A Literary Study of Mbube Proverbs
This paper examines the literary and aesthetic content of proverbs of Mbube people of Northern Cross River in Nigeria. Proverbs are pithy statements embodying community’s ethical and philosophical values and rich in artistic value and performance. A study of these proverbs helps in understanding the people’s culture and world view. Mbube proverbs which are rich in idioms and metaphors effectively perform the functions of inculcating moral values. The paper examines the literary content of Mbube proverbs using the anthropological and cognitive views of proverbs. This theory sees proverbs as species of metaphor. Through participant- observation, about 100 proverbs were collected taking into consideration the occasion and contexts of performance. The paper concludes that proverbs in Mbube function effectively in deepening and enriching communication and help in fostering communal harmony and cohesion and their poetic content provides for economy of words.
Keywords: proverbs, communication, Mbube culture, aesthetic.