Folk Wisdom of Mexico
Jeff M. Sellers
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Buy *Folk Wisdom of Mexico/Proverbios y dichos mexicanos* by Jeff M. Sellers online

Folk Wisdom of Mexico/Proverbios y dichos mexicanos
Jeff M. Sellers
Chronicle Books
80 pages
December 2004
rated 5 of 5 possible stars
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This tiny book is filled with wisdom and color, a collection of Mexican proverbs in both Spanish and English that will make you ponder these truths and laugh out loud: “There’s no worse struggle than one that never begins; The ill-mannered child finds a father wherever he goes.”

In “a delightful mixture of laughter and love, fatalism and fate,” the author has gathered some of the priceless Mexican proverbs that capture “the wisdom, spirit and vibrancy that is Mexico.” A proverb may inform, guide or make a point; it is amusing and wise, by turns soothing and judgmental: “It is the unwritten literature and philosophy of the poor, particularly rural folk.”

These proverbs pass from generation to generation, and it isn’t uncommon for rural children to know them well, having been raised on such aphorisms by their parents. With European roots, but regional applications in common usage, the proverbs are distilled cultural truths that provide the wisdom of centuries.

Adding to the bilingual format, the pages are illustrated with bright prints, featuring the folk art style of Mexico, frogs on a lily pad, a pig, a great sleeping bull, a man grappling with the Grim Reaper on the Day of the Dead.

The messages are simple, yet profound: “Flies don’t enter a closed mouth; one needn’t study to become a fool; the brave one lives as long as the coward lets him; stupidity closes the door of kindness; in the matter of pigs, all is money, and in the matter of money, all are pigs; though the cage be made of gold, it is still a prison.”

Charming, humorous, thought-provoking and unnervingly accurate, this collection is beautifully rendered, the text balanced by clever illustrations, each page contributing yet another proverb, small but powerful reminders of thoughts, actions, and consequences.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Luan Gaines, 2006

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