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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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CRAFT DESIGN

WHEN UKRAINIANS DECORATE THEIR EASTER EGGS, THEY USE
THE FIGURE OF THE FISH TO SYMBOLIZE ANCIENT CHRISTIANITY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Easter eggs
BELIEF -- Fish

Date learned: 03-08-1971

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FISHING AND WEATHER

IF THE WIND IS OUT OF THE NORTH, THEN THE FISHING WILL NOT BE ANY
GOOD.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT USED TO FISH WITH A VERY EXPERIENCED FISHERMAN WHO WAS WELL
VERSED IN THESE THINGS. PERSONAL EXPERIENCE HAS PROVED HIM CORRECT.

Where learned: OHIO ; CLEVELAND

Subject headings: Favorites
BELIEF -- Fish
BELIEF -- Weather sign or control
BELIEF -- Wind Whirlwind Hurricane Cyclone Tornado

Date learned: 10-00-1976

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LEGEND

IN THE FIJI ISLANDS THE WOMEN OF THE HOUSEHOLDS CATCH FISH
IN THEIR MOUTHS DURING THE PLENTIFUL SEASON. BEFORE THEY GO OUT TO
THE WATER, THEY GREASE THEIR FACES UP SO THEY
WON'T DISTRACT THE FISH.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT

Keyword(s): FISHING

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Work Commerce Business
BELIEF -- Fish

Date learned: 03-09-1972

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BELIEF (CUSTOM)

WHEN PLANTING CORN, PLACE A FISH IN EACH HOLE AND PLANT BY THE
LIGHT OF THE HALF MOON. YOU WILL, THEREFORE, REAP A BIGGER CROP.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; COLLECTORS HOME

Keyword(s): PLANTING

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Work Commerce Business
BELIEF -- Fish
BELIEF -- Moon

Date learned: 10-23-1968

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LUCK IN FISHING

YOU SHOULD SPIT ON YOUR HOOK TO CATCH FISH QUICKLY.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses Mouth, teeth, lips, tongue
BELIEF -- Fish

Date learned: 11-20-1968

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MOVING INTO A NEW HOME (ITALIAN)

TO HAVE GOOD LUCK IN A NEW HOUSE
THE FIRST THING YOU MUST COOK IS
FISH. ALSO YOUR FIRST MEAL MUST
INCLUDE FISH, A LOAF OF BREAD AND
THE PRESENCE OF A HOLY PICTURE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WARREN

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
Food Drink -- Typical menus for the various meals For meal hours, see F574.84. Special or festive meals
BELIEF -- Religious hero
BELIEF -- Fish
BELIEF -- Good luck

Date learned: 01-00-1970

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CUSTOMS (NEW YEAR)

IF AT THE STROKE OF MIDNIGHT A MARRIED
COUPLE IS HOLDING CASH IN ONE HAND
AND A PICKLED HERRING IN THE OTHER HAND AND EACH TASTES OF THE
HERRING THEY WILL HAVE GOOD LUCK THROUGHOUT THE COMING YEAR.

Submitter comment:

INFORMANT LEARNED FROM THE FAMILY.

Where learned: ILLINOIS ; CHICAGO

Keyword(s): MONEY

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Fixed DateFor specific dates, use the following system: F640.1231
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20
Food Drink -- Meat Fish and other animal life related to water
BELIEF -- Fish
BELIEF -- Good luck P881.42

Date learned: 09-30-1967

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POLACK (POLISH) SUPERSTITION

IT'S A POLISH SUPERSTITION THAT IF YOU HOLD THE TAIL OF A HERRING AT
12:00 MIDNIGHT ON NEW YEAR'S DAY, YOU'LL BE RICH THAT WHOLE YEAR AND
FIND A LOT OF MONEY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; SAINT HYACINTH SCHOOL

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time Year
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Fixed DateFor specific dates, use the following system: F640.1231
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20
BELIEF -- Fish
BELIEF -- Good luck P881.42

Date learned: 02-29-1972

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NEW YEAR'S

AFTER MIDNIGHT ON NEW YEAR'S EVE EAT HERRINGS FOR GOOD LUCK IN THE
NEW YEAR.

