Creole Proverbs of Belize

Bruce Dykes bkd at GRAPHNET.COM
Tue Mar 13 11:27:29 UTC 2001

----- Original Message -----
From: "A. Maberry" <maberry at U.WASHINGTON.EDU>
Sent: Monday, March 12, 2001 21:26
Subject: Re: Creole Proverbs of Belize

> > 18.  Bokotora law.
> > MEANING:  The "bokotora" is a tortoise.  The actual meaning of this old
> saying is clear: it is quoted in situations where it's "every man for
> and the devil take the hindmost."  The problem is, what connection does
> sentiment have with tortoises?  Perhaps the tortoise was regarded as a
> of the unsocial creature (as compared to, say, ants or bees).
> >
> Just a guess, but I'm assuming it's due to the fact that a tortoise can
> withdraw into his own shell for protection but really can't accommodate
> anyone else.

I've got two other potential interpretations:

One salient feature of the tortoise is its slowness, so maybe the slow will
be eaten.

Another feature is its age, which might not hold true for the type of
tortoise that's called the bokotora. The tortiose may simply be a metaphor
for ancient, and so the ancient law is 'every man for himself.'

Or something else completely...


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