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MISCELLANEOUS CUSTOMS

A SEAMAN LEAVING THE FORECASTLE TO GO AFT, EITHER FOR HIS TRICK AT
THE WHEEL OR OTHER WORK, GOES AFT ALONG THE LEESIDE OF THE VESSEL,
UNLESS HIS IMMEDIATE DUTY LIES TO THE WINDWARD.
A SEAMAN SUMMONED TO THE CAPTAIN'S CABIN REMOVED HIS CAP AND
DROPPED IT TO THE DECK JUST OUTSIDE THE DOOR.
A MARINER ENTERING A NEW SHIP, OR EVEN AN OLD SHIP, FOR THE FIRST
TIME MAKES CERTAIN THAT HIS RIGHT FOOT IS THE FIRST TO TOUCH THE
DECK.
IT WAS A BREECH OF ETIQUETTE FOR A SEAMAN TO LOCK HIS SEA CHEST
WHILE ON BOARD HIS SHIP. OFFENDERS OFTEN FOUND, WHEN THEY
RETURNED TO THE FORECASTLE FROM THEIR WATCH ON DECK, THAT THE
COVER HAD BEEN NAILED DOWN.
IN THE BRITISH AND UNITED STATES NAVIES, A SCARF OF BLACK SILK IS
WORN, ORIGINALLY AS A MARK OF WARNING (MOURNING?) FOR THE DEATH
OF LORD NELSON.
IN THE ROYAL NAVY, OFFICERS WHO HAVE BEEN ROUND EITHER THE CAPE
OF GOOD HOPE OR CAPE HORN MAY PUT ONE FOOT ON THE WARDROOM TABLE;
BOTH CAPES CARRY THE RIGHT TO PUT BOTH FEET ON THE TABLE.
BY NAVAL CUSTOM THE SENIOR OFFICER PRESENT IS ALWAYS THE LAST
INTO A BOAT AND THE FIRST OUT OF IT.

Submitter comment:

CAPTAIN LUMAS SAYS THAT HE HAS LEARNED THESE CUSTOMS THROUGH THE
YEARS THAT HE HAS BEEN SAILING, BOTH IN THE U.S. NAVY AND UP AT
MACKINAW ISLAND.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MACKINAW ISLAND

Keyword(s): British ; Captain ; Etiquette ; Language ; Lingo ; Naval ; Navy ; POSITION ; Seaman ; Ship ; Uniform ; United States

James Callow Keyword(s): DIRECTION ; LEFT ; POSITION ; RIGHT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Work Commerce Business
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F535
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Maturity
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Initiation rite Hazing
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Dress Overall body coverUpper body and arms
BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Color
BELIEF -- Number Last events: the last person to the table...
SPEECH -- Gesture

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WEDDING SUPERSTITION

IT WAS BAD LUCK FOR THE GROOM TO SEE THE BRIDE IN HER WEDDING DRESS
OR EVEN THE DRESS ALONE AT ANYTIME BEFORE THE WEDDING.

Submitter comment: THIS IS A GERMAN CUSTOM.

Where learned: OHIO ; MOGADORE

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage Separation before wedding
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage Bride and groom must not see each other
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Dress Overall body coverUpper body and arms
BELIEF -- Marriage
BELIEF -- Fate Destiny Luck Chance

Date learned: 10-00-1976

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NUMBER 13

THE NUMBER 13 WORN ON LEATHER JACKETS OF MOTORCYCLE GANGS REPRESENTS
MARIJUANA

Keyword(s): SYMBOL

Subject headings: 686 Specific number by specific number being described
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Dress Overall body coverUpper body and arms

Date learned: DATE NOT RECORDED BY THE COLLECTOR

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LUCK AND GOOD FORTUNE

IF YOU WEAR YOUR NIGHT GOWN BACKWARDS WITHOUT KNOWING ABOUT IT YOU'LL
HAVE A VERY NICE DAY WHEN YOU WAKE UP

Submitter comment: REVERSE

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

Subject headings: Observation
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Dress Overall body coverUpper body and arms
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Good luck P881.2

Date learned: 10-00-1977

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CUSTOM

WHEN MY FATHER DIED MY BROTHERS AND I HAD OUR TIES CUT BY THE RABBI.
THIS IS THE ONLY CUSTOM CONNECTED WITH ANY OF THE CHILDREN--ONLY THE
SONS. I THINK IT IS SUPPOSED TO SYMBOLIZE THE BREAKING OF THE FATHER
AND SON RELATIONSHIP, OR A SEPARATION OF A FATHERS' DEATH FROM HIS
SON'S LIVES. AFTERWARDS, YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO KEEP WHAT'S LEFT OF YOUR
TIE AND WEAR IT PINNED INSIDE OF YOUR SHIRT ON THE LEFT SIDE FOR A
YEAR.

