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MARRIAGE CUSTOM

IT IS BAD LUCK FOR A GROOM TO SEE THE BRIDE BEFORE THE
CEREMONY, ON THE DAY OF THE WEDDING

Submitter comment: HEARD THIS AS A KID. THIS BELIEF JUST WENT AROUND IN A JEWISH HOM

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Custom
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage Bride and groom must not see each other
BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.41

Date learned: 00-00-1974

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Entry filtered.

MANY BLACK PEOPLE OPEN THEIR CIGARETTE PACKS FROM THE BOTTOM RATHER
THAN THE TOP AS IS USUALLY DONE.THE REASON THIS IS DONE IS TO REMOVE
THE CIGARETTE WITHOUT TOUCHING THE FILTER WITH DIRTY FINGERS.

Submitter comment:

THIS SEEMS TO BE A GOOD IDEA. PEOPLE WHO WORK IN FACTORIES MAY
CONTINUALLY HAVE DIRTY FINGERS, TOUCHING THE FILTER AND THEN
PUTTING THE DIRTY END IN YOUR MOUTH COULD RESULT IN DISEASE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Custom

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EYO FESTIVAL

DURING THE EYO FESTIVAL IN LAGOS NO ONE IS PERMITTED TO WEAR SHOES.
PEOPLE DRESSED IN WHITE COSTUMES WITH BLACK COWBOY LOOKING HATS RUN
THROUGH THE STREET ALL DAY CARRYING BROOMS SIMILAR TO WHISK BROOMS
AND IF THEY SEE ANYONE WEARING SHOES THEY WILL HIT YOU WITH THESE
BROOMS.
THEY ALSO STOP CARS.
THEY WILL HIT YOU UNTIL YOU GIVE THEM A GIFT OF MONEY OR SOMETHING
ELSE

Submitter comment: I JUST HAPPENED TO BE IN LAGOS ON THE DAY OF THIS FESTIVAL
AND I SAW ALL THESE KIDS RUNNING AROUND CHASING PEOPLE AND I GOT
SCARED.
MY BOYFRIEND ENEV TOLD ME WE HAD BETTER HEAD BACK TO EBUTE-METTA.
HE WAS NOT SCARED, BUT HE DID SO FOR MY SAKE.
THESE PEOPLE WILL HIT YOU ALL OVER YOUR BODY.

Where learned: NIGERIA ; LAGOS

Subject headings: Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Custom
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Typical Elements of a Festive Pattern

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WISH CANDLES

WISH CANDLES ARE SMALL INDIVIDUAL FLOATING CANDLES THAT ARE MADE
FOR CEREMONIES AND SET AFLOAT ON LAKES. DURING THE CEREMONY, THE
PARTICIPANTS SET THEM OUT ON THE WATER FROM DOCKS OR SHORELINES AT
THE SAME TIME AND MAKE WISHES.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT SAID THAT WISH CANDLES ARE USED IN CEREMONIES AS A
QUIET THOUGHTFUL ACTIVITY.
THE PARTICIPANTS OF THE CEREMONY OFTEN LINGER ON THE BEACH AND
WAIT FOR ALL THE CANDLES TO GO OUT.
THE INFORMANT LEARNED OF WISH CANDLES AT CAMP, AND BECAME VERY
SENTIMENTAL AS SHE SPOKE OF A LAKE COVERED WITH LITTLE FLAMES.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WIXOM

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Custom

Date learned: 02-07-1980 ; 00-00-1974

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DURING THE WAR, THE JEWS MADE A WILL, SO THAT IF THEY
WERE LOST AT SEA, THEY WOULD HAVE SURVIVORSHIP RIGHTS.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; STUDENT UNION

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Custom

Date learned: 04-01-1971

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CUTOM

NEVER TAKE A CAT WITH YOU WHEN YOU MOVE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Custom

Date learned: 01-22-1970

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IT PAYS TO SALUTE

WHEN A NAVAL OFFICER FIRST BECOMES COMMISSIONED,
HE MUST GIVE $1.00 TO THE FIRST MAN WHO SALUTES HIM.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Custom

