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THE CUSTOM OF TATTOOING

SAILORS ADOPTED THIS PRIMITIVE PRACTICE OF MARKING THE SKIN IN
A DESIRE TO ASSURE IDENTITY IN CASE OF DEATH BY SHIPWRECK OR
DROWNING. IT SEEMS TO HAVE ORIGINATED AMONG THE NATIVES OF THE
SOUTH PACIFIC AND SPREAD AS FAR NORTH AS JAPAN, WHERE IT WAS
BROUGHT TO HIGH, ARTISTIC DEVELOPMENT UNTIL PROHIBITED BY LAW.
ROMAN CATHOLIC SAILORS WERE THE FIRST TO ADOPT IT, HAVING A
CRUCIFIX TATTOOED ON THEIR BODIES SO THAT IN CASE OF SERIOUS
INJURY OR ILLNESS THEY MIGHT RECEIVE THE LAST RITES OF THEIR
CHURCH AND BURIAL IN CONSECRATED GROUND.
"AND MANY SAILORS, NOT CATHOLICS, WERE ANXIOUS TO HAVE THE
CRUCIFIX PAINTED ON THEM, OWING TO A CURIOUS SUPERSTITION OF
THEIRS. THEY AFFIRM--SOME OF THEM--THAT IF YOU HAVE THAT MARK
TATTOOED ON ALL FOUR LIMBS, YOU MIGHT FALL OVERBOAD AMONG SEVEN
HUNDRED AND SEVENTY-FIVE THOUSAND WHITE SHARKS, ALL DINNERLESS,
AND NOT ONE OF THEM WOULD SO MUCH AS DARE TO SMELL AT YOUR
LITTLE FINGER."

Submitter comment: THIS QUOTE IS TAKEN FROM MELVILLE'S "COMPLETE WORKS" (LONDON,
1922). IT IS TAKEN FROM THE "WHITE JACKET" STORY. CAPTAIN
LUMAS HIMSELF HAD A TATTOO ON HIS CHEST AND CLAIMS THAT HE
ALSO HAD ONE ON EACH OF HIS FOUR LIMBS BUT HIS WIFE MADE HIM
REMOVE THEM.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MACKINAW ISLAND

Subject headings: 686 Fourths / Quarters
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F535
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Human or animal body Tattoo
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Cross and its various modifications

Date learned: 09-00-1963

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ITALIAN AND FRENCH SUPERSTITION

NEVER CROSS YOUR FORK AND KNIFE AFTER A MEAL OR TERRIBLE
FORTUNE WILL COME YOUR WAY.

Submitter comment: LEARNED WHILE TRAVELLING IN EUROPE 1959-1961.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; JAMAICA

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Measure of time Eating For menu, see N222.
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Cross and its various modifications
BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 12-24-1963

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SAINT PATRICK'S DAY

THE FOUR LEAF CLOVER IS THE TRADITIONAL GOOD LUCK CHARM.
WEARING ONE ON ST. PAT'S DAY BRINGS DOUBLE LUCK.

Where learned: HOME ; RELATIVES HOME

James Callow Keyword(s): SYMBOL

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- February 17
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Cross and its various modifications
BELIEF -- Good luck P881.11
BELIEF -- Good luck P881.4

Date learned: CA1960-1975

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FAIRY BELIEF

IN IRELAND,
THE FAIRIES WERE BAD TOO. THEY WOULD COME BY THE NIGHT AND MILK THE
COWS AND HAVE A PICNIC AND WHEN YOU CHURNED THE MILK YOU WOULD HAVE
NO BUTTER. THE ONLY WAY YOU COULD SHOOT THEM WAS TO PUT A SILVER
COIN IN THE GUN, ALONG WITH THE AMMUNITION. AT TWELVE MIDNIGHT,
THEY COULD TAKE YOU FOR A VERY LONG WALK AND KEEP YOU WALKING UNTIL
THE COCKS WOULD CROW AT 4 A.M. BUT YOU COULD FOOL THEM IF YOU
TURNED YOUR COAT INSIDE OUT AND BLESSED YOURSELF WITH THE SIGN OF
THE CROSS.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; ROCHESTER

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Fairy Elf Goblin Gnome
BELIEF -- Mineral
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Cross and its various modifications
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 03-11-1972

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STAR BELIEF

A FALLING STAR MEANS THAT SOMEONE IS SELLING HIS SOUL TO THE DEVIL.
IF YOU WISH TO SAVE HIS SOUL, MAKE THE SIGN OF THE CROSS.

