International Journal of English Literature and Culture

International Journal of English Literature and Culture

Vol. 3(6), pp. 183-189, June, 2015

 ISSN: 2360-7831

DOI: 10.14662/IJELC2015.052

Research Paper

The Portrayal of Women in Tigrigna Proverbs and Proverbial Expressions: the Stereotypical Beliefs and Behavioral Tendencies


Solomon Berhane Hagos


College of Social Sciences and Languages, Aksum University, Ethiopia.  E-mail: solberhane@gmail.com .

 Tel: +251913681662


Accepted 30 June 2015




Proverbs are the most widely and commonly used in the people’s long-standing tradition of oral arts. They have been enabling the transmission of knowledge, culture and communal beliefs from generation to generation. Thus, in this study a rigorous attempt has been made to examine the portrayal of Women in glance of Tigrigna proverbs and proverbial expressions. A field work evolving ethnographic study was applied to gather proverbs from the selected sites of the research area. Having identified potential informants via snow ball and purposive sampling techniques, data were collected through interview and document analysis. Then, the collected proverbs were first transcribed in the source language i.e. Tigrigna and then translated into English. Finally, after in-depth reading, thirteen proverbs were selected and arranged for analysis using thematic coding. In the analysis, in addition to the textual sources, attention has also been paid to the contextual data to reflect the real images of women portrayed in the proverbs with respect to the social and psychological context. Thus, the findings of the study illustrated both favorable and unfavorable images of women. Despite this fact, the proverbs and proverbial expressions of Tigrigna lacks balance between the negative and positive attitudes towards women. Contrary to men, Women are portrayed positively only in a very few proverbs. Most proverbs and proverbial expressions of Tigrigna indicated that women are dependent, evil, lazy and inferior in both their self-esteem and intelligence. In addition, the findings showed that women are considered as irrational, talkative, jealous and, unfaithful sub-species of humanity. Thus, based on the findings of the study, recommendations were made as to how to change the biased and largely prejudice attitudes of the society towards women.

Key Words: Proverbs, Tigrigna, Women


Cite This Article As: Hagos SB (2015). The Portrayal of Women in Tigrigna Proverbs and Proverbial Expressions: the Stereotypical Beliefs and Behavioral Tendencies. Inter. J. Eng. Lit. Cult. 3(6): 183-189



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