Date learned: 01-00-1968

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LUCK

THERE'S AN ANCIENT CUSTOM OF PUTTING A COIN UNDER THE
MAST (BEFORE THE MAST IS STEPPED). THEY PUT A COIN IN
THE HOLE WHERE THE MAST IS GOING TO BE PLACED. THIS
IS KNOWN AS "BUYING YOUR WAY ACROSS THE RIVER STYX."
IT DATES BACK TO ROMAN AND GREEK MARINERS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Custom

Date learned: 01-00-1972

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GERMAN HUNTING

WHEN THE GERMANS GO HUNTING, IF THEY KILL SOMETHING,
THEY GO UP TO IT AND LAY THEIR JACKET OVER THE ANIMAL.
THEY THEN BUILD A CROSS AND KNEEL FOR THREE MINUTES
TO PRAY FOR THE ANIMAL'S SOUL. OUT OF RESPECT FOR THE
ANIMAL, THEY CAN'T SKIN IT FOR A FEW HOURS. IF THEY
GO AWAY FOR A WHILE, THEY MUST LEAVE THEIR JACKET OVER
THE ANIMAL UNTIL THEY RETURN.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT LEARNED THIS THIS PAST SUMMER WHILE VISITING
GERMANY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Custom

Date learned: 03-16-1971

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ST. JOHN ON PURITY

WREATHS OF FLOWERS MADE OF HONEYSUCKLE WITH A LIGHTED
CANDLE IN THE MIDDLE ARE SAILED ON A RIVER WITH A
CURRENT. THE WREATH TRAVELING THE FURTHEST WITH
ITS LIGHT LIT, REPRESENTS THE PURITY AND LONG LIFE
OF THE OWNER.

Submitter comment: THIS IS A POLISH CUSTOM.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ALLEN PARK

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Custom

Date learned: 07-00-1964

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GIRLS ARE BASICALLY SUPPRESSED:
A) IN OLDEN TIMES THE WARRIOR CHIEF WAS THE PROTECTOR
OF PEOPLE AND THE FEMALES ONLY WERE TO BEAR PEOPLE.
B) HERMITS AND MONKS WENT TO THE DESSERT TO FAST AND
TO DO PENANCE AND SACRIFICE. THEY WERE TO FIGHT OFF
ALL BODY PLEASURES.
THESE TWO EXAMPLES SHOWED THAT THERE WAS ALWAYS A
BUILDUP OR A MENTAL BLOCK TOWARD FEMALES.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Custom

Date learned: 02-27-1971

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RULES OF CONDUCT--SPAIN

THIS LIST OF RULES GOVERNING SOCIAL BEHAVIOR WAS
TACKED ON THE CHURCH DOOR IN A SPANISH COMMUNITY:
1. WOMEN SHALL NOT APPEAR ON THE STREETS OF THIS VILLAGE
WITH DRESSES THAT ARE TOO TIGHT IN THOSE PLACES WHICH
PROVOKE THE EVIL PASSIONS OF MEN.
2. THEY MUST NEVER WEAR DRESSES THAT ARE TOO SHORT.
3. THEY MUST BE PARTICULARLY CAREFUL NOT TO WEAR
DRESSES THAT ARE LOW-CUT IN FRONT.
4. IT IS SHAMEFUL FOR WOMEN TO WALK IN THE STREETS WITH
SHORT SLEEVES.
5. EVERY WOMAN WHO APPEARS ON THE STREETS MUST WEAR
STOCKINGS.
6. WOMEN MUST NOT WEAR TRANSPARENT OR NETWORK CLOTH
OVER THOSE PARTS WHICH DECENCY REQUIRES TO BE COVERED.
7. AT THE AGE OF TWELVE, GIRLS MUST BEGIN TO WEAR
DRESSES THAT REACH TO THE KNEE AND STOCKINGS AT ALL
TIMES.
8. LITTLE BOYS MUST NOT APPEAR IN THE STREETS WITH
THEIR UPPER LEGS BARE.
9. GIRLS MUST NEVER WALK IN OUT-OF-THE-WAY PLACES
BECAUSE TO DO SO IS BOTH IMMORAL AND DANGEROUS.
10. NO DECENT WOMAN OR GIRL IS EVER SEEN ON A
BICYCLE.
11. NO DECENT WOMAN IS EVER SEEN WEARING TROUSERS.
12. WHAT THEY CALL IN THE CITIES "MODERN DANCING"
IS STRICTLY FORBIDDEN.
(DATED) JULY 11, 1943.

