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METAPHORS Among the Ibo . . . proverbs are the palm oil with which words are eaten.[4] 1.

[Unoka] always said that whenever he saw a dead man's mouth, he saw the folly of not eating what one had in one's lifetime. (2) 2. Our elders say that the sun will shine on those who stand before it shines on those who kneel under them. (5) 3. Age was respected among [Okonkwo's] people, but achievement was revered. As the elders said, if a child washed his hands he could eat with kings. [5] 4. As our people say, a man who pays respect to the great paves the way for his own greatness. [16] 5. A toad does not run in the daytime for nothing. [17] 6. Everyone laughed heartily except Okonkwo, who laughed uneasily because as the saying goes, an old woman is always uneasy when dry bones are mentioned in a proverb. [17] 7. I am not afraid of work. The lizard who jumped from the high iroko tree to the ground said he would praise himself if no one else did. I began to fend for myself at an age when most people still suck at their mothers' breasts. If you give me some yam seeds, I shall not fail you.[18] 8. I know you will not despair. You have a manly and a proud heart. A proud heart can survive a general failure because such a failure does not prick its pride, It is more difficult and more bitter when a man fails alone. [21] 9. 'Looking at a king's mouth,' an old man said, 'one would think he never suckled at his mother's breast.' [22] 10. by a The oldest man present said sternly that those whose palm kernels were cracked for them benevolent spirit should not forget to be humble. [22]

11. The priest of the earth goddess said: 'Your wife was at fault, but even if you came into your obi and found her lover on top of her, you would still have committed a great evil to beat her. The evil you have done can ruin the whole clan. The earth goddess whom you have insulted may refuse to give us her increase, and we shall all perish.' [26] 12. 'Father,' said Obiageli, 'people should not talk when they are eating or pepper may go down the wrong way.' [39]