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Proverbs of Africa: Human Nature in the Nigerian Oral Tradition

Proverbs of Africa: Human Nature in the Nigerian Oral Tradition
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an exposition and analysis of 2600 proverbs

$19.95 (19.95)
“Pachocinski’s collection is a truly fascinating read either for the dilettante or for the specialist. Additionally, this opus is most important in that it organizes, codifies and preserves the culture of the oral tradition.... Pachocinski’s scholarly collection is carefully and very consistently explained in the bracketed passages following each entry. Indeed, these explanations are often the key to the proverb. Finally, page and chapter layout as well as conservative pricing...make this a very desirable volume in a subject area that remains less than commonplace.”–Kenneth L. Nalibow, Proverbium 16 (1999)

“This is one of the best compilations of proverbs that I have seen. This collection indicates that the Africans have distilled over millennia their basic values and have encapsulated these values in the form of proverbs. Proverbs are pithy and easy to understand. They have been used for didactic purposes to train the young, and also to express ideas and values to others.
What we have here is an extraordinary range and rich mix of proverbs dealing with all aspects of life. Despite the vast range of cultures, there appears to be a common view about the world. It should be a valuable resource to all persons interested in the oral and living traditions of Africa.”–Elliott P. Skinner, former U.S. Ambassador to Upper Volta (Burkina Faso), Franz Boas Professor of Anthropology, Columbia University, Author of Roots of Time: A Portrait of African Life and Culture

“The oral tradition of passing on stories and riddles, songs and legends plays a vital role in the cultures of the peoples of Nigeria. African proverbs reach deep into the wells of wisdom, abundantly springing forth and enriching generation after generation.
Pachocinski has achieved for the proverbs of Nigeria what Jan Knappert has done for the myths and legends of the Swahili. He introduces these treasures to readers in the English language, allowing for a better grasp of the underlying beliefs and values of Africa’s most populous nation.”–Kenneth R. Gray, Editor of The Second Scramble for Africa and Associate Professor of International Business, Florida A&M University

“Proverbs of Africa is an excellent book...by far the most important work on West African proverbs since the work of Rattray.”–Jan Knappert, Senior Researcher, Institute of African and Oriental Studies, University of London

“The stimulus for this work was provided by my stay at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria, 1975-1985. I understood that the tribal culture within the oral tradition has been passing away together with the older generations.... Fortunately, I had many students who became a primary source for the description and analysis of proverbs of the various Nigerian peoples. Over 300 students participated in this project.... The students followed a unifed format of description consisting of four points:
1. Exposition of a proverb in an indigenous language.
2. Word for word sublinear translation into English.
3. Translation into literary English.
4. Description of how the proverb functions in society.

The proverbs were verified as to their authenticity by the staff of the Department of Nigerian Languages at Ahmadu Bello University.”–From the author’s preface

RYSZARD PACHOCINSKI is a Professor of Comparative Education at the Institute for Educational Research in Warsaw and a Faculty of Education Professor at the University of Warsaw at Bialystok, Poland. He is the author of many books including Proverbs of Africa, Comparative Education: A Textbook for Education Students, Teacher Education in the European Union, and Comparative Education: An Outline of Research and Methodology.

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