The Social Implications of Some Wolaita Proverbs on Children

Endale Endrias Arega


This article is intended to depict the social implications of some of Wolaita proverbs on children. To conduct this study, the researcher used qualitative research design. Using two tools of data collection: interview and direct observation 33 theme related proverbs and sayings were collected. For the interview, 10 elders from various social groups in Wolaita were systematically selected. The result showed that, Wolaita’s oral tradition includes proverbs and saying that threaten small children. These proverbs and sayings represent children as source of problems, unsuccessful, incapable, thoughtless, unimportant, and uneducable and so on. This affects the children’s development in various ways. There are also proverbs and sayings that encourage the children’s holistic development. The study recommends that Wolaita Proverbs and sayings that encourage or praise children’s physical, moral and cognitive development should be promoted. On the contrary, others that do have negative implications against children should be demoted. Wolaitas should understand that the outdated abuses and biases held by Wolaita elders or forefathers towards small children since early times should be changed. Wolaitas should know that carelessly using sayings that threaten small children is a breach of children’s right.

Keywords: children, Wolaita, proverbs and sayings, threaten small children, oral tradition, encourage

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