Where learned: WARREN

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Devil Demon
BELIEF -- Star
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Cross and its various modifications

Date learned: 02-15-1970

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STAR BELIEF

A FALLING STAR MEANS THAT SOMEONE IS SELLING HIS SOUL TO THE
THE DEVIL. IF YOU WISH TO SAVE THE SOUL, MAKE THE SIGN OF THE CROSS.

Where learned: WARREN

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Devil Demon
BELIEF -- Star
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Cross and its various modifications
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 02-15-1970

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CLOVER BELIEF

AS CHILDREN IN MAMARONECK, NEW YORK, WE BELIEVED THAT IF
FOUR LEAF CLOVER MEANS GOOD LUCK.

James Callow comment: INCOMPLETE ITEM

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Plant
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Cross and its various modifications
BELIEF -- Good luck P881.11

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VAMPIRE BELIEF

THE ONLY WAY TO KEEP VAMPIRES AWAY IS TO WEAR A CROSS ON YOUR
NECK.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): Cross ; SUPERNATURAL ; Vampire

James Callow Keyword(s): SYMBOL

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Werewolf Vampire
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Cross and its various modifications

Date learned: 03-21-1968

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VAMPIRE BELIEF

A VAMPIRE CAN BE FRIGHTENED OFF BY MAKING A CROSS OUT OF
ANYTHING, SUCH AS TWO STICKS OR EVEN YOUR ARMS.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: OHIO ; FREMONT

Keyword(s): Cross ; SUPERNATURAL ; SUPERSTITION ; SYMBOL ; Undead ; Vampire

James Callow Keyword(s): SYMBOL

Subject headings: 686 Seconds / Twice / Two
BELIEF -- Werewolf Vampire
BELIEF -- Body part Senses Upper body, arms, neck
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Cross and its various modifications

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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VAMPIRE BELIEF

YOU CAN STOP A VAMPIRE WITH A CRUCIFIX WITH GARLIC FLOWERS,
(THE SCENT KILLS THEM)
OR BY CATCHING THEM OUTSIDE THEIR GRAVE IN THE DAYTIME.
ANY VAMPIRE THAT GOES OUTSIDE HIS GRAVE IN THE DAYTIME
DESERVES TO BE KILLED ANYWAY IF HE IS STUPID ENOUGH TO
DO THAT

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT

Keyword(s): Crucifix ; Garlic ; SUPERNATURAL ; SUPERSTITION ; Vampire

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Plant food Vegetable
BELIEF -- Werewolf Vampire
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Cross and its various modifications

Date learned: 11-19-1968

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BATS

BATS ATTACK PEOPLE AND PREY ON THE HUMAN BLOOD, TO COUNTERACT
THIS ATTACK, ONE SHOULD WEAR A CROSS AROUND THE NECK. THIS
WILL ALSO KEEP AWAY VAMPIRES.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): Bats ; FEAR ; SUPERNATURAL ; SUPERSTITION

James Callow Keyword(s): ANIMALS

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Werewolf Vampire
BELIEF -- Body part Senses Upper body, arms, neck
BELIEF -- Animal
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Cross and its various modifications

Date learned: 02-10-1972

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WAYS TO KILL A VAMPIRE

SHOOTING A VAMPIRE WITH A SILVER BULLET OR OTHER BULLET WITH
A CROSS CARVED ON IT WILL KILL THE VAMPIRE.

Where learned: ENGLAND ; WORCESTER

James Callow Keyword(s): SYMBOL

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Werewolf Vampire
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Cross and its various modifications

Date learned: 04-00-1972

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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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ELF BELIEF

WHENEVER YOU DIG A HOLE IN THE EVENING PUT CROSS(ED) STICKS ABOVE THE
HOLE AND TIE A STRING TO THEM SO IT HANGS DOWN. AT MIDNIGHT THE
ELVES WILL COME AND USE YOUR HOLE TO CLIMB OUT.