Where learned: "IBERIA" SATURDAY EVENING POST CCXLI

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Custom

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NAMES

IN THE SOUTH, THE CHILD IS NAMED AFTER THE DOCTOR.

Submitter comment: HER UNCLE TOLD HER THIS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Custom
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Baptism Naming rite

Date learned: 10-24-1967

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CUSTOM

WHITE FLAG OF TRUCE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Custom
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- War

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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JEWISH NAME BELIEF

IT IS A JEWISH CUSTOM NEVER TO NAME A PERSON AFTER SOMEONE
IN THE FAMILY WHO IS LIVING, FOR FEAR OF SOME BAD LUCK
OR HARM.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Custom
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Baptism Naming rite

Date learned: 09-00-1969

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CANOPY BED CUSTOM FROM POLAND

IN 1844, DAVE CAMERON'S GREAT-GREAT GRANDMOTHER ARRIVED IN NEW YORK
FROM POLAND WITH HER HUSBAND AND CAME IN CONTACT WITH
HER FIRST CANOPY BED. SHE IMMEDIATELY STARTED THE FAMILY TRADITION
OF PLACING TWO SHEETS ABOVE THE BED TO HANG DOWN AND FORM A CAGE-
LIKE SLEEPING AREA. THE CUSTOM WAS PASSED DOWN THROUGH TO CAMERON'S
MOTHER WHO CEASED THE CUSTOM AFTER CANOPY BEDS WENT OUT OF FASHION.

Submitter comment: CANOPY BED CUSTOM WAS COLLECTED ON THE UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT CAMPUS
BUT IT WAS LEARNED IN ROYAL OAK, MICHIGAN.

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

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Custom

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RURAL BLACK CHRISTMAS CUSTOM

IN LOUISVILLE, MISSISSIPPI, DURING THE 1930'S, IT WAS
COMMONPLACE TO VISIT ONE'S FRIENDS ON CHRISTMAS DAY. UPON
FIRST SEEING THE FRIEND, WE BOTH WOULD ATTEMPT TO SAY
"CHRISTMAS GIVE" FIRST. BOTH CHILDREN AND ADULTS DID THIS.
THE LOSER HAD TO GIVE SOME SMALL GIFT TO THE WINNER.
ADULTS MIGHT RECEIVE A DRINK; CHILDREN PERHAPS CANDY. THE
IDEA WAS TO SURPRISE THE OTHER PARTY SO SOMETIMES ONE
MIGHT HAVE TO HIDE AND JUMP OUT AT THE OTHER WHILE SHOUTING
"CHRISTMAS GIVE."
YOU KNOW, THIS WAS DURING THE DEPRESSION SO WE DIDN'T
HAVE TOO MUCH TO GIVE EVEN TO FAMILY. THERE SEEMED TO BE
SOME SENSE OF COMMUNITY PRESENT SO THAT WE JUST NATURALLY
SHARED WITH OUR NEIGHBORS. ONCE WE MOVED NORTH, AFTER
THE WAR, I NEVER HEARD OF IT AGAIN.

