Wisdom of the Yawo People: Under the Elephant’s Belly, You Can’t Pass Twice (Lunda lwa ŵandu ŵa Ciyawo) was published in 2006 and is unique in several ways, probably the most noticeable being that it is published in both the English and Ciyawo languages. The opening pages of this book explains just how it is that one should understand African proverbs and stories. Any Westerner who has tried to understand African thought can tell you it’s a different thing altogether! Collections of original paintings by renowned Malawian artist, the late Brian Hara, make the stories come to life.
Another unique aspect of this book is that it can be purchased as a stand-alone book, or with a set of 2 CDs professionally produced that read aloud each proverb in both English and Ciyawo, a perfect aid for anyone trying to learn the Ciyawo language. Listen to a selection below.
The publisher explains:
Wisdom of the Yawo People is a collection of traditional proverbs and stories from the Yawo people of South Eastern Africa. The literature contains deep wisdom rooted in African soil, which will be applicable to people everywhere. The proverbs are told in both the Yawo language and English and reveal the end result of greed, laziness and pride. They also promote the value of welcoming strangers, belonging and being respectful. Each proverb and story is accompanied by a short interpretation, and illustration.
Google Books offers a generous preview of this book online, a great way to become introduced to this book before buying your own copy.