2015 12:03 pm

Proverb: Iran adaba ki n ba won sungbe, igi da eiye fo lo.

Meaning: No dove sleeps (or dies) in the forest like others, when the tree falls the bird flies away (to safety).

Usage: When you want to pass a message that you will not die or get caught carelessly in a dangerous situation. If anything bad should occur, you will save yourself from any harm.
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12. Ba mi na omo mi ko de inu olomo

Post by Mayowa » Thu May 21, 2015 8:34 am

Proverb: Ba mi na omo mi ko de inu olomo

Itumo: 'Help me beat my child' does not come from the heart of the parent.
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