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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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ONE CAN TELL IF YOU HAVE TRULLY KILLED A WITCH IF A CROW CROWS.
IF YOU DID NOT HEAR THE CROW, IT WAS A SIGN THAT THE WITCH HAD
TAKEN OVER A NEWLY BORN BABY'S SOUL.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; informant's home

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Witch Shaman
BELIEF -- Bird
BELIEF -- Birth

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LAMB OF BUTTER

IT IS A POLISH TRADITION TO HAVE A LAMB MADE OF BUTTER FOR EVERY MEAL
AT EASTER. IN POLISH IT IS CALLED SWIENCONKA.

Data entry tech comment:

Informant and collector share the same surname.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; informant's home

Keyword(s): FOOD CUSTOM

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Easter Sunday
Food Drink -- Typical menus for the various meals For meal hours, see F574.84. Special or festive meals

Date learned: 03-12-1970

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CROATION EASTER CUSTOM

ON EASTER MONDAY, CHILDREN GO FROM HOUSE TO HOUSE IN THEIR
NEIGHBORHOODS CARRYING SMALL BOTTLES OF CHEAP PERFUME. WHEN THEY
DABBED SOME PERFUME ON THE OCCUPANT OF THE HOUSE, HE WOULD GIVE
THEM MONEY.

Submitter comment:

Told various dates at informant's home.

Data entry tech comment:

Informant and collector share same surname.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; informant's home

Keyword(s): EASTER GIFTS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Easter Monday Dyngus

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CUSTOM

ON THE DAY AFTER EASTER, THE FIRST GIRL A BOY SAW, HE WOULD SPRINKLE
HER WITH WATER. HOWEVER BOYS ARE BOYS WHEREVER YOU GO AND THEY
USUALLY USED A WHOLE BUCKET OF WATER ON EVERY GIRL THEY MET. THEIR
GIRL FRIENDS THEY SPRINKLED WITH PERFUME OR COLOGNE.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated and Motifs Added / 02-28-2011 / TRD
Informant and collector share same surname.

Where learned: TAYLOR ; Michigan Consolidated Gas Company ; informant's home

Keyword(s): Boy ; Cologne ; COURTSHIP ; CUSTOM ; DYNGUS DAY ; Female ; Flirt ; Flirtation ; Girl ; holiday ; Male ; Perfume ; RITUAL ; Scent ; WATER

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Easter Monday Dyngus

Date learned: 11-27-1967

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EASTER CUSTOM

ON EASTER MONDAY IN CZECHOSLOVAKIA, THE BOYS VISIT THE GIRLS IN THEIR
NEIGHBORHOOD. THEY CARRY A BUCKET OF WATER AND WET THE GIRLS' PALMS.
THEY THEN EXCHANGE THE EASTER GREETING: "CHRIST HAS RISEN" AND
"INDEED HE HAS." NEXT THE GIRLS RUN AWAY BECAUSE THE BOYS TRY TO
SPILL WATER ON THEIR FACE. THE BOYS CHASE THE GIRLS ALL DAY. ON
EASTER TUESDAY, THE GIRLS DO THE SAME TO THE BOYS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; informant's home

Keyword(s): DYNGUS DAY ; REVENGE ; WATER

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Easter Monday Dyngus

Date learned: 02-25-1970

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EASTER MONDAY

THE DAY AFTER EASTER WAS CALLED "DYNGUS DAY" OR "SWITCHING DAY."
THE MONDAY AFTER EASTER THE BOYS WOULD SWITCH THE GIRLS OR IN OTHER
WORDS THEY WOULD HIT THEM ON THE LEGS WITH A SWITCH OR A PIECE OF
STICK. IF THE BOY CAUGHT YOU AND SWITCHED YOU, YOU HAD TO GIVE HIM
SOME CANDY OR AN APPLE OR HERE IN AMERICA SOME MONEY. THE NEXT
DAY, TUESDAY, IT WAS THE GIRL'S TURN TO SWITCH THE BOYS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; informant's home

Keyword(s): DYNGUS DAY ; EASTER GIFTS ; FOOD CUSTOM ; HEALTH ; REVENGE ; RITUAL WHIPPING

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Easter Monday Dyngus
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Easter Tuesday Revenge Day

Date learned: 03-11-1970

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YUGOSLAVIAN EASTER CUSTOM

ON EASTER MONDAY, CROATIAN CHILDREN WOULD GO FROM HOUSE TO HOUSE
CARRYING AN ORANGE, AND THEIR NEIGHBORS WOULD STICK DIMES OR NICKELS
INTO THE ORANGE FOR GOOD HEALTH.

