1. Using two hands in lifting an idol is an honor to it. (Two hands used in lifting an idol is an honour to it.)
2. When a woman gets up early before her husband, the thing that was waiting for her husband [the husband's fate] seizes her. (When the woman wakes early before her husband, the husband's enemies seize her.)
3. When the eyes are blinded, the eyelids take over the seeing. (When there are no eyes, the eye-lids use the sight.)
4. When the dog enters the bush with a bag, there will be no excreta left in the bush.(When the dog enters the bush with a bag, excreta will finish in the bush.) [Some dogs eat excreta.]
5. Staying idle causes evil deeds. (Idleness causes evil doing.)
6. One who says he wants to avoid tradition--does he come "out of the blue"? (He who wants the custom, is he a stranger.)
7. Swinging the arms is a pleasurable display. (Swinging the arms is a pleasure.)
8. A poor person does not have rich friends. (A poor man does not have rich friends.)
9. When the goat is trampled to death, its owner comes out. (When the sick goat is killed, the owner comes.)
10. A woman calls " master" when she sees meat. (An ill-natured woman calls master when she sees meat.)
11. When the pot is put on the fire, the mouth rejoices. (when there is something cooking, the mouth rejoices.)
12. One who is accused of poisoning should not show off his skill in sorcery. (He who is suspected of poison should not do magic.)
13. The old woman who says that she will not run-- if the goat takes her smoking equipment, she will be forced to run. (An old woman who dreads running runs by force when the goat takes her tobacco container.)
14. One who used a chicken at his mother's funeral [used a chicken to bury his mother] did according to his ability. (He who buried his mother with a fowl, did as he could afford.)
15. One who plants yams on his knees and ties them on his mustache does what pleases him. (He who plants yams on the knees and ties them on his moustache does what he likes.)
16. It is good to buy wine and send it to the monkey, but who will return the wine pot? (It is good to send wine to the monkeys, but who will return the jar?)
17. People prefer to see the body of one who went to war before looking for his belongings. (The head of a man killed in war is sought for before his property.)
18. If one is in a state of poverty and starts trouble, he regrets it when he becomes wealthy. (Evil done in poverty is regretted in prosperity.)
19. When the soap is dirty, what shall be used in washing it?
20. When the pot is placed on the fire, orphans run themselves to death doing errands. (When the pot is under the fire, the orphans suffer in errand running.)
21. When one wants to wash the knees thoroughly while bathing, the water gives out. (When one wants to wash the knees clean, the water will finish.)
22. If one does not know that the atanî [a kind of squirrel] was sick, let him look at its eyes. (He who does not know that a kind of squirrel was sick, let him look at the eyes.)
23. Grains of corn are not new things to doves. (Grains are not new things to doves.)
24. A man whose lover promises to come hears the footsteps of the spirits. (A man whose lover promises to come in the night hears the footprints of the spirits.)
25. The grasshopper that does not hear rests in the stomach of a bird. (An insect that does not hear rests in the stomach of a bird.)
26. The kernel-eater does not know when the stone is angry. (He who is cracking kernels on a stone does not know when the stone is annoyed.)
27. A few oil palm nuts can be picked off, but if they are carried off by the bunch it is theft. (When few nuts are plucked, it is nothing, but when the whole is taken, it becomes theft.)
28. One yam and one cocoyam are things one uses [to test the soil]. (The fertility of a piece of land is known by one yam and one cocoyam planted there.)
29. The orphaned child knows by afternoon hunger that his mother is dead. (A child should know the use of the mother by afternoon hunger.)
30. You can tell a male goat directly in its ears to go away-- it will not listen.
31. A small person who falls on a hill says, "It has made a deep impression in the earth."
32. Better that the chicken carry the corpse of the dog than that the dog carry the corpse of the chicken. [Dog could be accused of killing chicken.]
33. The man who is healthy does not know what the person with hydrocele is experiencing.
34. The knife can be worn down, but it will not be blunt.
35. When the drum is beaten, the thief's heart skips a beat.
36. Shall I tell a woman to buy fish and put it in the soup-- when it is done, am I the one who will eat it? [Don't dictate--she is supposed to know what is good.]
37. If one swears innocence over a pile of charmed feces, he can climb over it [safely].
38. If one swears innocence against a prominent [wealthy, popular] citizen, he [the swearer] can carry him past his [the citizen's] own compound [without harm to the carrier--otherwise his own guilt might undo him].
