Acknowledgements

I thank all the people from around the world who generously shared their proverbs with me, often along with enlightening explanations. It is impossible to mention the names of all the friends, colleagues, students and others who contributed to my collection over the years. Their names are to be found in the sources. I am particularly grateful to Sanjukta Gupta (Oxford), Sabine Cohn (Tel Aviv) and Angélica Malinarich-Dorfman (Durham NC); to Huang Mingfen (Xiamen) and Kwame Anthony Appiah (Princeton) and his mother, the late Peggy Appiah (Accra); to Clémentine Faïk-Nzuji for Congolese proverbs; Dobrinka Parusheva for Bulgarian proverbs; Mavis Noordwijk for Sranan proverbs; Anne van de Zande for a Russian collection and Beer Schröder for a book of Asian proverbs he found for me in Singapore.

Leiden University has always been extremely supportive of my research. NWO, the Netherlands Foundation for Scientific Research, provided financial support for the first draft of the database. I sincerely thank the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (NIAS, in Wassenaar), where I worked on this research as an invited scholar during the academic year 2000-2001. And very special thanks go to my agent Laura Susijn who established contacts with Yale University Press, publisher of the very first edition of Never Marry a Woman with Big Feet in 2004, and subsequently with other publishers from around the world for editions in different languages.

Last but not least: for efficient help, ideas and creativity in the realization of this website, I am extremely grateful and indebted to Hedda Post, Mieke van der Stel, Gijs van Rij, Maarten Lamers, Christian Schouten, Wilbert van der Sluijs and Thera Giezen (Leiden University), to Jonathan Marks (Critical Distance BV) and Eelco Ferweda, to Gideon Schipper and, in the last struggling phase, very special thanks definitely go to Marcel Villerius and Joachim Rijsdam of Leiden University, who patiently and efficiently succeeded in bringing this long and difficult project to its technical completion.