Fulani Proverbs

The Fulani people one of the largest ethnic groups in the Sahel and West Africa. They are bound together by the Fula language.

Prevention of desire equals theft of possessions.

He who wears trousers of iron will not sit down.

A bird that agrees to be caught will find a way of escape.

However much milk the cow has it will not milk butter.

However swift a man, he will not outstrip his shadow.

The flight of the eagle will not stop that of the sandfly.

He who takes wages for work must needs perform it.

Wood near the fire will catch.

What cleverness hides, cleverness will reveal.

Be a dog ever so quick to start it will not catch
a monkey swarming up a tree.

The needs of the monkey are not those of the anteater.

Wealth is like smoke.

Hawks will not carry off the fowl destined to crow.

Where a big drum is beaten a small one must not be.

He who has no authority will not have ceremonial drums.

A single bracelet, even of silver, will not tinkle.

Few bewail a fool's misfortune.

An axe for wax will not cut rock.

A rat has never lost its hole.

He who stores will take; he who does not store will not take.

The owner of the bed knows his bed bug.

Those with the same fur enter the same hole.

When you see a monkey on a tree it has already seen you.

If you go up a tree you know how to come down.

Patience will not spoil.

The owner has authority to work.

A porcupine will not mind needle grass.

Tomorrow is very close.

To run and stop is not bravery.

A sharpened knife will not butcher a dead cow.

The satisfaction of a full man is of no use to a hungry man.

If a knife is lacking, a strip of bark will cut.

Be it ever so dark the hand will not miss the mouth.

Better manure than unfertile soil.

Continued beating kills the snake.

It is little that a talkative man escapes.

What one man eats and is satisfied by, another eats and dies.

What a knife has not cut a strip of bark will not cut.

Be the town ever so far there is another beyond it.

All that is in the heart is written in the face.

A dog with a full mouth will not bark.

If the salt is stored, the soup will not be good.

The snake is feared because of its mouth.

God will not drive flies away from a tailless cow.

Not every storm cloud falls in rain.

A satisfied man does not know what a hungry man feels.

An old man will not dance to make laughter.

A market is not held for the sake of one person.

Constant seeing is the lesson for an ignorant man.

One bean spoiled the beans.

A long beard does not prevent a house going to bed hungry.

A borrowed thing will not fulfill your desire.

If speech is silver, patience is gold.

Be the cow ever so poor it is not like a wild animal.

The tool to hand will be used.

What is in the heart will lead to the mouth.

Hot water is no playground for a frog.

Better a mistake at the beginning than at the end.

The anteater's grief is not the monkey's.

Dreaming of eating will not satisfy the hungry.

Be the lid ever so small it will not go in the pot.

The darkness of night will not prevent morn.

By crawling a child begins to walk.

The father's friend is no friend of the son.

A greedy man will not die till he feels shame.

Greed will take you where you would not be.

To learn and to be able is better than to beg.

A blind man needs not to buy a mirror.

Ignorance of a thing is darker than darkness.

A man who does one bad action will stoop to another.

A hen does not play with a cat.

Silence itself is eloquent.

He who rides the horse of greed at a gallop
will pull it up at the door of shame.

Better ignorance than bad news:
Where ignorance is bliss it is folly to be wise.

If familiarity were useful water would not cook fish.

Victory is a thing that is remembered.

What one man eats and is satisfied by, another eats and dies.

Whatever the hyena does by night
at dawn it goes home.

Worms that live on mahogany do not know that dates are sweet.

If you do not rise when you do not want to,
you will not arrive when you want to.

Better to see the world than not to see it.

However sweet talk, silence is better.

Clouds are the sign of rain.

He who gives you a little will give you much.

A dog with a full mouth will not bark.

A dog once burnt will leave ash covered embers alone.

Envy is prosperity's manure.

Be a dog ever so quick to start it will not catch
a monkey swarming up a tree.

One man's fall is another's uprising.

The feet rest but the heart is not at ease.

If pleasant it will be shortlived, if unpleasant longlived.

Concentration brings near the distant camp.

The yes eat not but they know what will satisfy.

Where the bone is softest there it will be gnawed.

Hope nourishes the living.

The hole of lying is not deep.

Anything that releases you from a dilemma is useful.

Better dislike than contempt.

However much the beetle is afraid
it will not stop the lizard swallowing it.

A stranger though he has a bed will return home.

Departure on a journey is not death.

A dog once burnt will leave ash covered embers alone.

A building of sand falls as you build.

There is no doctor on the day of death.

If love is a sickness, patience is the remedy.

He whom talk killed had forgotten how to keep silent.

Talk gets a talkative man into trouble.

If an elephant enters the forest and breaks trees
it will not stop the hare breaking grass.

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