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Part 5: On consistency; honesty, openness, plain speaking, reliability


Pàkìtí ṣe bí òkú wọ̀lú; labalábá ṣe bí ẹyẹ jáko.
The coarse mat enters the town like a corpse; the butterfly enters the bush like a bird.
(Said of people who appear to be what they are not.) [26]

Pátá-pátá; là ńfọ́jú, kùm̀bọ̀-kumbọ là ńdẹ́tẹ̀; ojú à-fọ́-ì-fọ́-tán ìjà ní ńdá sílẹ̀.
One's blindness should be absolute, and one's leprosy should pervade the whole body; half-blindness only brings dissensions.
(One's condition should be definite, not ambiguous or undetermined.)
See also the following entry.

Pátá-pátá leégún ńfaṣọ borí;.
It is completely that the masquerader covers his head with his shroud.
(One must be thoroughgoing in whatever one does.)
Compare the preceding entry.

Pẹ̀hìndà kí o ríṣe èké, fara pamọ́ kí o rí bí aṣení ti ńsọ.
Turn your back you and you will discover how the deceitful person behaves; hide and you will find out what the detractor is saying.
(Were one able to surprise them, one would discover the true nature of one's enemies.)

Pípọn niyì idẹ; ẹ̀jẹ́ niyì oògun.
Redness is the glory of brass; efficaciousness is the glory of medicine.
(Truth to one's nature, and fulfilment of one's obligations are the determinants of one's worth.)

Pọ̀ǹgbà-pọngba là ḿbá odi.
Firmly planted and unshakable is the way one finds the city fortification.
(An injunction to be firm and unshakable.)

Purọ kóo níyì; bí a bá jáni tán, ẹ̀tẹ́ ní ńdà.
Lie and become renowned; once you have been found out the result is disgrace.
(The glory that results from deceit does not last.)


26. Corpses are carried on the head when being brought home from the farm or some other place; mats are also usually wrapped up and carried on the head .  [Back to text]