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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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BELIEF IN PARAGUAY

THE PEASANT PEOPLE OF THE COAST BELIEVE THAT IN PAST TIMES, THERE
WAS AN INDIAN GIRL OUT LOOKING FOR HER BROTHER AND THE FOREST
DEMONS HAD TURNED HIM INTO A BIRD AND THE BIRD IS CALLED THE
CHUQUI BIRD. IT IS ALSO BELIEVED THAT THE LOST SOUL OF THE BOY
IS CONTAINED IN THIS BIRD AND THE PEOPLE FEEL THAT IT IS GOOD
LUCK TO FIND THIS BIRD.

Submitter comment: MR. MARCHETT WAS TOLD THIS WHILE HE LIVED IN LATIN AMERICA. HE
TOLD IT TO A FRIEND OF MINE WHO WORKED WITH HIM AT IRA WILSON
& SONS CREAMERY IN DETROIT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Charm / Enchantment / Conjuration
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Bird
BELIEF -- Good luck Animals

Date learned: 02-28-1970

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CORNA

CORNA OR BULL'S HORN ARE THE BEST GOOD LUCK CHARM YOU CAN HAVE.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT

Subject headings: Charm / Enchantment / Conjuration

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SAINT PATRICK'S DAY

THE BELIEF IN LEPRECHAUNS IS MOST PREVALENT ON ST. PAT'S DAY. PEOPLE
BELIEVE IN ANY CHARM OR SPELL WHICH WILL HELP THEM FIND A LEPRECHAUN.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

Subject headings: Charm / Enchantment / Conjuration
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- March 17 Feast of St. Patrick
BELIEF -- Fairy Elf Goblin Gnome
BELIEF -- Word Letter

Date learned: CA1960-1975

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CHARMS

A COMMON CHARM IS A TINY PIECE OF THE BLARNEY STONE FITTED INTO
A RING OR SMALL SILVER CASTLE.

James Callow comment: COLLECTOR'S SPELLING CORRECTED

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

James Callow Keyword(s): AMULET TALISMAN ; IRELAND

Subject headings: Charm / Enchantment / Conjuration

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HEX CHARM

THE GERMANS HAVE A CHARM WHICH IS A CIRCLE WITH POINTS. IT REMOVES A
CURSE IF IT IS WORN EVERY DAY FOR A MONTH.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

James Callow Keyword(s): AMULET TALISMAN

Subject headings: Charm / Enchantment / Conjuration
BELIEF -- Measure of time Month
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Circle and other round forms
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Angular forms
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: CA1963-1975

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MEXICAN GOOD LUCK

THE MEXICANS HAVE A CHARM WHICH IS A CLOSED FIST WITH A BRACELET.
THIS IS PROTECTION FROM THE EVIL EYE.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

James Callow Keyword(s): AMULET TALISMAN

Subject headings: Charm / Enchantment / Conjuration
BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Curse
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: CA1963-1975

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ST. CHRISTOPHER

A ST. CHRISTOPHER MEDAL IS WORN FOR PEDESTRIAN PROTECTION.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

James Callow Keyword(s): AMULET TALISMAN

Subject headings: Charm / Enchantment / Conjuration
BELIEF -- Religious hero

Date learned: CA1963-1975

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CHARMS

YOU RECIEVE CHARMS OR CHARM BRACELETS ON YOUR BIRTHDAY TO
INSURE THAT YOU WILL HAVE ANOTHER.

James Callow comment: COLLECTOR'S SPELLING CORRECTED

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

Subject headings: Charm / Enchantment / Conjuration
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Private birthday or anniversary

Date learned: CA1963-1975

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BABIES

WHEN A BABY IS BORN, PIN A MEDAL TO THE CRIB FOR PROTECTION.

