African Journal of
History and Culture

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Hist. Cult.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-6672
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJHC
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 188

Full Length Research Paper

The Amharic proverbs and their use in Gǝʿǝz Qǝne (Ethiopian poetry)

Hiruie Ermias
  • Hiruie Ermias
  • Universität Hamburg, Hiob Ludolf Centre for Ethiopian Studies, Alsterterrasse 120354 Hamburg, Germany.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 11 May 2020
  •  Published: 31 January 2020


This article aims to provide a concise impression of Amharic proverbs and their use in Gəʽəz Qəne. Qəne is an extraordinary Ethiopian poetry with special feature, beauty, and limit. There is no language restriction to compose Qəne; since its introduction in the 15th Century Gəʽəz is predominantly used to compose Qəne in different forms. Adding an Amharic proverb to Gəʽəz Qəne is a great talent which requires an advanced knowledge and exercise of both the language and the proverbs. However, many Qəne masters use sporadically Amharic proverbs to compose Gǝʿǝz Qəne. Hence, it is customary to find various Amharic proverbs implemented in Gəʽəz Qəne. The methods of how to realize such a composition are the main issues discussed in this article. With this regard, various convincing examples and analytical explanations are provided appropriately. It also deals with the significance and role of Amharic proverbs in the study of Biblical exegesis and in day to day communications of the Ethiopian people. Their impact on personal discourses and social interactions is like one of the key issues of the article. The concluding part consists of a summary and recommendation.


Key words: Proverb, Amharic, biblical exegesis, Qǝne.