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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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AUTOGRAPH

I WISH YOU LUCK. I WISH YOU JOY.
I WISH YOU FIRST A BABY BOY.
AND WHEN YOU SET YOUR HAIR IN PINS,
I WISH YOU THEN A PAIR OF TWINS.
AND WHEN YOUR HAIR BEGINS TO CURL,
I WISH YOU THEN A BABY GIRL.

Submitter comment: FROM AUTOGRAPH BOOK KEPT IN DETROIT, 1967.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Autograph Verse
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth

Date learned: 11-00-1973

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CHRIST JOKE

DO YOU KNOW HOW CHRIST RECEIVED HIS NAME? WELL, WAY BACK WHEN,
THESE THREE GUYS CAME TO VISIT THE BABE WHO, AS YOU KNOW, WAS
BORN IN THIS OLD CAVE. NOW THIS CAVE WAS VERY, VERY LOW AND ONE
OF THESE THREE GUYS WAS EXTREMELY TALL. AFTER KNEELING FOR A
LONG TIME BEFORE THE BABE, THE TALL ONE, FORGETTING THE KIND OF
PLACE HE WAS IN, ROSE QUICKLY AND BANGED HIS HEAD. "JESUS
CHRIST!" SHOUTS HE. AND MARY TURNS TO JOSEPH, UPON HEARING THIS,
AND SAYS, "GEE, JOSEPH, THAT WOULD BE A BETTER NAME THAN
ARCHIBALD."

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WYANDOTTE

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Religious hero
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Baptism Naming rite

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DETERMINING THE SEX OF AN UNBORN CHILD

THE EXPECTANT MOTHER HOLDS OUT HER LEFT HAND. ANOTHER PERSON
TAKES A NEEDLE SUSPENDED FROM A THREAD AND RUBS IT AGAINST THE
RIGHT SIDE OF HER HAND. AFTER THIS IS DONE, THE NEEDLE
IS HELD OVER HER PALM - IF THE NEEDLE GOES IN CIRCLES IT'S GOING
TO BE A GIRL AND IF IT GOES STRAIGHT BACK AND FORTH IT'S GOING
TO BE A BOY.

Submitter comment: THIS CUSTOM OF DETERMINING THE SEX OF AN UNBORN CHILD WAS USED
ON INFORMANT'S WIFE BY INFORMANT'S MOTHER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth

Date learned: 11-22-1974

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BIRTH

IN INDIA MOTHERS AND CHILDREN ARE PROTECTED BY KEEPING A PIECE
OF IRON BOILING IN AN EARTHENWARE POT.

Submitter comment: FOUND IN W. CROOKE'S BOOK 1896 BY RABBI HALPERN, TRIBES AND CAST
OF THE NORTH-WESTERN PROVINCE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BLOOMFIELD

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth

Date learned: 00-00-1974

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BIRTH

ALL FEARS AND HAZARDS OF CHILD BIRTH ARE IN THE FIGURE OF LILITH.

Submitter comment: SHE IS A PHANTOM FIGURE WHO STEALS NEWBORN BABIES & KILLS OR
INJURES THEIR MOTHERS

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BLOOMFIELD

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth
BELIEF -- Devil Demon

Date learned: 00-00-1974

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BIRTH

MOHAMMED'S MOTHER HAD A PIECE OF IRON BOUND UPON HER HAND AT TIME
OF HIS BIRTH TO WARD OFF EVIL SPIRITS

Submitter comment: THIS CAN BE FOUND IN SPRENGER, DAS LEBEN UND DIE LEHRE
MOHAMMED (1861-65)

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BLOOMFIELD

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth

Date learned: 00-00-1974

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BIRTH

IN SWITZERLAND WHEN A BOY IS BORN IT IS THE PRACTICE TO PLANT AN
APPLE TREE. WHEN A GIRL IS BORN A NUT TREE IS PLANTED.

Submitter comment: CAN BE FOUND IN MC CARTNEY "FOLKLORE HEIRLOOMS"

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BLOOMFIELD

James Callow Keyword(s): PLANTS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth

Date learned: 00-00-1974

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JEWISH BIRTH CUSTOM

A PIECE OF IRON PLACED IN THE WOMAN'S BED OR UNDER HER PILLOW.

Submitter comment: THIS WAS SHOWN TO ME IN THE BOOK OF THE HOLY AND PROFANE.
TO WARD OFF EVIL SPIRIT AT BIRTH.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BLOOMFIELD

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth

Date learned: 00-00-1974

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BIRTH CUSTOM

A WOMAN WHO GAVE BIRTH WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO LEAVE HER HOUSE UNTIL
SHE WENT TO HER CHURCH AND WAS BLESSED. THERE IS A SUPERSTITION
THAT SAYS THAT IF SHE BREAKS THIS CUSTOM EITHER HER OR THE CHILD
WOULD SUFFER SOME TRAGEDY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Church
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth
BELIEF -- Birth
BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 11-00-1973

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AUTOGRAPH

I WISH YOU LUCK. I WISH YOU JOY.
I WISH YOU FIRST A BABY BOY.
AND WHEN YOU SET YOUR HAIR IN PINS,
I WISH YOU THEN A PAIR OF TWINS.
AND WHEN YOUR HAIR BEGINS TO CURL,
I WISH YOU THEN A BABY GIRL.

