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: 172

Full Length Research Paper

The socio-cultural functions of Kafa proverbs

Tesfaye Dagnew
  • Tesfaye Dagnew
  • Faculty of Humanities, Bahir Dar University, Ethiopia.
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Mesfin Wodajo
  • Mesfin Wodajo
  • College of Social Sciences and Humanities, Mizan-Tepi University, Ethiopia.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 14 May 2014
  •  Accepted: 18 July 2014
  •  Published: 31 August 2014



The objective of this study was to examine the social and cultural functions of proverbs told by the Kafa people in southern Ethiopia. Accordingly, field visits were made to the area to collect data. Fifteen proverbs were selected and classified to study issues related to agriculture, forestry and other social and cultural beliefs of the society. The analysis showed that the proverbs emphasized the hard work that is needed of the farmers in Kafa in order to avoid hunger and catastrophe. The care that the people show towards the conservation of forests and the environment is also represented in the proverbs. The high value that the society gives to righteousness, wisdom, and experience and the ways through which the society controls behaviors that it does not approve are also reflected in the proverbs.


Key words: proverbs, values, norms.