This essay interrogates the ways that African Guyanese use proverbs in kweh-kweh ritual settings to assert ancestral authority, address taboo subjects, and impart matrimonial advice to soon-to-be-married couples. By examining proverb use in kweh-kweh contexts in Guyana and New York City, I address the complications that result from transnational migration and demonstrate how proverb comprehension and performance affect whether someone is regarded as a “real” (native or “authentic”) Guyanese or a “foreigner.”

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