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Ashanti Proverbs

Guest Author - Jeanne Egbosiuba Ukwendu

The Ashanti live in Ghana and the Ivory Coast. There are approximately 1,000,000 members of the Ashanti tribe. The Ashanti are famous for their kente cloth. Here are some of the proverbs from the Ashanti tribe.


A lie can annihilate a thousand truths.

It is the fool's sheep that break loose twice.

He who is guilty is the one who has much to say.

It is difficult to throw a stone at a lizard that is clinging to a pot.

When rain beats on a leopard it wets it, but rain does not wash out its spots.

He who cannot dance will say, "The drum is bad!"

By the time the fool has learned the game, the players have dispersed.

Only when you have crossed the river, can you say the crocodile has a lump on his snout.

You must act as if it is impossible to fail.

Fire and gunpowder do not sleep together.

What is bad luck for one man is good luck for another.

Do not let what you cannot do tear from your hands what you can.

When a man is coming toward you, you need not say: "Come here."

If you wish to tell anything to the Supreme Being, tell it to the winds.

A wise man who knows proverbs, reconciles difficulties.

Do not call the forest that shelters you a jungle.

When you follow in the path of your father, you learn to walk like him.

When a man is wealthy, he may wear an old cloth.

It is Mr. Old-Man-Monkey who marries Mrs. Old-Woman-Monkey.

He is a fool whose sheep runs away twice.

Two men in a burning house must not stop to argue.

Force against force equals more force.

The poor man and the rich man do not play together.

If you are in hiding, don't light a fire.

It is no shame at all to work for money.

The moon moves slowly, but it crosses the town.

One cannot both feast and become rich.

If you are on a road to nowhere, find another road.

Rain beats a leopard's skin, but it does not wash out the spots.

When you are rich, you are hated; when you are poor, you are despised.

No one shows a child the sky.

One falsehood spoils a thousand truths.

Do not follow the path. Go where there is no path to begin the trail.

Money is sharper than a sword.

If you understand the beginning well, the end will not trouble you.

Even though the old man is strong and hearty, he will not live forever.

When a woman is hungry, she says, "Roast something for the children that they might eat."

No one tests the depth of a river with both feet.

Hunger is felt by a slave and hunger is felt by a king.

The ruin of a nation begins in the homes of its people.

It is the calm and silent water that drowns a man.

There is no medicine against old age.

When you go to someone else's house and the owner is squatting there on the ground, you do not ask for a stool.

When a king has good counselors, his reign is peaceful.

If you allow yourself to forget the sound of your town's horn you get lost in the gathering.

True power comes through cooperation and silence.

If nothing touches the palm-leaves they do not rustle.

Wood already touched by fire is not hard to set alight.

When the fool is told a proverb, its meaning has to be explained to him.

It's a bad child who does not take advice.

Two small antelopes can beat a big one.

When the cock is drunk, he forgets about the hawk.
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Content copyright © 2014 by Jeanne Egbosiuba Ukwendu. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Jeanne Egbosiuba Ukwendu. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Dawn Denton for details.

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