Famous Sayings: #1 — ‘It Takes a Village…’

March 14, 2016

“It Takes a Village to Raise a Child.”

it takes a village, to raise a child, nigeria, famous sayings
My map-making skills need quite a bit of work, but this was an excuse to work in Illustrator!

While this is certainly not the oldest saying, it one of the first sayings I can think of. I’m sure many of us have heard this as it is often repeated and thus ubiquitous. In fact, all or part of the saying has been used in the titles of various books (including Hillary Rodham Clinton’s 1996 literary offering).


Where Is The Origin of the Saying?

From my research, this appears to be an African proverb, specifically spoken in Igbo and Yoruba in Nigeria. There are variations of this proverb in other African nations. In Tanzania, the Sukuma changed it to “One knee does not bring up a child.” In Swahili, the proverb sounds like “One hand does not nurse a child.”

Here’s more on the first two groups I mentioned. The Igbo (pronounced EE-bo) are concentrated mainly along the southeastern region of Nigeria and we estimated to be numbered around some 20 million near the beginning of the 21st century. They tend to live in various villages yet share a common language. The Yoruba are one of the three largest ethnic groups of Nigeria and are concentrated in the southwestern part of the country and Benin. Many African-Americans have traced their lineage to the Yoruba. Current-day Yoruba generally live in large city-groups as opposed to villages.

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