Classic Ethiopian Riddle For Geniuses-Can You Solve Them?

A statement, question, or phrase with a hidden or double meaning that is presented as a problem to be answered is called a riddle. Enigmas, which are difficulties typically presented in metaphorical or allegorical language that call for inventiveness and careful thought to solve, and conundra, which are questions that rely on puns in either the question or the answer, are two different forms of riddles.

Riddles from hundreds of different civilizations, including Finnish, Hungarian, American Indian, Chinese, Russian, Dutch, and Filipino sources, are cited by Archer Taylor in his statement that “we may definitely claim that riddling is a universal art.” Riddles and riddle themes are used widely over the world.

In contrast to myths, which are used to encode and establish social norms, riddles, according to Elli Köngas Maranda (originally writing about Malaitian riddles, but with an insight that has gained wider attention), “make a point of playing with conceptual boundaries and crossing them for the intellectual pleasure of showing that things are not quite as stable as they seem” — though the ultimate goal may still be to “play with boundaries, but ultimately to affirm”

Across many nations and even entire continents, many riddles take on a similar format. Riddles might be borrowed close to home as well as long distances. Kofi Dorvlo provides an illustration of a conundrum that speakers of the nearby Logba language have adapted from the Ewe language: “This woman has not gone to the riverbed for water, but there is water in her tank.” “A coconut,” is the response.

The Riddle of the Sphinx has also been found on a far larger scale in the Marshall Islands, probably brought there by Western encounters in the past 200 years. Based on the renowned (European-focused) study by Antti Aarne, important illustrations of riddles that are used widely over the world are provided below.

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