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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

About Ewe language and people

About Ewe language and people

African proverbs are the index of the inner life of the Ewe people.

A fish is in water but does not know the importance of water.

Akpa le tome gake menya tsi fe vevie nyenyeo. Ewe language

A fish is in water but does not know the importance of water. English translation

What does the proverb mean?

The meaning of this proverb is that a fish is always in the water, but until it comes out of the water it doesn’t even recognize that the water exists. This proverb is about “taking things for granted” and similar to the saying that familiarity brings discontent.

About Ewe language and people

Ewe (pronounced EV-AY) is a tonal language with four tones as well as a Niger–Congo language is spoken in Ghana, Togo, and approximately 6 million people as a first language. It is recognized as a national language in Ghana, where English is the official language, and in Togo, where French is the official language. Ewe is also known as Ebwe, Efe, Ehwe, Eibe, Eue, Eve, Gbe, Krepe, Krepi, Popo, and Vhe. Ewe is closely related Gbe languages, such as Fon, Gen, Phla, Phera and Aja.

Ewe people live in southeastern Ghana, southern Benin, and the southern half of Togo. Ewe concord is based on language and common traditions of origin: their original homeland is traced to Oyo, in western Nigeria, which was a major Yoruba kingdom. The Ewe is essentially a patrilineal people. They believe that the throne should be reserved to a fief or an heir according to succession; hence, the founder of a community becomes the chief and is usually succeeded by his paternal relatives.

Most Ewe can trace male ancestors to their original villages and make their territorial divisions along the Republic of Togo and Volta Region lines. To Ewe people ancestors play an important role in the religion but do not believe that every object has a soul but rather that spirits can have certain objects as the abode. Many Ewe practice Voodoo or Vodzu in the Ewe language.

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