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Minangkabau and Malay are two allied nations having much in common besides their differences. One of the way to trace the similarities and differences between Minangkabau and Malay can be through proverbs they have in their culture. This study is an attempt to explore and observe Minangkabau and Malay proverbs as cultural heritage in order to see the similarities and differences between them. The data for this study are taken from Minangkabau and Malay proverbs both from written and spoken language. The study is focused on lexical configuration, syntactic structure, their meanings, and cultural values of the proverbs in the two cultures. The analysis of meanings, cultural values, dictions and variation will be done from the perspective of both anthropological linguistics (Duranti 1997; Foley, 1997) and from the concept of the relationship between language and culture as proposed by Kramsch (1998) stating that language reflects the culture. The results of the research indicate that in terms of lexical configuration, proverbs in Minangkabau and Malay language are constructed using synonymy. Syntactic structures of the proverbs in the two languages are categorised as frozen style. The meaning of the proverbs in the two languages are configurated literally and metaphorically. Minangkabau and Malay proverbs contained cultural values that are very essential for character building.
Keywords: Minangkabau, Malay, proverbs, meaning, culture, values