Note: I am not from western Africa, nor have I ever visited. I know there's much more that needs to be said! Here's an humble start.

This region generally includes:

Burkina Faso
Cape Verde
Côte d'Ivoire
The Gambia
Guinea Bissau
Sierra Leone
This is a case where a map would be really helpful. The only three landlocked nations on this list are Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso . All the others share the western coastline of Africa. By my rough estimation eyeballing the map at, the countries in this list probably make up a fifth of the African coast. The northermost countries are Mauritania, Mali and Niger. The easternmost are Niger and Nigeria.

Many of the nations of West Africa are renowned for their arts, inlcuding music and dance. Some of the best djembe players in the world hail from western Africa.

Better to walk than grow angry with the road.

At the bottom of patience there is heaven.

Hope is the pillar of the world.

It is the heart that carries one to hell or to heaven.

He who travels alone tells lies.

A blind man does not show the way to the blind.

The surface of water is beautiful, but it is not good to sleep on.

Nobody wars with ghosts.

When the spider would attack, it simply extends its web.

The young cannot teach tradition to the old.

Ashes fly back in the faces of those that throw them.

Wherever a man goes to dwell, his character goes with him.

Calamity has no voice: true suffering rarely speaks.

Alone, wisdom destroys you; with another, you destroy wisdom.

Defend us from the wrath of the meek.
Source: Captain Sir Richard Francis Burton, Wit and Wisdom from West Africa (London: Tinsley, 1865), 332p. Burton spent several years throughout Western and Central Africa (what is now the Sudan, Ethiopia and Nigeria) looking for the source of the Nile at the behest and under the patronage of the Royal Society (a story well portrayed, incidentally, in the film "Mountains of the Moon"). These translations of proverbs are exhaustively footnoted in Burton's text, with reference to other cultures' similar tenets, particularly those of Islam.

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