Submitter comment: MY FATHER'S (THE INFORMANT) FAMILY WAS RELATIVELY WELL-OFF
DURING THE DEPRESSION. HIS FATHER WORKED AS A FIREMAN FOR
THE RAILROAD AND MADE ENOUGH SO THAT THE FAMILY OWNED
THEIR FARMLAND. HIS "NOT TOO MUCH TO GIVE" WAS SOMEWHAT
MORE THAN THE AVERAGE DEPRESSION ERA RURAL BLACK FAMILY
COULD AFFORD.
THE INFORMANT LIVED IN LOUISVILLE, MISSISSIPPI UNTIL
BEING SENT OVERSEAS IN WORLD WAR II. THE FAMILY MOVED NORTH
DURING THE WAR. THE INFORMANT CAME TO DETROIT AFTER THE
WAR AND HAS LIVED IN DETROIT SINCE THEN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 25 Christmas Also see F642, below.
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Custom
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Gifts, gift giving at Christmas
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Greetings, wishes, prayers, cards
SPEECH -- Formula

Date learned: 09-00-1982

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RURAL BLACK NEW YEAR'S CUSTOM

DURING THE DEPRESSION, IN LOUISVILLE, MISSISSIPPI IT WAS
CUSTOMARY AMONG BLACKS TO PREPARE HOG JOWLS AND BLACK-EYED
PEAS AS THE FIRST MEAL OF THE NEW YEAR. IT WAS THOUGHT
THAT THIS WOULD BRING GOOD LUCK FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR.
I DON'T THINK THAT ANYONE ACTUALLY BELIEVED THAT GOOD LUCK
COULD RESULT FROM EATING A PARTICULAR MEAL. IT WAS JUST
A CUSTOMARY THING TO DO. SOMETIMES, AFTER WE CAME NORTH,
WE WOULD STILL FIX THE MEAL FOR NEW YEAR'S. AFTER I GOT
MARRIED, IN 1950, I DON'T RECALL PREPARING ANY PARTICULAR
MEAL ON NEW YEAR'S.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT LIVED IN LOUISVILLE, MISSISSIPPI UNTIL BEING
SENT OVERSEAS IN WORLD WAR II. BY HIS RETURN, IN 1946,
THE FAMILY HAD MOVED TO DETROIT. THE INFORMANT HAS LIVED
IN DETROIT SINCE THAT TIME.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Custom
Food Drink -- Food
Food Drink -- Typical menus for the various meals For meal hours, see F574.84. Special or festive meals
Food Drink -- Plant food Vegetable
Food Drink -- Meat Bred animal
Food Drink -- Special Form and PurposeObject of Bodily Consumption
BELIEF -- Custom
BELIEF -- Measure of time Year
BELIEF -- Good luck Time (year, season, week, hour, etc.) Occasion Event