Data entry tech comment:

Informant and collector share the same surname and residence.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; informant's home

Keyword(s): BEGGING ; EASTER GIFTS ; FOOD CUSTOM ; HEALTH

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Easter Monday Dyngus
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: (VARIOUS DATES)

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BLESSING

SOMETIME IN MAY (A MOVEABLE DATE, SINCE IT IS A CERTAIN NUMBER OF
DAYS AFTER EASTER) FOR THREE DAYS THE PRIEST GOES AROUND WITH THE
PEOPLE IN PROCESSION PLACING WOODEN CROSSES EVERY SO OFTEN AND
BLESSING THE SURROUNDING AREA. THE PEOPLE ARE THEN SUPPOSE(D) TO
SAY 3 OUR FATHERS AND 3 HAIL MARYS.

Data entry tech comment:

Informant and collector share the same surname.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; KALAMAZOO ; informant's home

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting After all

Date learned: 02-18-1971

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EASTER EGG TRADITION

THERE IS A CUSTOM WITH THE POLISH PEOPLE OF PASSING AROUND THE
DINNER TABLE ONE BLESSED HARD-BOILED EASTER EGG. THE OLDEST MALE
MEMBER OF THE FAMILY BEGINS TO BREAK THE SLICES OF THE EGG WITH
OTHER MEMBERS OF THE FAMILY. USUALLY A WISH IS MADE BETWEEN THE
TWO AND THEN SEALED WITH A KISS. HOWEVER, IF THE EGG DROPS, ONE OF
THE TWO WILL NOT LIVE TO SEE THE NEXT EASTER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN ; informant's home

Keyword(s): FAMILY UNITY ; FOOD CUSTOM

Subject headings: 870
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Easter eggs
Food Drink -- Typical menus for the various meals For meal hours, see F574.84. Special or festive meals
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 03-27-1970

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SPRING CUSTOM

THE TRADITIONAL ARMENIAN EASTER EGGS ARE A BROWNISH-RED COLOR. THIS
IS DONE BY BOILING THE EGGS WITH ONION PEELS UNTIL THE WATER TURNS
THIS BROWNISH-RED COLOR.

Submitter comment:

THIS METHOD OF COLORING EGGS IS STILL DONE TODAY. THE INFORMANT
COLORS EGGS THIS WAY EVERY YEAR.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; informant's home ; 1282 N. RADEMACHER

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Easter eggs

Date learned: 10-01-1971

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AFTER EASTER SERVICES ALL GREET EACH OTHER WITH COLORED EGGS. EACH
PERSON TRIES TO BREAK THE OTHER'S EGG BY TAPPING THE TOP OF THE EGG.
THE PERSON WHO BREAKS THE EGG GETS TO KEEP BOTH EGGS.

Submitter comment:

INFORMANT SAID THAT THIS IS A POPULAR ROMANIAN EASTER CHILDREN'S
GAME ALTHOUGH ADULTS ARE KNOWN TO PLAY IT. INFORMANT SAID SHE
ACTUALLY LOOKS FORWARD TO PLAYING IT EACH EASTER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; informant's home

Keyword(s): GAME

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Special Object or Implement
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Easter eggs
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Easter Sunday

Date learned: 10-20-1971

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GOLF

" NEVER UP, NEVER IN."
 

Submitter comment:

MEANING IF THE BALL NEVER LEAVES THE GROUND, IT WILL
SEEMINGLY NEVER REACH THE HOLE. OFTEN THROWN ABOUT ON GOLF COURSES.

