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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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I HAD AN AUNT NELLIE
WHO HAD A WOODEN BELLIE
AND WHEN SHE TOUCHED IT,
OUT POPPED JELLY.

Where learned: CANADA ; ONTARIO ; OAKVILLE

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Body part Senses
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Lyrical Verse Lyrical Verse
BELIEF -- Body part Senses

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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A BELIEF IN JANOWIEC, POLAND

IN THE VILLAGE OF JANOWIEC, POLAND, THE PEOPLE BELIEVE THAT IF ONE
HAS NOT COMBED HIS HAIR, AND IT BCOMES MATTED AND IMPOSSIBLE TO
COMB OUT, IT IS NECESSARY TO WAIT UNTIL THE BELLS RING ON EASTER
SUNDAY BEFORE THE HAIR IS CUT. OTHERWISE THE PERSON WILL BECOME
CRIPPLED.

Submitter comment: THIS IS A COMMON BELIEF FROM MY GRANDFATHER'S CHILDHOOD DAYS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses

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BELIEF

ARABS BELIEVE THAT TO TEMPER A STEEL BLADE PROPERLY, YOU MUST
KILL A SLAVE AND TEMPER THE RED-HOT BLADE IN THE FRESH BLOOD.

Where learned: DETROIT ; MICHIGAN, ASSUMED

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses

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STYE SUPERSTITION

A STYE OR INFECTION IN YOUR EYE IS CAUSED BY A SPIDER PEEING IN
YOUR EYE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): URINATION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Insect
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 11-29-1967

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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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NOT GIVEN

WHEN I WAS ABOUT SIX YEARS OLD AND WE LIVED NEAR THE COUNTRY,
I WOULD OFTEN GO OUT TO PLAY ALL DAY. SO I USED TO GO TO THE
LAVATORY OUTSIDE. MY MOTHER WOULD ALWAYS TELL ME THAT I SHOULD
COME HOME TO GO TO THE BATHROOM, BECAUSE WHEN THE DEVIL CAUGHT
LITTLE BOYS GOING TO THE BATHROOM OUTSIDE HE WOULD BITE OFF
THEIR PENIS.

Where learned: MARYLAND

James Callow Keyword(s): FUNCTION ; URINATION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Devil Demon
BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal

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ITALIAN CUSTOM

ITALIANS OFTEN PIERCED THEIR CHILDREN'S EARS, BELIEVING THAT IT
WAS GOOD FOR THEIR EYES. GOLD HOOPS WERE USED AS EARRINGS.

Submitter comment: TOLD TO HER BY HER MOTHER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): HIDDEN CONNECTION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

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BELIEF

IF YOU SPILL SALT ACCIDENTALLY, QUICKLY THROW SOME OVER YOUR LEFT
SHOULDER AND MAKE A WISH. BY RIGHTS, IT SHOULD COME TRUE.

Submitter comment: I HEARD THIS BELIEF FROM MY IRISH MATERNAL GRANDMOTHER WHO TOLD
IT TO ME FIFTEEN YEARS AGO WHEN I ACCIDENTALLY DROPPED SALT IN
HER KITCHEN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BIRMINGHAM

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Mineral
BELIEF -- Prayer

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SUPERSTITION

ALAYS CUT YOUR HAIR WHEN THE MOON IS GROWING, NEVER SHRINKING,
AND IT WILL GROW FASTER.

Submitter comment: SOURCE NOT REMEMBERED.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; JAMAICA

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Moon
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal

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MENSTRUATION SUPERSTITION

NEVER HAVE A TOOTH FILLED DURING MENSTRUATION OR IT WILL FALL OUT.

Submitter comment: SOURCE NOT REMEMBERED.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; JAMAICA

James Callow Keyword(s): DENTISTRY

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness
BELIEF -- Method of Curing

Date learned: 12-24-1963

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EUCHARISTIC LORE

IF YOU GO TO COMMUNION WITHOUT THE RIGHT INTENTIONS THE HOST
WILL BURN YOUR TONGUE BADLY. THE REASON THAT PEOPLE DROP HOSTS
ON THE FLOOR IS BECAUSE IT BURNS SO BADLY.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT LEARNED THIS FROM A GRADE SCHOOL NUN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Church
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

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PREGNANCY EFFECTS

YOU LOSE A TOOTH FOR EVERY BABY THAT YOU HAVE.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT LEARNED THIS FROM HER MOTHER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Birth
BELIEF -- Sign Color
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 03-20-1967

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PIECE EARS

IF THE MOON IS FULL WHEN YOU PIECE YOUR EARS,
YOU LL FEEL NO PAIN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): PIERCE YOUR EARS

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Moon

Date learned: 10-00-1974

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HAIR

TO GROW HAIR,
YOU WRAP THE STRAINS OF HAIR IN EEL SKINS.
TO STRAIGHTEN THE HAIR
AFTER IT IS WASHED, YOU WRAP IT IN EEL SKINS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Fish

Date learned: 10-00-1974

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WHISTLE IN YOUR EAR

IF YOU HEAR A WHISTLE IN YOUR EAR, SOMEONE IS TALKING ABOUT YOU.
IF YOU SAY THE ALPHABET UNTIL IT STOPS,
THE LETTER IT STOPS ON (WILL BE)
THE FIRST INITIAL OF THE NAME OF THE PERSON TALKING ABOUT YOU.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): POSSIBLE GOSSIP, BACKBITING

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Body part Senses

Date learned: 03-13-1975

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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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EYELASH

IF SOMEONE TELLS YOU AN EYELASH IS ON YOUR CHEEK, GUESS WHICH SIDE.
IF YOU ARE RIGHT, YOU WILL HAVE A WISH COME TRUE.

Where learned: HOME ; SCHOOL ; MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Guessing
BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Prayer

Date learned: CA1963-1975

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NOSE JOB

IF YOU ARE NOSEY, (WANT TO KNOW EVERYTHING), THEN YOU REALLY HAVE
A NOSE PROBLEM (INTERNALLY).

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses

Date learned: 11-02-1969

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CHEESE

WHEN MY DAD WAS YOUNG, GOOD CHEESE WAS EXPENSIVE, AND TO KEEP HIM
FROM EATING TOO MUCH AT A TIME, HIS PARENTS TOLD HIM IT WAS VERY
BAD FOR HIS BACK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 10-25-1969

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IF YOUR PALM ITCHES, YOU WILL GET MONEY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ALLEN PARK

Subject headings: Spirit / Mind / Body
BELIEF -- Body part Senses

Date learned: 04-06-1971

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