Submitter comment: THIS IS A JEWISH CUSTOM.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; COLLECTORS HOME

James Callow Keyword(s): NECKTIES ; POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time Year
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Dress Overall body coverUpper body and arms

Date learned: 02-00-1979

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SUPERSTITION

WEAR WHITE UNDERWEAR ON THE FIRST OF THE YEAR TO BE
PROTECTED FROM EVIL SPIRITS THROUGHOUT THE YEAR.

Submitter comment: WHITE, AS THE SIGN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS CAN NOT BE
TOLERATED BY EVIL SPIRITS, ACCORDING TO THE INFORMANT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT ; LOUNGE

Subject headings: Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Dress Overall body coverUpper body and arms
BELIEF -- Devil Demon
BELIEF -- Measure of time Year
BELIEF -- Color

Date learned: 02-22-1979

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HOLEY UNDERWEAR

NEVER GO OUT OF THE HOUSE WITH HOLES IN YOUR UNDERWEAR
YOU NEVER KNOW YOU MIGHT GET HIT BY A CAR AND HAVE TO BE TAKEN TO
THE HOSPITAL, WHAT WOULD PEOPLE THINK?

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; LIVONIA

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Dress Overall body coverUpper body and arms

Date learned: CA02001980

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AT A SPANISH CATHOLIC WEDDING, THE BRIDE AND GROOM SEAL THEIR VOWS
WITH A CAPE WHICH IS BLESSED BY THE PRIEST. AT THE RECEPTION THE
AUDIENCE CAN COMMAND THEM TO KISS BY BEATING ON A GLASS WITH A FORK
UNTIL THEY DO SO.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Dress Overall body coverUpper body and arms
SPEECH -- Gesture
SPEECH -- To Be Heard

Date learned: 11-14-1980

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HOLY WEEK CUSTOM

DURING HOLY THURSDAY AND FRIDAY OF HOLY WEEK WOMEN OF THE VILLAGE
DRESS BOTH DAYS IN BLACK AND DO NOT LEAVE THEIR HOMES. FOOD IS PREPA
RED ON WEDNESDAY OF HOLY WEEK AND NO WORK IS DONE ON THOSE TWO DAYS.
PREPARED

Submitter comment: A PRACTICE FROM THE INFORMANT'S HOMETOWN OF SABINAS IN MEXICO.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): COLOR SYMBOLISM

Subject headings: 663 Holy Thursday
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Dress Overall body coverUpper body and arms
BELIEF -- Prayer
BELIEF -- Color

Date learned: 11-00-1981

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TRADITIONAL POLISH DANCE DRESS

TRADITIONAL POLISH DANCE DRESS FOR A WOMAN IS A VELVET BLACK VEST
WITH SEQUINS, VERY FANCY AND INTRICATE, AND USUALLY HAND-SEWN.
THE DRESS FALLS BELOW THE KNEE, AND IS BRIGHTLY COLORED.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SOUTHFIELD

Subject headings: ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Dress Overall body coverUpper body and arms

Date learned: 00001970S

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WHEN OUR BABIES ARE INFANTS, WE PUT THEIR UNDERSHIRTS
ON INSIDE-OUT TO CONFUSE THE EVIL EYE AND KEEP IT AWAY
FROM THE BABY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): DRESSING ; POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Dress Overall body coverUpper body and arms
BELIEF -- Curse

Date learned: 00-00-1950

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A PERSON CAN PUT YOUR HAIR AND A PIECE OF YOUR UNDERCLOTH
IN A JAR,BLOW SMOKE ON IT COVER IT PUT IT UNDER YOUR PORCH,
AND EVERYTIME YOU TRY TO GO IN YOUR HOUSE YOU WILL GET SICK.

Where learned: LOUISIANA

Subject headings: ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Dress Overall body coverUpper body and arms
BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Magic of Speech, Sign, Color
BELIEF -- P790

Date learned: 01111984CA

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It is extremely bad luck for a bride-to-be to sew
even one stitch in her own wedding dress.

Submitter comment: Elaine first heard this warning as a young woman, when her
friend was sewing her own wedding gown. The bride's relatives
(Polish) warned her not to, as it would surely bring trouble.
They dismissed it as an "old-wives tale." Later, however,
her best friend died an unexpected and premature death.
She now believes this to be true.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

Keyword(s): Superstition, advice, tabu

Subject headings: ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Dress Overall body coverUpper body and arms
BELIEF -- Bad luck Crucial moment of life

