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.
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