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AfriGeneas Africa Research Forum

Re: African 'Old Wives' Tales

Thanks for the reference, Chris. I could identify with many of the death rituals [birds flying into a sick room or sitting on the windowsill of the sickroom; wearing black to funerals; covering mirrors in the house of the deceased; and stopping clocks in the house at the time the person passes]. Stopping clocks and covering mirrors is not done today, but wearing black at a funeral is a must, and birds roosting on windowsills bring terror to our hearts.

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I read a little further in the material you referenced, and came up with this saying [from Jamaica]:

5. "Every dawg has his day and every puss his ___ o'clock" and cock mouth ____ cock. (Do not act as if you are better than others, your day will come).

What I find most interesting about this saying is that William Shakespeare wrote the following words [in Hamlet, first performed around 1600]:

"Let even Hercules do what he may, the cat shall meow and dog will have his day". I hope I remember the wording correctly.

I find it most interesting that the phrases from these two very different worlds and cultures almost mirror each other exactly.


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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