Date learned: 00001950S

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Friendship bracelets

Friendship bracelets consist of thread braided
together to form a bracelet. These bracelets
represent your friendship to that particular
person. They are usually worn around your wrist or
around your ankle.
You will need embroidery thread, two or more safety
pins, and a pillow or cushion. You also have to know
how many colors you want and how wide you want the
bracelet.
In order to start the bracelet you have to cut the
thread. A good standard length is two arm lengths.
Even if the bracelet is small you still want long
thread because it is easier to work with and you
don't have to worry about running out.
Once the thread is cut you have to arrange the
colors into the order that you want them. This is
also the time to decide how thick you want the
bracelet to be. If you would like a color to be
thicker then put two strands of that color next to
each other. Usually what people do is to use four
colors with two strands apiece for a good standard
thickness.
Now that you have all of your strands and colors in
the order you like, tie them together. A note of
caution, leave about two inches of open thread before
you tie the knot. This extra two inches is so you can
tie it together when you're done.
After the knot is tied, place the threads on the
pillow. The knot should be furthest away from you and
safety pinned to the pillow. Once the knot is pinned
to the pillow separate the strands into the desired
order and make sure they aren't too close together.
If they are close together there is a chance that
you may get the color order confused and the
bracelet would be in a different color order than
you would want them.
Now you are ready to begin. Put the pillow either
on your lap or on a table. You can begin either on
the left and work to your right, or you can begin
on your right and work to the left. Right handed
people usually find it easier to work from the left
and work towards the right.
These instructions will be from the left to the right.
Pick up the thread farthest to the left with your
left hand and pick up the string next to it with
your right hand. Cross the left string over the
right to make a loop. Pull the end of the left
string through the loop to make a knot - but slide
the knot as far as it will go towards the pinned
knot. Make sure it is secure. A word of caution:
If your knots are too tight the bracelet will begin
to twist in a spiral after a few rows have been
completed. This makes the bracelet very difficult
to work with. However, if the knots are too loose
the bracelet will lose the separation of colors,
creating a blended look. Finally you want to hold
the right hand string firmly, pulling it towards
you. This is so the left string will completely
cover the right hand string. Otherwise, the
different colors will bleed through creating a
speckled look.
Once the first knot is made repeat the process of
crossing over and looping with the same two strands.
After two knots have been made set the string on the
right down.
The string in the left hand stays there. The strand
that just received the two knots should be the one
farthest to the left. Now the thread in the left
hand moves to the next thread on the right. The right
hand thread then makes two knots on that one. This
process is continued until all the threads have two
knots in them and the thread farthest to your right
is in your hand.
Once you set down the furthest thread on the right,
you begin the whole process over again using the
thread on the left until that becomes the furthest
one on the right. Continue the rows like this until
you have the desired length. Another note to ease
the process of making the knots: After a few rows
are completed you may want to pin the completed
part to the pillow in order to keep it stationary.
Now that you have reached the desired length, take
all the threads and tie them in a knot, similar to
the one at the top. This knot should be as close to
the rows as possible and be very tight to prevent
the bracelet from falling apart.
Finally, find your friend and tie the bracelet
around his / her wrist or ankle, then cut the extra
thread off.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; GROSSE POINTE

James Callow Keyword(s): JEWELRY

Subject headings: ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Weaving material For costuming in dance or drama, see C484.
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Dress Overall body coverUpper body and arms
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Dress Lower body and legs

Date learned: 00-00-1986

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THE NAVY HAS THIRTEEN BUTTONS ON THEIR UNIFORMS TO
COMMEMORATE THE ORIGINAL THIRTEEN STATES.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: 686 Specific number by specific number being described
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F535
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Dress Overall body coverUpper body and arms

Date learned: 00-00-1968

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MILITARY TRADITION

THE FLAP ON THE BACK OF A NAVAL DRESS UNIFORM IS TRADITION STEMMING
FROM THE DAYS OF JOHN PAUL JONES WHEN THEIR HAIR WAS SHOULDER LENGTH.
THE FLAP WOULD CATCH THE GREASE FROM THEIR HAIR.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F535
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Dress Overall body coverUpper body and arms

Date learned: 10-17-1972

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WHEN A SLIP IS SHOWING, IT IS BELIEVED THAT THE GIRL IS LOOKING FOR
A HUSBAND.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): UNDERWEAR

Subject headings: Observation
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Dress Overall body coverUpper body and arms
BELIEF -- Marriage Signs of availability

Date learned: 11-00-1972

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IF YOU ACCIDENTALLY PUT YOUR DRESS ON ON THE WRONG SIDE, WHEN YOU
GET UP AND WEAR IT ON THE WRONG SIDE UNTIL NOON, AND THEN
CHANGE, YOU WILL LATER GET A NEW DRESS.

Where learned: NOT GIVEN

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Dress Overall body coverUpper body and arms
BELIEF -- Daily Life
BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour
BELIEF -- Measure of time Sleeping

Date learned: 06-23-1972

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WHEN A MEASURING WORM GETS ON YOU, IT MEANS THAT HE IS MEASURING
YOU FOR A NEW SUIT OF CLOTHES.

Where learned: NASHVILLE ; TENNESSEE, ASSUMED

Keyword(s): INCHWORM ?

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Dress Overall body coverUpper body and arms
BELIEF -- Insect
BELIEF -- Measure of space: distance, height, depth

Date learned: 05-03-1969

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