Where learned: HOME ; SCHOOL ; MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

James Callow Keyword(s): AMULET TALISMAN

Subject headings: Charm / Enchantment / Conjuration
BELIEF -- Birth

Date learned: CA1963-1975

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LEGEND

THE MESA VERDE INDIANS WHO LIKE (LIVE IN?) THE AREA KNOWN
TODAY AS MESA VERDE
NATIONAL PARK, BELIEVED IN THE RITUAL OF THE SIPAPU--A SMALL HOLE
IN THE EARTH. CREATION ITSELF BEGAN FROM THIS SMALL HOLE WHERE
MAN PASSED FROM A NONDISTINCT FORM INTO THE SHAPE OF A HUMAN
AS HE EMERGED FROM THE SIPAPU. THE INDIANS WOULD CARRY OUT A RITUAL
THE MAIN EPISODE BEING THROWING SOME SORT OF INCENSE INTO THE
CREVICE, AND BURNING IT. THIS WOULD CHASE AWAY EVIL SPIRITS COMING
TO EARTH. THE STORY OR BELIEF IS REPEATED TODAY BY MANY INDIANS
OF THE AREA.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): FIRE

Subject headings: Charm / Enchantment / Conjuration
BELIEF -- Creation and Order of Human Life
BELIEF -- Fire
BELIEF -- Formation

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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GHOST BELIEF

THE REASON FOR GHOSTS IS THAT WHEN PEOPLE DIE A VIOLENT DEATH
THEY DO
NOT KNOW THAT THEY HAVE DIED, SO THEY GO ABOUT DOING ALL THE
THINGS THEY DID WHEN ALIVE. THE ONLY WAY TO PUT THEM TO REST, IS
TO TELL A GHOST THAT IT IS DEAD.

Submitter comment: TOLD TO ME IN HIGH SCHOOL.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Charm / Enchantment / Conjuration
BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 09-26-1970

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HOT STEAM

A HOT STEAM IS SOMEBODY WHO CANNOT GET TO HEAVEN AND JUST
WALLOWS AROUND ON EARTH ON LONESOME ROADS, IF YOU WALK THROUGH ONE
WHEN YOU DIE, YOU WILL BE ONE TOO. AND THEN GO AROUND AT NIGHT
SUCKING THE BREATH OF PEOPLE. YOU CANNOT HELP WALKING THROUGH ONE.
SOMETIMES THEY STRETCH ALL THE WAY DOWN THE ROAD. BUT IF YOU
GO THROUGH ONE SAY, 'ANGEL-BRIGHT, LIFE IN DEATH, GET OFF THE
ROAD, DON'T SUCK MY BREATH,' THIS KEEPS THEM FROM YOU.

Where learned: ALABAMA

James Callow Keyword(s): RHYME

Subject headings: Charm / Enchantment / Conjuration
BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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WITCH BELIEF

TO BECOME A WITCH, TAKE ONE GOLD RING, ONE CANDLE STICK HOLDER
AND ONE SCARF; BURY THESE IN THE EARTH TILL THE NEXT FULL MOON;
AT THE NEXT FULL MOON, AT MIDNIGHT, DIG UP THE RING, CANDLE-STICK
HOLDER AND SCARF AND BOIL THEM TOGETHER IN A LARGE POT THE
CANDIDATE WITCH THEN RECITES CERTAIN MAGICAL PHRASES AND
BECOMES A FULL-FLEDGED WITCH.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT

Subject headings: Charm / Enchantment / Conjuration
BELIEF -- Witch Shaman
BELIEF -- Moon
BELIEF -- P628 P628.2
BELIEF -- Use of Object
BELIEF -- Sign or prediction through Observation of galactic or celestial bodies
SPEECH -- Formula

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BUILDING A FIRE

WITCHES BUILD A FIRE IN THE OPEN AND DRAW A MAGIC
CIRCLE ABOUT IT WITH A SWORD. MEN AND WOMEN ALTERNATELY JOIN
HANDS AND QUICKEN THEIR PACE, FROM A WALK
TO A RUN, CHANTING ANCIENT RITES.