Submitter comment: DONALD LEE WAS NOT CERTAIN THIS WAS JAMAICAN LORE.
DONALD LEE LEARNED THIS ITEM IN BUFF BAY, JAMAICA.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Fairy Elf Goblin Gnome
BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Cross and its various modifications

Date learned: 10-31-1975

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SLOVAK CHRISTMAS SUPPER CUSTOM

BEFORE CHRISTMAS DINNER THE OLDEST MALE MEMBER OF THE HOUSEHOLD
TAKES A CLOVE OF GARLIC AND DIPS IT INTO HONEY. HE THEN MAKES
THE SIGN OF THE CROSS ON THE FOREHEAD OF EACH MEMBER OF THE
HOUSEHOLD. THIS SIGNIFIES THE SWEETNESS AND BITTERNESS OF LIFE.

Submitter comment: SLOVAK IMMIGRANTS. THEY NOW LIVE IN ERII, PENNSYLVANIA.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): SYMBOL

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20
BELIEF -- Body part Senses Forehead
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Cross and its various modifications

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PALM SUNDAY CUSTOM

TAKE A STRIP OF PALM LEAF AND BEND IT IN HALF SO IT IS AT RIGHT
ANGLES TO ITSELF. THEN START CROSSING AND WEAVING TWO ENDS BACK AND
FOR ( FORTH ) SO IT FORMS A SMALL CROSS. THESE ARE USUALLY PLACED IN
A PROMINENT POSITION ABOVE A DOOR.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: 663 Palm Sunday
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Cross and its various modifications

Date learned: DATE NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR

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EASTER CROSS

AN ITALIAN EASTER CUSTOM IS TO MAKE A CROSS OUT OF THE PALM LEAVES
RECEIVED IN CHURCH ON PALM SUNDAY. THIS CROSS IS MOUNTED ON THE WALL
AND IS TO REMAIN THERE THROUGHOUT THE EASTER SEASON. THIS BRINGS
GOOD LUCK.

Submitter comment: MY MOTHER AND GRANDMOTHER HAVE ALWAYS DONE THIS.

Where learned: NEW YORK, ASSUMED ; FRANKLINVILLE

Keyword(s): LUCK

Subject headings: 663 Palm Sunday
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Cross and its various modifications
BELIEF -- Fate Destiny Luck Chance

Date learned: DATE NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR

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WHEN SOMEONE DOESN'T GO TO KISS THE CROSS IN CHURCH ON GOOD FRIDAY,
IT WILL APPEAR BEFORE THEM THE WHOLE DAY.

Where learned: HOME

Keyword(s): APPARITION OF CROSS

Subject headings: 663 Good Friday
Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Church
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Cross and its various modifications
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 10-00-1968

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CUSTOM (FESTIVAL)

ON EASTER, ALWAYS MAKE THE SIGN OF THE CROSS ON A BLESSED EGG BEFORE
EATING.

Data entry tech comment: THE EGG IS PERHAPS THE STRONGEST SYMBOL OF THE EASTER SEASON. THE
CUSTOM HAS ITS ORIGINS IN ANCIENT FERTILITY LORE. IN PRE-CHRISTIAN
TIMES THE EGG WAS GIVEN AS A GIFT TO CELEBRATE THE "DEAD" OF WINTER
AWAKENING INTO SPRING (AS THE SEEMINGLY DEAD EGG BECAME A CHICK).
IT IS NOW GIVEN AND EATEN WITH THE SAME THOUGHT IN MIND--THE
AWAKENING OF A NEW CHRISTIAN/SPIRITUAL LIFE.

Where learned: HOME

Keyword(s): FOOD CUSTOM

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Easter eggs
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Easter Sunday
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Cross and its various modifications
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 10-00-1968

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CHURCH CUSTOM

CERTAIN PRIESTS OF THE KANSAS CITY-SAINT JOSEPH DIOCESE UPHOLD
THE FOLLOWING TRADITION: IF A PARENT BRINGS AN INFANT TO
COMMUNION, BEFORE THE PRIEST GIVES THE HOST TO THE PARENT, HE
MAKES THE SIGN OF THE CROSS WITH IT OVER THE CHILD, BLESSING IT.

Where learned: MISSOURI ; SAINT JOSEPH

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Church
BELIEF -- Church
BELIEF -- Prayer
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Cross and its various modifications
SPEECH -- Gesture

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