Shona Proverbs

The Shona are a Bantu ethnic group native to Zimbabwe
and neighboring countries.

The mouth is easy to open but difficult to close.

A woman is attractive when she is somebody else's wife.

A dog does not bite its master.

Do not look for a string bag in the grass
when the grass has been burnt.

To pass through a thicket you have to rely on shoes.

A cottage in which you have not slept yet you should not praise.

A clever bird builds its nest with other birds' feathers.

A damaged plate laughs at a broken plate.

A whisper is a spoken word.

A big bird cannot be trapped with chaff.

A dog that has forced its head into a pitcher is greedy.

Don't waste spears on stabbing rhinos
when elephants may still show up.

Love is like color which fades away.

A girl laughs after she has finished housework.

Female quarrels breed court cases.

No finger put into the mouth will come out without saliva.

Locust meat is better than pumpkin relish.

A sleeping dog should not be roused for food.

The stomach is to be toiled for.

Two blind men cannot guide each other.

The tortoise is not overburdened by its shell.

A guest eats much when he sees his hosts doing likewise.

To shun an elder's word is to refuse advice.

Smoke does not rise where there is no fire.

Every power is subject to another power.

A dog does not bite its master.

A dog lying down has surrendered.

A sleeping dog should not be roused for food.

An old dog does not bark in vain.

When a single hair has fallen from your head,
you are not yet bald.

Counting absent goats means counting even dead ones.

The ax forgets but the cut log does not.

Two experts are never on good terms.

The mouth eats what it is given.

A lizard suns itself within reach of its hiding place.

Two old men won't kill each other.

One day's stay does not empty a granary.

Meat does not rot in a day.

A cat and a rat cannot be kept at the same place.

Hunger cannot be washed away like dirt.

A dog lying down has surrendered.

Too many mice have no lining for their nest.

An old dog does not bark in vain.

One thumb cannot crush a louse.

Fame is like gourds, it breaks.

Too much speed breeds delay.

Smoke from roasting meat does not irritate the eyes.

A coward has no scar.

When a lion fails to find meat it eats grass.

To shun an elder's word is to refuse advice.

A thief and darkness are friends.

An elephant is not burdened by its tusks.

The strength of a fish is in the water.

Sin devours the one who has committed it.

One who applies proverbs gets what he wants.

A stranger is not gossiped about.

Money knows no day on which it is not welcome.

Do not mix your cattle with those of a chief.

A man is attractive when he is not your husband.

A child that does not cry dies in the cloth it is carried in.

The body is known by its owner.

It is a low fire that warms the soup.

Wealth is invited but poverty invites itself.

A leopard is never enclosed together with goats.

He who pulls a fallen branch also drags away its leaves.

A snake that has entered a hole should not be provoked.

A dog that has forced its head into a pitcher is greedy.

A hoe tells no lies

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