Data entry tech comment:

Informant and collector share the same surname.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; JACKSON ; informant's home

James Callow Keyword(s): ELLIPSIS PARALLELISM

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Entertainment Diversion
SPEECH -- Game Pastime Sport S555.500
PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

Date learned: 10-25-1970

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TO DANCE IS SIN

MY MOTHER SAYS," IF YOU TANCE HERE YOU TANCE IN HELL."

Data entry tech comment:

Probably collected in Detroit, Michigan.

Where learned: informant's home

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Singing Dancing Marching
BELIEF -- Entertainment Diversion
PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

Date learned: 10-01-1968

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WHISTLING

GIRLS ARE NOT ALLOWED TO WHISTLE BECAUSE THE BLESSED MOTHER
WOULD TURN HER HEAD AND CRY.

Submitter comment:

INFORMANT WAS TOLD THIS BY HER MOTHER WHEN SHE WAS YOUNG.
SHE PRACTICED THIS WHEN YOUNG, BUT DOES NOT BELIEVE IN THE
TRUTH OF IT NOW. (1920s).

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; PITTSBURGH ; informant's home

Keyword(s): Blessed Mother ; BLESSED VIRGIN ; Cry ; Female ; Feminine ; Girls ; Holy Mother ; Ladylike ; Whistle

James Callow Keyword(s): VANITY

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Religious hero
BELIEF -- Entertainment Diversion
SPEECH -- Extra Corporal Means of Communication

Date learned: 10-02-1971

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CRIMINAL BELIEF

A CRIMINAL ALWAYS RETURNS TO THE SCENE OF HIS CRIME.

Submitter comment:

THIS PERSON RECALLS BELIEVING THIS AS A CHILD, AND FAITHFULLY
WATCHING FOR THE CULPRIT WHEN A FAVORITE TOY WAS STOLEN.

Data entry tech comment:

Informant and collector share the same surname.
 

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; informant's home

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITIVE DIRECTION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Common law
BELIEF -- Fate Destiny Luck Chance

Date learned: 01-30-1968

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HEARTBURN

IF A WOMAN HAS A LOT OF HEARTBURN DURING PREGNANCY, THE BABY WILL
BE BORN WITH A HEAD FULL OF HAIR.

Data entry tech comment:

Informant and collector share the same surname.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BIRMINGHAM ; informant's home

Subject headings: 840
BELIEF -- Birth

Date learned: 09-23-1969

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PRE-NATAL SUPERSTITION

NOTHING SHOULD EVER BE BOUGHT FOR A BABY BEFORE IT IS BORN.
THIS CAN CAUSE THE CHILD TO BE BORN EITHER DEAD OR BADLY DEFORMED.

Data entry tech comment:

Informant and collector share same surname.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; informant's home

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Birth
BELIEF -- Number Emptiness, nothingness, zero
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 11-02-1969

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KISSING BELIEF

IN THE OLDEN TIMES, IT WAS SAID THAT IF A GIRL KISSED A BOY, SHE
WOULD HAVE A BABY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; informant's home

James Callow Keyword(s): PREGNANCY WITHOUT SEXUAL INTERCOURSE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Birth

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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BIRTH BELIEF

IF AN EXPECTANT MOTHER GOES TO A FUNERAL AND LOOKS IN THE
COFFIN THE CHILD SHE BEARS WILL NEVER HAVE ENOUGH TO EAT.

Data entry tech comment:

Informant and collector share the same residence.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; informant's home

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial
Food Drink -- Food
BELIEF -- Birth

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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BABY DELIVERY

IN THE OLDEN DAYS IT WAS BELIEVED BY THE YOUNG THAT THE
DOCTOR BROUGHT THE BABIES IN A LITTLE BLACK BAG.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; informant's home

James Callow Keyword(s): EUPHEMISM ; PREGNANCY WITHOUT SEXUAL INTERCOURSE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Birth

Date learned: 10-12-1971

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