BLTC Press Titles

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Knowledge of Higher Worlds and its Attainment

Rudolf Steiner

Further Adventures of an Irish R. M.

Edith Somerville and Martin Ross

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

A. Conan Doyle

The Picture of Dorian Gray

Oscar Wilde

Hausa proverbs

by George Charleton Merrick



0 sooda, you are full of noise, though no one asks
you to make it.
Sooda, a small bird which makes a great twittering.

16 Maikia ba ki sauka'n banza, sai maidalili.

0 vulture, you do not settle on the ground without a reason.

17 Belbela chi da motsi'n woni.

0 belbela, you live by the movements of others.

Belbela, the paddy bird of India; it is always seen near cattle, &c, and feeds off the ticks.

18 Gona'n tofa k^woya dagga nesa.

Go a long way round to avoid the fields where tofa
is growing.
Tofa, a grass which leaves prickles in the feet.

19 Karre'n ramma ba ruanka da kanzo.

0 dog, made of tie-tie, you have no concern with Jcanzo.

Ramma, a straight bush; tie-tie is made out of its

bark. Tie-tie, the native English for string made out of bark. Karre'n ramma, a basket made out of this tie-tie filled

with rubbish, which children play with, supposed

to be a dog. Kanzo, the dry remains of yesterday's tuo, usually

thrown to hens or dogs.

20 Hankaka maida dan woni shi zamma naka.

0 hankaka, make some one else's child become yours.

The hankaka, or crow, is supposed not to have young of its own but to appropriate those of other birds.

21 Ga'iwa chi jikkinki.

0 ga'iwa, eat your own body.

Ga'iwa, the mud fish, found under the mud after water has fallen below its usual level; it is, during the dry weather, supposed to live on the secretions of its own body.

22 Faran tunfafia ba achinki, ba ka chin woni.

0 locust of the tunfafia tree, you are not eaten, you do no one any harm.


1 Rigata biu, wonda ni ke sawa shi ne sabua,

wonda ba ni sawa ita che tsofua.

I have two coats, the one which I always wear is
new, and the one I don't wear is old.
Answer.—A road.

2 Rigata guda daia, aljifunta deri.
I have a coat with a hundred pockets.

Answer.—An anthill.

3 Godiata da chikki ba na hawa'n doki, sai

chikki ni ke hau.

When my mare is in foal I don't ride her, but I
ride the unborn foal.
Answer.—A house with a bed inside.

4 Shanunsa deri, madaurinsa daia.

Answer.—A broom, which has a hundred pieces of grass, but only one string to tie them with.

5 Babba na chikki gemansa na waje.

The master of the house is inside but his beard is outside.

Answer.—A hut with a fire inside and the smoke coming out of the roof. Vide 8 na.

6 Dan karami'n abu gamma dunia.

A very small thing, but the world is not complete
without it.
Answer.—The moon.

7 Afallalu kan dabobi, dukia mai kamma'n

Iblis, kowa ya sekky^ka ya nemoka.

Largest of beasts, devilish property, every one
who loses you has to look for you.
Answer.—A camel.

8 Fura'n uri, dama kwogi.

A cowrie's worth of fura which whitens the pool or
Answer.—The moon.

9 Akoshi'n babba faskarra sudeVa.

The basin of a great man which cannot be emptied.

Answer.—The kuddu'n diiffi, the pits from which earth

has been dug to build walls, they fill with water

during the rains. Soodi or suddi, the remains of a dish; you may keep

on baling out "kuddu'n diiffi," but will never

empty them.

10 Kawani'n babba faskarra naddawa. The chief's headdress defies rolling up.

Rawani, the strip of cloth wrapped round the face and head—Puggari.

Answer.—A road.

11 Na wanka kworriata, na je da ita gabbass,

na je da ita yamma, na dawo, ba ta
booshe ba.

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