Submitter comment:

Taken from 1967 "Life" magazine.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MOUNT PLEASANT

Subject headings: 646
BELIEF -- Witch Shaman
BELIEF -- Curse
BELIEF -- Use of Object

Date learned: 10-28-1971

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SPELL

IF SOMEONE CASTS A SPELL ON YOU THAT YOU WISH TO BREAK
URINATE IN A GUN BARREL AND CORK IT SAYING,
"I'VE GOT YOU."
THE PERSON WHO CAST THE SPELL WILL COME TO YOU BECAUSE HE
CANNOT URINATE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): LOCKING THE KIDNEYS

James Callow Keyword(s): CONTAGION

Subject headings: 646
BELIEF -- Witch Shaman
BELIEF -- Use of Object

Date learned: 09-00-1971

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MAGIC

IN CHINA, A WOMAN CALLED 'OOPOH' IS CONSIDERED A "MAGICAL WOMAN."
SHE CAN PREDICT THE FUTURE, WORK SPELLS, PERFORM MAGIC.
IF A MAN DIES AWAY FROM HOME, HIS SPIRIT CAN BE BROUGHT HOME BY THE
WIZARD (OOPOH), AND HIS FAMILY CAN SEE THAT IT IS INTERRED.
THE BODY IS NOT TRANSFERRED--JUST THE SPIRIT. AND ONLY
THE SPIRIT OF A GOOD MAN CAN BE BROUGHT HOME FOR BURIAL.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ANN ARBOR

Subject headings: 646
800
820
840
BELIEF -- Witch Shaman
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 02-04-1968

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JAMAICAN METHOD FOR EXORCISING SPIRITS

IF THERE IS A BAD SPIRIT OUTSIDE YOUR HOUSE AND YOU WANT TO GET RID
OF IT, BURN A CAR TIRE. THEN YOU, BUT ONLY YOU, WILL HEAR IT SCREAM
AND KNOW IT IS GONE.

Submitter comment: THIS IS AN EXAMPLE OF MODERN FOLKLORE.
DONALD LEE LEARNED THIS ITEM IN BUFF BAY JAMAICA.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): AUTOMOBILE TIRE

Subject headings: Charm / Enchantment / Conjuration
BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter

Date learned: 10-31-1975

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JAMAICAN SPIRIT BELIEF

PUT A PAIR OF OPEN SCISSORS UNDER YOUR BED TO DRIVE AWAY EVIL
SPIRITS.

Submitter comment: DONALD LEE LEARNED THIS ITEM IN BUFF BAY, JAMAICA.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Charm / Enchantment / Conjuration
BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Cross and its various modifications

Date learned: 10-31-1975

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JAMAICAN SPIRIT BELIEF

WHEN YOU ARE BUILDING OR MOVING INTO A HOUSE, KILL ANY ANIMAL AND
SPRINKLE ITS BLOOD AROUND THE HOUSE TO MAKE A DEAL WITH THE
SPIRITS TO LEAVE IT ALONE. OFTEN MEN WON'T WORK ON HOUSES BEFORE
THIS IS DONE.

Submitter comment: DONALD LEE LEARNED THIS ITEM IN BUFF BAY JAMAICA.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): ANIMAL SACRIFICE

Subject headings: Charm / Enchantment / Conjuration
BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
BELIEF -- Work Commerce Business
BELIEF -- Number

Date learned: 10-31-1975

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GOOD FRIDAY

ON GOOD FRIDAY, SOMEONE IN THE FAMILY WOULD BRING HOLY WATER AND A
PIECE OF THORN BRANCH FROM CHURCH AND OPEN THE DOOR TO THE HOUSE AND
THEN TURN AROUND 3 TIMES AND SAY, "HOLY WATER AND THORNS COME INTO
THE HOUSE; BUGS GO OUT OF THE HOUSE."

Submitter comment: INFORMANT DID THIS AS A CHILD AT HER FATHER'S REQUEST.
( THE PURPOSE ) CHANGES, DEPENDING ON CURRENT NEEDS. ONE TIME IT
MAY BE TO TAKE OUT EVIL, ANOTHER TIME DUST.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): EXTERMINATION CHARM

Subject headings: Charm / Enchantment / Conjuration
663 Good Friday
686 Thirds / Thrice / Three / Triple
BELIEF -- Insect

Date learned: 03-10-1970

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