African Proverbs (Handout)

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African Proverbs (Handout)

Examine the following African proverbs and then write down what you think they mean. Once complete, come with your own proverbs or one’s that you may have heard or used with your own family or culture.

African Proverb

What I think it means…

Don’t Insult the crocodile until you cross the water”

Be careful about criticizing others.

Only a knife knows what the inside of a coco-yam looks like”

Those who investigate something, understand it.

Rats don’t dance in the cat’s doorway”

A hippopotamus can be made invisible in dark water.”

If you house is burning, there is not time to go hunting.”

If your mouth turns into a knife, it will cut off your lips.”

The lion does not turn around when a small dog barks.”

Two birds disputed about a kernel, when a third swooped down and carried it off.”

If you run after two hares you will catch neither.”

Do not call to a dog with a whip in your hand.”

Ashes fly back into the face of him who throws them.”

When you know who his friend is, you know who he is.”

When a needle falls into a deep well, many people will look into the well, but few will be ready to go down after it.”

A cow that has no tail should not try to chase away flies”

A single stick may smoke, but it will not burn.”

Because a man has injured your goat, do not go out and kill his bull.”

By trying often, the monkey learns to jump from the tree.”


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