Pashto Proverb Collections: A Critical Chronology


This article presents a critical review of Pashto proverb scholarship, especially proverbs compilations. It reviews the work of well-known foreign and local scholars on Pashto proverbs andargues that while the large number of Pashto proverb collections is encouraging, most of them lack academic rigor. The article shows that most of the Pashto proverbs collectors have simply listed proverbs without providing contextual explanations; most of the authors have failed to provide enough methodological details of how proverbs were collected; and, while collection of proverbs (Paremiography) is a well-established field, the analytical study of Pashto proverbs (paremiology) need significant attention from folklorists. Along with others, the article particularly evaluates the two-volume “RuhiMataloona” of Mohammad Nawaz Tair (1975-81) and points out a number of shortcomings of the same. The article also provides a few proposals for improving Pashto proverb collections and points out new lines of research for those having academic interest in Pashto proverbs.

Dr Noor Sanauddin