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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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CAROLING UKRAINIAN STYLE

AT CHRISTMASTIME, UKRAINIAN CHILDREN DRESS UP AS DIFFERENT ANIMALS,
SUCH AS MULES, GOATS, ETC., AND WALK FROM HOUSE TO HOUSE CARRYING
THE NATIVITY SCENE IN A BOX. WHEN THEY ARIVE AT EACH HOUSE, THEY
ASK PERMISSION TO CAROL. PEOPLE OFTEN GIVE THEM FRUITS AND NUTS.
AFTER CAROLING, THE CHILDREN WISH THE HOUSEHOLD GOOD LUCK, LAND
FERTILITY, LONG LIFE, AND GOOD HEALTH.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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CUSTOM

THE CAPTAIN IS THE LAST MAN OFF THE SHIP.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; GRAND MARAIS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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ORAL LEGISLATION

WHEN TWO PERSONS SAID THE SAME WORD AT EXACTLY THE SAME TIME, THE
QUICKEST ONE WOULD HIT THE OTHER ON THE SHOULDER AND REPEAT THIS
FORMULA: "JINX, YOU OWE ME A COKE."

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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CUSTOM--BELIEF

MY MOTHER ACTUALLY WASHED MY MOUTH OUT WITH SOAP ONCE WHEN I HAD
SAID SOMETHING WRONG. IT PARALLELED WASHING AWAY WHAT I HAD SAID,
BUT IT ACTUALLY MADE ME WISH TO AVOID THE TASTE BY REFRAINING FROM
REPEATING WHAT I HAD SAID.

Where learned: NEW JERSEY ; JERSEY CITY

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank

Date learned: 00-00-1953

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YOUTH AND THE NEW MOON

WHEN A CHILD (WITH THE USE OF HIS REASON) SEES THE NEW MOON, HE
MUST NOT MENTION THE FACT UNTIL HE HAS HEARD SOME OLD PERSON
SPEAKING ABOUT IT (OR AT LEAST UNTIL THE MOON IS 3 OR 4 DAYS OLD).
REASON?

Submitter comment: THE SUPERSTITION IS PROPER TO THE BATOORO TRIBE OF ABOUT 100,000
PEOPLE IN UGANDA.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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MAN ON HORSEBACK

IF SOMEONE COMES TO YOUR HOUSE, YOU ONLY ASK HIM ONCE TO EAT, BUT
IF HE'S ON HORSEBACK, YOU ASK HIM TWICE BECAUSE HE HAS TO GET DOWN
FROM HIS HORSE FIRST.

Submitter comment: THIS WAS TOLD TO INFORMANT AS A CHILD BY HIS ITALIAN BORN FATHER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ROSEVILLE

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank

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FAMILY CUSTOM

AT OUR FAMILY PICNIC (THE CARNEY CLAN), SOMEONE ALWAYS BRINGS THE
TOILET SEAT MOUNTED ON A PIECE OF PLYWOOD, THE BUCKET, AND THE
SPONGES. ANY ANIMOSITY ANYONE HAS CAN BE PUBLICLY EXHIBITED BY
THROWING SPONGES FULL OF WATER AT THE PARTY WHO IS THE CAUSE OF THE
ANGER OR FRUSTRATION WHILE THEIR HEAD IS STICKING THROUGH THE
TOILET SEAT FROM BEHIND THE BOARD. IT'S BEEN PRETTY WILD AT TIMES.

Where learned: ILLINOIS ; CHICAGO

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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THE NEXT TO DIE

WHEN YOU GO PAST A CEMETERY, YOU MUST WET YOUR INDEX FINGER (SPIT
ON IT) AND STICK IT IN THE AIR. IF YOU DO NOT, YOU WILL BE THE
NEXT TO DIE.

Submitter comment: I DO NOT KNOW WHO FIRST TOLD ME ABOUT THIS PRACTICE, BUT WHEN WE
WERE YOUNGER, MY GIRL FRIENDS AND I USED TO DO THIS IN A KIDDING
WAY ALL OF THE TIME.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Prediction / Divination
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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LUCK

IF YOU COME TO A HOME THROUGH THE BACK DOOR, LEAVE THROUGH THE BACK
DOOR, OR ELSE YOU TAKE ALL THE GOOD LUCK FROM THE HOUSE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank

Date learned: 03-10-1970

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NEW PURSE

A NEW PURSE SHOULD BE HANSELED WITH A PIECE OF MONEY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank

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SICK BAY

IT IS CUSTOMARY TO REMOVE ONE'S HAT WHEN ENTERING SICK BAY WHILE
IN THE NAVY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ALMA ; ROUTE 2 ; W JEFFERSON RD

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank

Date learned: 03-09-1970

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RELIGIOUS CUSTOM

INFORMANT STATED THAT, WHILE HE WAS A SEMINARIAN, HIS SPIRITUAL
DIRECTORS USED TO BELIEVE IN WHAT WAS CALLED A "CIRCLE OF PURITY,"
AND THEY ACTUALLY MADE THE SEMINARIANS UNDER THEIR DIRECTION ADHERE
TO THIS CUSTOM. THE CIRCLE OF PURITY MEANT TO STAY AN ARM'S LENGTH
AWAY FROM A MAN ON EVERY SIDE AND TWO ARMS' LENGTHS AWAY FROM WOMEN
ON EVERY SIDE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank

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NOT GIVEN

WE DRIVE ON THE RIGHT, AND EUROPE DRIVES ON THE LEFT.

Submitter comment: LEARNED THAT AT HOME.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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COURTSHIP

ITALIAN AND SPANISH PEOPLE CHAPERONE THEIR CHILDREN ON DATES UNTIL
THEY ARE MARRIED. BASICALLY, THIS CUSTOM IS RETAINED NOW BY ONLY
THE RICH AND PROPER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank

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GAME: D.P.W.

YOU NEVER STEP ON A BLOCK OF THE SIDEWALK WHICH HAS THE D.P.W.
STAMP IN THE CORNER.

Where learned: NOT GIVEN

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank

Date learned: 11-17-1968

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CUSTOM

THE ELDEST DAUGHTER GETS THE GRANDMOTHER'S RING, AND IT IS PASSED
DOWN THROUGH THE FAMILY LIKE THIS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank

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FOOD CUSTOM

IF A PERSON SERVES ANOTHER PERSON A KIND OF FOOD WHICH HE NEVER HAD
BEFORE, THE HOST SLAPS THE GUEST ON HIS BACK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank

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ROMANIAN CUSTOM

WHEN VISITING A PERSON'S HOUSE FOR THE FIRST TIME, OR AFTER A LONG
TIME, YOU MUST EAT A PIECE OF BREAD DIPPED IN SALT BEFORE ENTERING
THE HOUSE. OTHERWISE IT IS BAD LUCK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BLOOMFIELD HILLS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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CEMETERY

WHENEVER YOU PASS A CEMETERY, YOU SHOULD HOLD YOUR BREATH IN FROM
THE TIME YOU REACH THE BEGINNING OF THE CEMETERY UNTIL THE TIME
YOU GET TO THE END OF THE CEMETERY. THIS IS IN RESPECT FOR THE
DEAD WHO ARE BURIED THERE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; GRAND RAPIDS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank

Date learned: 00-00-1958

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BELIEF

IF A GIRL BLOWS OUT A LIGHTED MATCH THAT A MAN IS HOLDING, SHE MUST
KISS HIM.

Submitter comment: UNDETERMINED ORIGIN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank

Date learned: 12-04-1967

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