39. It is not good for salt to be excessive in the food.
40. The war that people know the time of [has been announced in advance] does not take the life of a lame man.
41. The thing that is good to have [hold] in the mouth is the tongue.
42. God created Adam and put a coat on him. [God provided everything.]
43. Just as oil avoids clothing, so clothing avoids oil. [If I don't like someone, probably he doesn't like me either.]
44. When Agatufe enters the yam barn, it is like when a titled farmer enters--when the hen goes by, the cock rejoices.
45. One should not go empty-handed after seeing a baby's teeth. [Custom was that the first one to spot baby's first emerging tooth was expected to bring a gift--often a chicken to be raised on the child's behalf.]
46. One who is going to defecate should take two sticks [for anal cleaning] because he does not know what bad thing is happening in the defecation. [E.g. be prepared for unforeseen developments, such as diarrhea.]
47. If one has forgotten the past [ingratitude], one who has something new should not give it to him.
48. The old palm branch says that it remembers when it was a young frond.
49. A messenger does not speak in proverbs. [Needs to deliver message verbatim.]
50. When a hitherto barren woman becomes pregnant, it is said that her pregnancy is the same [as anyone else's].
51. The old person who has no palm nuts is the friend of children.
52. If there is no old person in our compound children will catch a vulture and call it a hawk in flight. [The old instruct the young.]
53. The hawk's tail may reach the ground, yet it still will not carry off a chicken.
54. When the person with hydrocele dies, he will be buried twice. [The hydrocele itself will be cut off and buried separately.]
55. When the ground is burning [metaphor for something unusual happening], the person with hydrocele laughs, but he does not know that that is the place where his corpse will be buried.
56. It is good for a foolish person to know the rules of the market, for the time when people question, saying, "Who is guilty?"
57. A person who governs [others] does not govern himself.
58. The bush says that because no stones have entered it, it has grown a fungus.
59. If I tell you to smile, does that mean you should smile at foolish things?
60. One who offers only mouth kola defiles the cheek.
61. If one tells a child to go to a small stream, he says that a lot of water is better.
62. A certain person says that urine avoided the chicken a long time ago. [The chicken has been unable to urinate since time immemorial.]
63. A certain man held fire in his hand and it burned him; he then said, "Hey! A good thing can not be held in the hand."
64. If the rooster's tail is plucked, the hen laughs at him.
65. The woman who has hemorrhoids should not call the dog when she defecates.
66. To touch me is not a sickness.
67. If the child knows something, let him bury it in the ground; when his father dies he can dig it up.
68. Moonlight games are a pleasure; is there anyone whose compound the moon does not shine in?
69. The hawk has not yet fallen to the ground and the woman is stepping over it.
70. If a child sees someone she can beat, she tells someone to hold the baby for her, but if she sees someone who can beat her, says that if it were not for the baby she is carrying.....
71. If a woman remembers her past bad behavior, she does not ask her neighbor to buy her something at the market.
72. "Had I known" always brings up the rear.
73. There is no way that it will rain without the earth knowing about it.
74. The guilty person runs away when no one is chasing him.
75. Wherever the millipede dies is its grave. While the eye is focusing, the heart is thinking of something else.
76. When a woman starts to cook food and it is never done, I stay in her house and do not go home.
77. A certain person was crying when his children heard him saying, Oh, the world keeps on going forward and backward [has its ups and downs].
78. Amechi speaks a proverb, saying that the sheep fell into a pit and the farmer lifted it out.
79. Prosperity has its own time, bad luck has its own time.
80. Continuing to go forward can mean death, returning can mean life.
81. When a proverb is spoken about a torn basket, one who is emaciated recognizes himself. [Thinks they may be referring to him.]
82. If you speak a proverb to a wise child, he understands, but if you speak it to a foolish one, it goes over his head.
83. The bird that was staying on the ground and afterwards flies awayand goes to the palm frond--he is in his original place.
84. If the child speaks the same proverbs that his father spoke, is he going to repay his father's debts when he [the father] dies?
85. The chick says that the reason he cried when the hawk carried him off was so that everybody should hear, not that the hawk was going to release him.
86. The young goat will die eventually, but it will first become a mature goat.
87. Whatever is licked up around the pot will go to the side of the mouth. [Will not be enough to fill the mouth -- ill-gotten gains.]
88. One who raises an orphan and then abandons him, one day the others will go astray.
89. The chicken that you have in the house does not exude oil [when cooked]. [Outside chickens are better -- the other field is always greener.]
90. The way you kill a chicken is the way you kill a bushfowl.
91. When the dog looks at two foods, one of them will escape [elude] him.
92. The dog says that the reason he follows a person with a big stomach is that he will defecate a huge amount.
93. One who does not eat meat that has been used in sacrifice [a Christian, e.g.] but drinks its juice has really eaten that meat.
