The Use of Minangkabau Proverbs of Contrast Meanings by Minangkabau Society in Medan

Meisuri Meisuri, Syamsul Bahri


The purpose of this study is to find out a complete picture of local wisdom on the use of Minangkabau proverbs that have contrast meanings by the Minangkabau society in Medan North Sumatera, Indonesia. The research used descriptive qualitative method, by conducting interview as well as questionnaires distribution on provided proverbs to a total of 60 respondents from different regions of Minangkabau community, namely Kota Matsum I, II, III and IV. The data were collected and classified based on the various fields of Social Culture, Economy, Politics, Law, and Religion which were then analyzed by interpreting the meaning of contrast contained in the proverbs relating to the customs and traditions they practiced in daily life. It was found that despite the strong evidence on philosophy of cultural values and openness toward the modernization, this people have been consistently using the contrasted-meaning proverbs in their almost all-different-contexts of conversation. It also showed that the use of Minangkabau language as local language, has contributed to the field of language and literature studies, especially in the area of ethnical proverb that could enrich the repertoire of Indonesian, as the national language.


Local wisdom; Minangkabau proverbs; contrast meaning.

Full Text:



Bahri, S. (2001). Inteferensi Bahasa Minangkabaukabau dalam Bahasa Indonesia pada Masyarakat Minangkabau Perantau di Medan. Medan: Universitas Sumatera Utara.

Belle, H, V. (2009). Playing with Oppositions. Verbal and visual antithesis in the media. In: J. Ritola (Ed.), Argument Cultures: Proceedings of OSSA 09, CD-ROM (1-13), Windsor, ON: OSSA.

Diradjo, D. S. (1912). Minangkabau Proverb. First Volume. Batoe Sangkar: Tandjoeng Soengajang.

Fahnestock, J. (1999). Rhetorical Figures in Science. New Yor /Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Fanany, I., & Rebecca, F. (2003). Wisdom of the Malay Proverbs. Kuala Lumpur: Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka.

Friedman, M., Chen, H.-C., & Vaid, J. (2006). Proverb Preferences Across Cultures: Dialecticality or Poeticality. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review , 353-359.

Honeck, R., & Colston, H. L. (2000). A Proverb in Mind: The Cognitive Science of Proverbial Wit and Wisdom. Journal of Pragmatics , 628-638.

Marwoto, B. J., & Witdarmono. (2004). Proverbia Latina. Jakarta: Book of Compass.

Nafis, A. (1996). Peribahasa Minangkabau . Jakarta: PT. Intermasa.

Noverita, D. (2018). Semantic Analysis of the Minangkabaukabau Classical Proverb Based on the Model of the Proverb Tree. International Journal of Linguistics , 108-121.

Oktavianus. (2015). Meaning and Value in Minangkabaukabau Proverb. Jurnal Tutur , 103-115.

Saleh, A., A. (1999). Ungkapan Minangkabaukabau. Laporan Penelitian oleh Lembaga Kerapatan Adat Alam Minangkabaukabau Padang.

Sibarani, R. (2014). Kearifan Lokal Hakikat, Peran, dan Metode Tradisi Lisan. Jakarta: Asosiasi Tradisi Lisan (ATL).

Temple, J. G., & Honeck, R. F. (1999). Proverb Comprehension: The Primacy of Literal Meaning. Journal of Psycholinguistics Research , 43-70.

Waridah, E. (2013). EYD Ejaan yang Disempurnakan & Seputar Kebahasaan-Indonesia. Jakarta: PT. Kawah Media.


Article Metrics

Abstract view : 131 times
PDF - 77 times


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.