Submitter comment: FROM AUTOGRAPH BOOK KEPT IN DETROIT, 1967.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Autograph Verse
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth

Date learned: 11-00-1973

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BIRTH

IGNORANT SOUTHERNERS FEED EXPECTANT MOTHERS CLAY TO AID IN THE
BIRTH OF THEIR CHILD.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): PICA

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth
BELIEF -- Mineral
BELIEF -- Mineral

Date learned: 09-00-1973

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EXPECTANT MOTHERS

IT IS A SICILIAN CUSTOM THAT EXPECTANT MOTHERS MUST EAT EVERY
FOOD THEY
HAVE A CRAVING FOR WHILE THEY ARE PREGNANT. IF THEY DO NOT EAT
WHAT
T THEY DESIRE THEY SHOULD NOT TOUCH ANY PART OF THEIR BODY. TO DO SO
MEANS THAT THE BABY WILL BE BORN WITH A SCAR OR DISCOLORATION IN THE
PLACE WHERE THE MOTHER TOUCHED HER BODY.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMT EXPERIENCED THIS WHEN SHE WAS HAVING HER FIRST CHILD AN
AND
D HER SICILIAN MOTHER IN LAW MADE HER EAT A BOWL OF STRAWBERRIES.

Where learned: DETROIT ; TOLD IN

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth
BELIEF -- Body part Senses

Date learned: 09-08-1972

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LUCK

NO NEW MOTHER SHOULD BE ALLOWED IN THE HOME FOR FORTY DAYS AFTER
GIVING BIRTH, FOR SHE IS UNBLESSED BY GOD, AND COULD BRING BAD
LUCK TO THE FAMILY OF THE HOME SHE VISITS.

Submitter comment: IT IS NOT ONLY BAD LUCK FOR ANYONE TO LET THIS WOMAN IN THEIR
HOUSE, BUT IT IS ALSO BAD LUCK FOR THE WOMAN TO EVEN LEAVE THE HOUSE.
SHE SHOULD BE HOME GUARDING THE CHILD, WHO IS ESPECIALLY SUSEPTIBLE
AT THIS TIME.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; FARMINGTON ; TOLD IN

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Birth
BELIEF -- Number P686.1.40
BELIEF -- Bad luck
BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.2
BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.43

Date learned: 09-24-1972

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CUSTOM BIRTH

TAPE A NICKEL TO A BABYS BELLY BUTTON WHEN IT IS BORN.

Submitter comment: THIS PREVENTS THE BELLY BUTTON FROM POPPING OUT.

Where learned: DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 06-00-1972

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CUSTOM FUNERAL

WHEN A MOTHER DIES SHE IS BURIED WITH RINGS SHE PUT ON THE HANDS OF
HER CHILDREN WHEN THEY WERE BORN

Submitter comment: THIS IS SO SHE WILL BE REMEMBERED AND SHE WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER HER
CHILDREN.

Where learned: DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 06-00-1972

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DETERMINATION OF SEX

IT WAS BELIEVED THAT THE SEX OF A CHILD COULD BE DETERMINED BEFORE
BIRTH BY SWINGING ONE'S WEDDING RING, WHICH WAS TIED TO A STRING OVER
THE PREGNANT WOMAN'S STOMACH. IF IT SWUNG FROM SIDE TO SIDE THE
CHILD WOULD BE A GIRL, FROM FRONT TO BACK, A BOY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth
BELIEF -- Use of Object

Date learned: 10-14-1972

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IF YOU HAVE A BABY DON'T CROSS A RUNNING STREAM OF WATER UNTIL
YOUR BABY IS THREE WEEKS OLD. IF YOU DO DROP A STRAIGHT PIN IN
THE WATER.

Where learned: DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): NEWNESS

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
686 Thirds / Thrice / Three / Triple
Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth

Date learned: 09-08-1972

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BIRTH-- DETERMINING THE SEX OF UNBORN CHILD

IF AN EXPECTANT MOTHER LOSES ALL HER BEAUTY WHILE PREGNANT SHE IS
GOING TO HAVE A GIRL BECAUSE SHE IS GIVING ALL HER BEAUTY TO HER
UNBORN DAUGHTER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): PREGNANCY

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth

Date learned: 00001930S

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WHO BECOMES A VAMPIRE

A PERSON WILL BE A VAMPIRE IF HE IS BORN ON HALLOWEEN
OR CONCEIVED ON WOLFPURGIS NIGHT, THE NIGHT BEFORE MAY 1.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: ENGLAND ; WORCESTER

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

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- April 30
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F103
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth

Date learned: 04-00-1972

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