94. Something that foams up [carbonated] can enter the eye.
95. The point at which the stream dries up [only a small pool remains], there is its source.
96. Child, how many times does something have to happen to you before you learn your lesson?
97. If you bite my head without caring about my hair, I will bite you [in the buttocks] without caring about your feces.
98. A person should not call his father a coward.
99. One does not know that the sheep can dance when there are no soldier ants around.
100. The thorn says that he stays in the house and pricks a piece of meat. [He doesn't have to go outside to hunt, as others do.]
101. If the river devours the [white bird, not usually subject to drowning], you cannot use it [the river--it will have too strong a current for swimming].
102. If you come in sincerity, you take away lies.
103. Left-over food does not belong to only one person. [Everyone in the house should be entitled to nibble on it.]
104. The crab said, "Whatever one needs to use to train my ear, let it be used to train me, because what the eye sees [very well] does not need witness [does not need to be attested to]."
105. When you laugh at the tortoise, the tortoise laughs at his -------.
106. The muskrat says that the tortoise cannot do with speaking in proverbs.
107. Nkoko [an animal] says that if he does not hear [a rubbing, scratching sound], he hears the hand beating on the chest [used for emphasis in swearing].
108. No one who eats meat will be killed by hunger.
109. If the rat and the lizard are soaked by rain, the water dries from the lizard's body but it does not dry from the rat's body.
110. If you tell a chicken to eat on the table, it says that it will eat on the ground. [Thinks its own way better -- does not recognize what is good.]
111. A girl cried that she was sick and a goat ran to step on her. [You complain of something and something worse happens.]
112. The war that is announced in advance does not kill even a grasshopper. [Everything takes care--even the most unimportant creature.]
113. The small entrance that the mother goat provides does not escape her child's notice. [What a father does, his child will do.]
114. If a strong rope is tied, the chicken will untie it.
115. One does not defecate to go to visit the home of [white bird that defecates copiously]. (One does not use wisdome to go to visit a wise person.)
116. The hen that has children does not run fast.
117. How are we going to regard a child who has reached puberty and still feeds from his mother's breast?
118. The crab said that having many friends caused him not to have a head.
119. No one can light a fire without inhaling smoke. [Where there is smoke, there is fire.]
120. It is not the mother of only one child who [habitually] gives the goat its afternoon food.
121.The sheep's ear [hears?] the crying of seven goats. (If you spoil something belonging to me, replace it.)
122. What the eye sees does not need [additional] witnesses.
123. If a father is known, his son is known.
124. Where the eye can reach, the foot will not reach. [The eye goes farther than the foot.]
125. The rabbit says, "Things that make me run happen to me all the time--that is why I have an outlet hole [in my burrow]."
126. The partridge painted itself with camwood and said that it was the most beautiful of all the birds.
127. The stick that is used to stir the tortoise's ipo should be used to stir the he-goat's things.
128. The corpse returned to the earth and rubbed on camwood. (When the discussion was over, a good result was heard.)
129. The mouse said, "I know that I smell bad, so I cry 'pi-pi-pi' to tell people that I am coming.
130. The river does not consume someone whose feet cannot be seen. [Know all details first.]
131. You cannot bury smoke in the ground. [Truth will out.]
132. The monkey said, "If my face were not long, the hair on my head would reach my mouth."
133. The dog whose teeth are bad does not bite.
134. Someone who has been affected by something does not talk sensibly.
135. The sneaky dog eats eggs. [Pretends to be uninterested.]
136. He is emaciated [like] a small snake.
137. If the nduru [large bird, like eagle] cries until daybreak, how will the [crying bird] cry?
138. The rat said that the person who kills him does not make him angry, but rather it is the one who says, "Bring it so I can look at it."
139. The sky said that of the two children he bore, there was not one that pleased the world. (When the rain falls, people say that it rains too much; when the sun shines, people say that it shines too bright.)
140. A greedy person asks for fruit in the land of greedy persons. (One who has nothing begs from someone who has nothing.)
141. Oku [a kind of yam] says that he is a thing of low quality, so it takes oil and puts it inside of itself [to look more attractive to people].
142. The woodpecker said that on the day his mother and father died he would use his mouth to peck stones. But the day they died, the coldness of the stones prevented him from pecking [closed his mouth].
143. Every Eke day a market is held. (There is a feast every day.) [Refers to a fun-loving person.]
144. Not all women can cook food that people like.
145. You will be sitting there chewing only a chicken leg until there is no more pepper sauce in the bowl. [Wasting time.]
