Bambara Proverbs

Sayings of Bambara People

The Bambara are a Mandé people living in west Africa, primarily in Mali but also in Guinea, Burkina Faso and Senegal.They are considered to be amongst the largest Mandé ethnic groups, and are the dominant Mandé group in Mali.

The Bambara (Bamana) language, Bamanankan, is a lingua franca of Mali spoken by perhaps 15 million people, 5 million Bambara people and about 10 million second-language users. It is estimated that about 80 percent of the population of Mali speak Bambara as a first or second language. It has a subject–object–verb clause structure and two lexical tones. (An excerpt from Wikipedia)

Proverbs & Sayings

Beware of the goat that is in the lion’s lair.

If the hare is your enemy, admit that he can run fast.

He who longs too much for a child will marry a pregnant woman.

The motherless child will suckle the grandmother.

When you get older you keep warm with the wood you gathered as a youth.

The hare and the elephant don’t travel well together.

Do not walk in God’s ways on someone else’s behalf.

The word of a powerful man is the truth.

Little by little the bird makes its nest.

God provides for the blind vulture.

Everyday the ear goes to school.

I have to learn how to walk on three legs says the hyena for when I am old.

Cleanliness in the neighborhood, Because, we don’t like dirt.

The kitchen is older than the mosque.

No matter how long a log floats on the river, it will never be a crocodile.

Even in the freshest of milk, you will still find hairs.

No matter how much the world changes, cats will never lay eggs.

The female horse is running away, Leaving her baby behind her.

No matter how many chores you finish in your house, there is always yet more to be done.

A pregnant woman is not afraid if you threaten her with what you made her pregnant with.

Without enemies we are worthless.

God gives nothing to those who keep their arms crossed.

One finger cannot lift a stone.

We learn from hardship.

The child who loves freedom is the first victim of it.

He who has a boss is not the master of his burden.

There is no mother like your own mother.

May the neighborhood prosper forever!

A long beard and a rosary will not make you a priest.

When you chop off a snake’s head all you are left with is a piece of rope.

You cannot scratch your butt and run at the same time.

Knowing the tree, knowing the house, knowing oneself is better.

Bambara Proverbs

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