Southern Tashelhayt Berber (Algeria, Morocco) Proverb
Background, Explanation, Meaning and Everyday Use
The Berbers are members of any of various peoples living in northern Africa west of Tripoli. The Berber language is a branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family comprising languages spoken by various peoples of northern Africa and the Sahara.
A girl from one’s own village will know what is expected of her. So a man is advised to settle for a local girl rather than a stranger from the outside, from who-knows-where. Everyone knows that a round boulder washed down by the stream will be useless for building, while a slab cut from the cliff nearby will fit squarely into the wall. One stone at home is more important than ten stones far away.
Luke 15: 8-10: “Parable of the Lost Coin.”
Contemporary Use and Religious Application
What you have with you, what is close by is more helpful and valuable than that which is far way, that which you need to follow after. Compare to the Kikuyu, Kenya proverb: Don’t lose the four that you already have while running after the eight. Compare to the worldwide proverb: A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
NOTE: This proverb is taken from page 42 of the book Pretty as a Moonlit Donkey: A Whimsical Jaunt Down the Proverbial Byways of Moroccan Folklore by Robert Dann. Chester: Jacaranda Books, 2000. 64 pages. This full write-up has been done in collaboration with our African Proverbs Research Committee. For more information contact: Moderator@afriprov.org