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Proverbs - The Wit & Wisdom of 'Jamaican Talk'

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Backyard Labrish

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Proverbs are brief didactic statements forming an important element in the oral culture of Jamaica. Not only do they give spice to everyday conversation but they also serve as an educational and social function, assisting children to learn the norms of the society.

Although originating from two main cultures, West Africa
and Europe, some proverbs are purely Jamaican and
reflect the wit, wisdom and vitality of the cultural mix.

Unlike Memory Gems that are moral or Christian based, Proverbs are simply sayings or statements of fact. They can be used to influence the behaviors of others, suggesting a course of action, passing judgment through criticism, ridicule, warning, or defiance. ‘Island talk’, like Island food is well spiced" 

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