It takes a village

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It takes a village to raise a child is a proverb which means that it takes an entire community to raise a child: A child has the best ability to become a healthy adult if the entire community takes an active role in contributing to the rearing of the child

Attributions[edit]

The proverb has been attributed to African cultures. In 2016, NPR decided to research the origins of the proverb, and concluded it was unable to pinpoint its origins, though academics said the proverb nevertheless holds the true spirits of some African cultures.[1]

Examples of African societies with proverbs which translate to 'It takes a village...' include the following:[2]

  • In Lunyoro (Bunyoro) there is a proverb that says 'Omwana takulila nju emoi,' whose literal translation is 'A child does not grow up only in a single home.'
  • In Kihaya (Bahaya) there is a saying, 'Omwana taba womoi,' which translates as 'A child belongs not to one parent or home.'
  • In Kijita (Wajita) there is a proverb which says 'Omwana ni wa bhone,' meaning regardless of a child's biological parent(s) its upbringing belongs to the community.
  • In Swahili, the proverb 'Asiye funzwa na mamae hufunzwa na ulimwengu' approximates to the same.

Books titled It takes a village[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "It Takes A Village To Determine The Origins Of An African Proverb". NPR. 
  2. ^ "Proverb: It takes a Whole Village to Raise a Child". www.h-net.org. Retrieved 2016-10-01.