Highlights

Proverbs & Sayings – Meru

Mwacha mila ni mtumwa!

By Flora Terah

1.Agiicuria ta kireere naiji uria akareera
 – he hangs himself down like a bat, he definitely knows how he would float through the air.

2. Agwikia jua nduu kaara
 – He has inserted a finger into the anus of the monster (one has tried a very dangerous feat).

3. Agwikirithania na murampa
 – He has rubbed shoulders against a baobab tree (meaning, he wants to compare himself with a giant. He wants to look big)

4. Akagwata gikama mwanki-ukwora (jukwora)
 – He would get hold of a red-hot iron brand (gikama) just after it has left the fire. (the gikama is a piece of metal about five inches long, and was used in a trial ordeal to determine the guilt or innocence of an accused thief. The suspect would have to carry it with naked hands across a given distance. If he dropped it before that distance, it was proof that he was a thief. The proverb warns of the consequences of thievery)

5. Akwina abicha
 – He has danced topsy-turvy (upside down) (similar to Akwina atema ntabui, meaning “he has danced amazingly beyond”, and Akwina atura nturi, “he has danced amazingly to the end”. The proverb means too much of a good thing might be bad – he has danced himself to death).

6. Ari mutine jukuura
 – He is under a leaking tree (meaning, he is having problems)

7. Bia thuguri bitiujuraga ncuku
 – Bartered grains do not fill up the granary (may mean that one should not expect to be self-sufficient without cultivating land)

8. Cookera akui, Nturutimi yacookeere Nciru
 – Return before you go further, Nturutimi returned after it had reached Mciru (Nturutimi was one of the age groups in Meru; Mciru is a place between Tigania and Imenti divisions where the Njuri-Ncheke Council of Elders used to meet and legally formulate rules and regulations, norms, customs and etiquette which governed the Meru people and their way of living. The proverb warns one not to go further (for example with a legal case), because the decision that has already been taken is binding and final)

9. Naanga yereragua ni ruuo
 – The naanga flies with the wind (naanga is a soft printed cotton cloth worn over the shoulders by dancing Meru warriors. Such a naanga would then fly over and behind each dancer as a beautiful bunting. Possibly means to swim with the current, go with the flow)

10. Nagwurite kareere maigo
 – He has extracted the bat’s teeth (he has done something extraordinary)

~Wakenya Canada

 

 

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