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Spiritual and philosophical quotes of African

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G od conceals himself from the mind of man, but reveals himself to his heart.




Tradition / African 4506 | 







A proverb is the horse that can carry one swiftly to the discovery of ideas.




Tradition / African 4505 | 
Yoruba 







K nowledge is like a garden: if it is not cultivated, it cannot be harvested.




Tradition / African 4504 | 
Guinea 







C hildren are the reward of life.




Tradition / African 4503 | 
Congo 







Y ou must judge a man by the work of his hands.




Tradition / African 4432 | 







W hen there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.




Tradition / African 4431 | 







O ne must talk little and listen much.




Tradition / African 4429 | 







I f you refuse to be made straight when you are green, you will not be made straight when you are dry.




Tradition / African 4428 | 







W hen a head is too big it cannot avoid punches.




Tradition / African 4427 | 







W hat an old man can see while seated a young man can not see standing.




Tradition / African 4426 | 







M ay he who comes to visit me never bring death to me, and when he does depart, may he never grow a hunch-back




Tradition / African 4425 | 







A ction speaks louder than the words.




Tradition / African 4424 | 







W hen you throw a stone at God, it lands right on top of your head




Tradition / African 4423 | 







T omorrow is pregnant and no-one knows what she will give birth to.




Tradition / African 4422 | 







K nowledge is not the main thing, but good deed is.




Tradition / African 4421 | 







A man, who knows the use of proverbs, reconciles difficulties.




Tradition / African 4420 | 
Ashanti of Ghana 







O ne cannot run away from his behind.




Tradition / African 4419 | 







A fter a foolish deed comes remorse.




Tradition / African 4418 | 







T he fool speaks, the wise listens.




Tradition / African 4417 | 







H e, who learns, teaches.




Tradition / African 4416 | 







I t takes a whole village to raise a child.




Tradition / African 4415 | 







I f your mouth turns into a knife, it will cut off your lips.




Tradition / African 4413 | 







T he Lord of All, after having come into being, says: I am he who came into being as Khepri (i.e., the Becoming One). When I came into being, the beings came into being, all the beings came into being after I became. Numerous are those who became, who came out of my mouth, before heaven ever existed, nor earth came into being, nor the worms, nor snakes were created in this place. 1, being in weariness, was bound to them in the Watery Abyss. I found no place to stand. I thought in my heart, I planned in myself, I made all forms being alone, before I ejected Shu, before I spat out Tefnut (1) before any other who was in me had become. Then I planned in my own heart, and many forms of beings came into being as forms of children, as forms of their children. I conceived by my hand, I united myself with my hand, I poured out of my own mouth. I ejected Shu, I spat out Tefnut. It was my father the Watery Abyss who brought them up, and my eye followed them (?) while they became far from me. After having become one god, there were (now) three gods in me. When I came into being in this land, Shu and Tefnut jubilated in the Watery Abyss in which they were. Then they brought with them my eye. After I had joined together my members, I wept over them, and men came into being out of the tears which came out of my eyes. (2) Then she (the eye) became enraged (3) after she came back and had found that I had placed another in her place, that she had been replaced by the Brilliant One. Then I found a higher place for her on my brow (4) and when she began to rule over the whole land her fury fell down on the flowering (?) and I replaced what she had ravished. I came out of the flowering (?), I created all snakes, and all that came into being with them. Shu and Tefnut produced Geb and Nut; Geb and Nut produced out of a single body Osiris, Horus the Eyeless one (5) Seth, Isis, and Nephthys, one after the other among them. Their children are numerous in this land.




Tradition / African / Egyptian 3930 | 
The Book of Overthrowing Apophis, Translation and notes by Alexandre Piankoff, in his The Shrines of Tut-ankh-amon (New York, 1955), P. 24. Cf. the translation by John A. Wilson, in ANET, pp. 6-7 
1 Shu the air, Tefnut the moist. 2 Same myth in the Book of Gates, division 4 (The Tomb of Ramesses VI, P. 169). 3 An allusion to the myth of the Eye of the sun god which departs into a foreign land and is brought back by Shu and Tefnut. Another aspect. of this myth is to be found in the Book of the Divine Cow. 4 The fire-spitting snake, the uraeus on the head of the god. 5 The Elder Horus of Letopolis.







I was (the spirit in ?) The Primeval Waters,
he who had no companion when my name came into existence.
The most ancient form in which I came into existence was as a drowned one.
I was (also) he who came into existence as a circle,
he who was the dweller in his egg.
I was the one who began (everything), the dweller in the Primeval Waters.
First Hahu (1) emerged from me
and then I began to move.
I created my limbs in my 'glory'
I was the maker of myself, in that I formed myself according to my desire and in accord with my heart





Tradition / African / Egyptian 3911 | 
'Coffin Texts,' 714, (2) Translated by R.T. Rundle Clark, in his Myth and Symbol in Ancient Egypt (London 1959) p.74 
1. Hahu, the wind which began the separation of the waters and raised the sky. 2. The so-called 'Coffin Texts,' inscribed on the interior of coffins, belong to the middle kingdom (2250-1580 B.C.)







T he conception of a Deity. The Kikuyu believes in one God, Ngai, the creator and giver of all things. He has no Father, Mother or companion of any kind. He loves or hates people according to their behaviour.




Tradition / African 3906 | 
Ngai, The High God of the Kikuyu, Jomo Kenyatta, 'Kikuyu Religion, Ancestor-worship, and Sacrificial Practices.' Africa, X (1937) pp. 308-28 
The Kikuyu are a Bantu-speaking tribe of East Africa







I soko Religion begins with Cghene the Supreme Being, who is believed to have created the world and all peoples, including the Isoko. He lives in the sky which is a part of him, sends rain and sunshine, and shows his anger through thunder. Cghene is entirely beyond human comprehension, has never been seen, is sexless, and is only known by his actions, which have led men to speak of Cghene as 'him', because he is thought of as the creator and therefore the father of all the Isokos. He is spoken of as Our Father never as My Father. Cghene always punishes evil and rewards good.




Tradition / African 3905 | 
The Supreme Being of the Isoko (of Southern Nigeria), James W. Telch, 'The Isoko Tribe,' Africa VII (1934), pp 160-73; quotation from p. 163 







N zambi Mpungu is a being, invisible, but very powerful, who made all men and things, […] He intervenes in the creation of every child, he punishes those who violated his prohibitions. They render him no worship, for he has need of none and is inaccessible.




Tradition / African 3904 | 
Nzambi, The High God of the Bakongo in Van Wing, Etudes Bakongo (Brussels 1921; pp.170 ff.) as translated by Edwin W. Smith in Smith (ed.), African Ideas of God: A Symposium (2nd ed; London, 1950), p.159 







T he High Gods of a great number of African ethnic groups are regarded as creators, all-powerful, benevolent, and so forth; but they play a rather insignificant part in the religious life. Being either too distant or too good to need a real cult, they are invoked only in cases of great crises.




Tradition / African 3903 | 
Mircea Eleade, Essential Sacred Writings From Around the World (From Primitive to Zen), HarperSanFrancisco, p.5-6 





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