Date learned: 09-00-1982

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BAHAMIAN FUNERAL PROCESSION

IN THE BAHAMAS AFTER THE CHURCH CEREMONY IS HELD FOR THE
DECEASED, THE FRIENDS, RELATIVES AND LODGE (THESE ARE SPECIAL
ORGANIZATIONS IN THE BAHAMAS) MEMBERS FORM TWO LINES OUTSIDE
THE CHURCH. THE LODGE'S BAND HEAD THE PROCESSION RENDERING
SONGS LIKE "ONWARD CHRISTIAN SOLDIERS" WITH A PARTICULARLY
LOUD BUT MOURNFUL THUMP ON THE BASS DRUM. THE PARTICIPANTS IN
A FUNERAL PROCESSION ARE BOTH CHILDREN AND ADULTS WALKING
SILENTLY AND SOLEMNLY IN PAIRS. LITTLE GIRLS DRESSED IN WHITE
WITH HUGE BUTTERFLY BOWS ATTACHED TO THEIR PIGTAILS AND LITTLE
BOYS IN CLEAN WHITE SHIRTS AND BLACK TROUSERS CARRY IMMENSE
WREATHS OF REAL (AND SOMETIMES ARTIFICIAL) FLOWERS AS WELL.
BEHIND THE CHILDREN WOMEN FOLLOW DRESSED IN THEIR WHITE UNIFORM
OR LODGE DRESSES. THEY ARE FOLLOWED BY A MAN CARRYING A
LODGE BANNER OF ONE OF THE FRATERNAL ORDERS IN THE SAME COLOURS
AS THE MEN'S SASHES OR IN THE LODGE'S COLOURS. THE OFFICIAL
UNIFORM WORN BY THE MEN CONSISTS OF THE FOLLOWING: BLACK SUITS, WHITE
SHIRTS, BLACK BOWTIES, BLACK TOP HATS, AND SASHES OR APRON-LIKE
WEAR EMBLEMS SUCH AS "BROTHERS" (OR BILLS) AND "DAUGHTERS" (OR
SISTERS) AROUND THEIR NECKS. BEHIND THE PROUD BANNER CARRIER
A GROUP OF TIGHTLY KNIT MEN TAKE THEIR LAST WALK WITH THEIR
LODGE "BROTHER". THESE MEN ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR PUSHING THE
COFFIN ON A BIER TOWARD ITS FINAL DESTINATION. THE FAMILY
MEMBERS FOLLOW BEHIND IN ISOLATION (AND TODAY THE IMMEDIATE OR
CLOSE FAMILY FOLLOW IN BLACK CADILLACS BELONGING TO THE FUNERAL
HOME OR MORTICIAN). AFTER THE INTRODUCTION OF MOTOR VEHICLES
IN NASSAU HEARSES AND OTHER COMMODITIES SUCH AS A CAR FOR
THE FAMILY ARE USED. OTHER MEMBERS MAY CHOOSE TO RIDE THEIR
CARS INSTEAD OF MARCHING IN THE PROCESSION, BUT FREQUENTLY
MANY PEOPLE SHOW THEIR RESPECT FOR THE DEAD BY MARCHING IN
THE PROCESSION. THE FACT THAT MOST CHURCHES ARE WITHIN WALKING
DISTANCE OF A CEMETERY IS ALSO ANOTHER REASON. IN SOME CASES
THE CEMETERY MAY BE IN THE CHURCH'S YARD.
AT THE CEREMONIES AROUND THE GRAVE, AFTER THE CHURCH OR
OFFICIAL CEREMONY ARE COLORFUL OR DRAMATIC PERFORMANCES
SUCH AS VARIOUS SIGNALS WITH THE HANDS AND ARMS. FOR EXAMPLE:
(1) THE MEMBERS WOULD STRETCH THEIR ARMS OUT.
(2) THEN THEY WOULD CLASP THEIR ARMS TO THEIR BREASTS THREE
TO FOUR TIMES.
(3) AFTER THIS IS DONE THEY WOULD RESPOND TO A READING FROM THE
BIBLE OR THEIR MANUAL BOOK IN UNISON.
(4) FINALLY THEY WOULD GRASP THE GREEN LEAF OR FOLIAGE THAT
HAD BEEN PINNED TO THEIR LAPELS (OR HATS) AND IN ONE FINAL
GESTURE THROW IT IN THE GRAVE OF THE DECEASED.

Submitter comment: IN THE BAHAMAS THE LODGE OR ORGANIZATIONS ADD TO THE FLARE
AND TRADITION OF THE BAHAMIAN PEOPLE. BAHAMIANS TAKE THEIR
LODGES VERY SERIOUSLY AND KEEP UP THEIR PAYMENTS WHEN THEY ARE
DUE. THEY DO THIS BECAUSE THEY ENJOY HELPING OTHERS IN
THEIR SOCIETY AND PROBABLY BECAUSE THE WANT TO BE PUT DOWN
OR BURIED IN STYLE.

Where learned: BAHAMAS ; NASSAU

Subject headings: Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Custom
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 00001970S

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Island Cats

The Key island of Islamorada Florida is a breeding
ground for cats. Mainly due to the countless un-neutered cats
roaming around. The cats are attracted to the back doors of
seafood restaurants waiting patiently for hours. At one time
I witnessed over 20 cats meowing and waiting for the remains
of shrimp, smoked fish, and lobster. A feeding frenzy occurs
when scraps are thrown to them. If a cat in particular is
liked the individual would take it to the veterinarian and
have it de-clawed, neutered, and given its shots. Then
collared and registered.

Where learned: Key Islamorada ; FLORIDA

Keyword(s): Check-up, Doctor.

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Custom
BELIEF -- Mammal

Date learned: 00-00-1991

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