Data entry tech comment:

Informant and collector share the same surname.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; collector's home

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Fixed DateFor specific dates, use the following system: F640.1231
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20
Food Drink -- Meat Fish and other animal life related to water
BELIEF -- Fish
BELIEF -- Measure of time Year
BELIEF -- Good luck P881.42

Date learned: 03-10-1970

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Bring in the New Year with Fish

AN OLD BELIEF THAT HAS BEEN OBSERVED IN MY FAMILY:
BRING IN THE NEW YEAR WITH FISH

Submitter comment:

WHILE I DO NOT BELIEVE THIS CUSTOM WILL BRING GOOD LUCK, MY
PARENTS AND GRANDPARENTS ALWAYS ARE SURE TO START THE NEW YEAR
BY EATING A TYPE OF FISH--NO PARTICULAR TYPE. THIS IS TO
INSURE GOOD LUCK FOR THE NEW YEAR. AND IN OUR HOME IT IS
ALWAYS DONE.

Data entry tech comment:

Informant and collector are the same person.
 

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UTICA ; 4290 Sandy Creek

Subject headings: Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time Year
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20
Food Drink -- Meat Fish and other animal life related to water
BELIEF -- Fish
BELIEF -- Good luck P881.42

Date learned: NOT RECORDED

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Food - Fixed Date

EAT ANYTHING THAT ROOTS (DIGS THEIR WAY INTO THE GROUND) LIKE
PIGS, ON NEW YEAR'S EVE, OR AS THE FIRST MEAL OF THE NEW YEAR.
NEVER EAT ANYTHING THAT SWIMS OR FLIES OR YOUR MONEY WILL DO THE
SAME. EAT NO FOWL OF ANY KIND.

Data entry tech comment:

Informant is grandmother of collector.

Where learned: informant's home

Keyword(s): HOMEOPATHIC MAGIC

Subject headings: Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F123
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20
Food Drink -- Typical menus for the various meals For meal hours, see F574.84. Special or festive meals
BELIEF -- Bird
BELIEF -- Fish

Date learned: 11-10-1970

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DREAM

IF YOU DREAM ABOUT FISH, SOMEONE IS PREGNANT, MY SISTER DREAMT ABOUT
FISH AND A COUPLE OF DAYS LATER MY COUSIN WAS PREGNANT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Fish
BELIEF -- Birth
BELIEF -- Dreams

Date learned: 03-00-1979

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ENGAGEMENT

IN SOUTHERN GREEK TOWNS WHERE FISHING IS A WAY OF LIFE,
WHEN A MAN WISHES TO MARRY, HE PRESENTS THE GIRL'S FATHER
WITH A FISH. THE FISH IS THE GREEK EQUILVALENT OF AN
ENGAGEMENT RING. IT IS SYMBOLIC OF HIS ABILITY TO SUPPORT HER
AND HER FAMILY, IF NECESSARY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; TROY

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage Symbols of engagement
BELIEF -- Fish

Date learned: 04-00-1979

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MALTESE LUCK BELIEF

MALTESE BELIEVE IT IS BAD LUCK TO HAVE GOLDFISH IN A HOUSE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Fish
BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.34

Date learned: 01-28-1979

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SUPERSTITION

WHEN SOMEONE DREAMS ABOUT FISH IT MEANS SOMEONE IS PREGNANT.

Where learned: DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Fish
BELIEF -- Birth
BELIEF -- Dreams Dreams about animals

Date learned: 00-00-1965

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BELIEF

SANDDOLLARS GOT THEIR DESIGN ON GOOD FRIDAY. IT IS SAID THAT THE
SANDDOLLAR WAS AFFECTED BY THE CRUCIFICTION, WHICH IS THE REASON
FOR THE FIVE HOLES IN ITS SURFACE, AND THE ETCHING OF AN EASTER
LILY AROUND THEM.

Where learned: DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): CRUCIFIXION ; SYMBOLS OF CHRIST'S WOUNDS

Subject headings: 663 Good Friday
BELIEF -- Fish

Date learned: CA00001974

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FISH IS BRAIN FOOD, THE MORE YOU EAT, THE MORE INTELLIGENT YOU WILL
BE.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; DIET ; FISH ; HEALTH ; Nutrition ; Smart

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Fish

Date learned: CA00001915

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MY FATHER USED TO TELL ME THAT THE REASON HE WAS SUCH A
GOOD SWIMMER WAS BECAUSE HE ATE LOTS OF TAPIOCA PUDDING.
HE SAID THAT HE WAS NOT "PUDDING" ME ON, BUT IT WAS REALLY
MADE FROM FISH-EYES.

Submitter comment: HER FATHER, JOHN ARTHUR "DUTCH" GRUBER, ONCE SWAM ACROSS
THE DETROIT RIVER, AND BACK AGAIN. HE DIED IN 1978.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; Sterling Heights

Keyword(s): DESSERT ; WATER

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Pastry Sweet Dessert
BELIEF -- Secular hero
BELIEF -- Fish
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal

Date learned: 00001940S

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