146. Your white chicken blackens the pot.
147. One who completely enjoys Eke does not know that Orie is a working day.
148. After "one who eats with no thought of leftovers" finishes eating, he hangs up the food container.
149. The weaver bird keeps on gathering palm nuts and the owner of the palm grove kills him.
150. The head is not bigger than the person it belongs to.
151. When the tale-bearing stops.... (When an enemy is tired, he seeks peace.)
152. It is the weeds that gave birth to the log. (It is the child who grew to adulthood.)
153. I will not be afraid of the mother bird while taking her eggs.
154. The night will show the partridge her own eggs. [Partridge eggs are smaller but tastier than chicken eggs. They show up at night.]
155. One who [first] ties up his yams and [then] separates them [the clusters] does not know what how many he has tied.
156. Stories concerning the palm nut that is in the mouth. (A person's thoughts are [only] in his mind.)
157. The food that the goat likes gives him diarrhea.
158.Your demeanor is fearful like the Ekpo masquerade. (Nothing blocks you.)
159. One who has wealth and does not use it--he and the poor person are one and the same. (If you know how to do something but do not do it, you are like one who does not know how to do it.)
160. Okpogo (a kind of bird) by foolishness defiled itself. (He did it out of ignorance.)
161. Fiber [cornsilk] does not cross over corn without purpose. (One who has no money does not buy things.)
162. The chicken that keeps its eyes to the ground sees with fear [becomes frightened].
163. Begging for corn does not yield enough for famine. (What a person begs from someone else is not sufficient to satisfy him.)
164. The chicken is not strong enough to come out very early for food.
165. If you play with a dog too much, it will defecate in your house. (If you fraternize with a child, he will insult you.)
166. If an animal starts to follow a monkey, it [the animal] breaks its neck.
167. The bad deeds that the turtle did caused him to have a head like a male lizard's. (It is something bad that he did that caused him to be as he is.)
168. The rainy season does not please the sky.
169. "When it is done, when it is done," does not cut up the oil palm. [procrastination]
170. The chicken that keeps on clucking is inviting [trouble to] his owner.
171. The person who asks questions does not lose his way.
172. Seeing a person often is better than killing a goat [for celebration of infrequent visits] .
173. When people gather stones, they (the stones) become deities.
174. A knife that does not fail to be sharp will always have a broken part. (A good man will not fail to show his character [behavior] although he might have some weaknesses.) [No one is perfect.]
175. The thing that you wear on your arm need not be looked around for.
176. One who knows how to pound pounds into the mortar; one who does not know how to pound pounds in between the mortar and the thigh. [Faulty aim with the pestle.]
177. Where the large knife is made, there the kitchen knife is made.
178. The God of the cat kills the rat for it.
179. Use one yam [tuber], rub it with elephant feces, when it [the elephant] comes to the farm it will not eat yam. [Elephants hate their own feces.]
180. One who makes trouble listens for cries.
181. Nono said, "If things are done my way, the meat will not be cut on the cutting-board." (If a person does as I do, there will be no quarrel.)
182. The rat said, "If I had not been denied food, would I be stealing it?
183. Tortoise said that he kept on carrying loads--he did not know that it would bring him lumbago.
184. I was looking for the louse on the head, not knowing that it was on the ear.
185. When something happens in the day time, it seems like a dream.
186. One does not sell the antelope's antlers [something bad] in a nearby place.
187. The palm fruit uses its companions to produce oil.
188. Animals that have no jaws do not bare their teeth.
189. The apple falls for the rich man as well as for the poor man.
190. Look for the lizard when he is on open ground before he enters the tall grass.
191. The dog that is going to be a bag- chewer will be known by the torn headpad.
192. The blind eyes returned to the head of their owner. [At least he still has eyes.]
193. The blind eye does not mark off its own portion of light.
194. The large animal has much blood; the small animal has little blood.
195. The snail said that it was because of its head being covered that it did not see the road. [A tough film keeps head inside shell at a certain stage of snail's development.]
196. One cries a little, one laughs a little.
197. If the young goat [kid] uncovers the pot, its mother watches it. [Refers to carefulness.]
198. One who has nothing with which to buy a wine bottle says that a wine bottle is a big thing.
199. Food does not make one fat; rather it is only to sustain life that it is eaten.
200. Too much talking caused it to be known that Ijoma's mother was
married and taken to Arochuku. [Gossipers suspect there was a reason
for her being sent to far away to marry.]
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