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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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MENSTRUAL PRACTICE

"WE MADE OUR OWN NAPKINS SINCE THE COMMERCIAL TYPES WERE NOT
AVAILABLE. THEY, THE NAPKINS, WERE MADE OF FLANNEL AND LAUNDERED
BY US."
"THE WATER THAT WE USED WHEN WE LAUNDERED THEM WAS NEVER POURED
INTO THE PUBLIC SEWER BUT ALWAYS POURED ON THE GROUND IN THE YARD."

Submitter comment: PRACTISED AS A GIRL AT HOME.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Maturity

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HOW TWO MEDICINE LAKE GOT ITS NAME

WHEN THE GOVERNMENT SET ASIDE A TRACT OF LAND IN NORTHERN MONTANA
FOR A NATIONAL PARK, ONE OF THE TASKS WAS TO GIVE NAMES TO MANY
OF THE NATURAL FEATURES--STREAMS, MOUNTAINS, ETC. ON THE SHORES
OF TWO MEDICINE LAKE THERE WERE FOUND THE REMAINS OF TWO OLD
MEDICINE LODGES, USED AT ONE TIME TO HOUSE THE INITIATION CEREMONY
MAKING YOUNG BLACKFOOT INDIAN BOYS OFFICIALLY MEN OF THE TRIBE.
THE LAKE WAS FIRST CALLED THE LAKE OF THE TWO MEDICINE LODGES,
OR A SIMILAR TITLE. BY CONSTANT USE, THE NAME WAS SHORTENED,
UNTIL TODAY IT BEARS THE NAME TWO MEDICINE LAKE.

Submitter comment: AS WAS TOLD TO ME BY A FOREST RANGER AT GLACIER NATIONAL PARK
IN AUGUST, 1969.

Where learned: GLACIER NATIONAL PARK

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Explanation of a name
BELIEF -- Maturity

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GODPARENTS

CONFIRMATION SPONSORS AND GODPARENTS GIVE PRESENTS AS PROTECTION
FROM EVIL.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

James Callow Keyword(s): BAPTISM ; GIFTGIVING

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

Date learned: CA1963-1975

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PROVERBIAL APOTHEGM

THE ONLY DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MEN AND BOYS IS THE PRICE OF THEIR TOYS

Submitter comment: THIS WAS TOLD TO INFORMANT IN 1969 BY A MARRIED MAN
ABOUT 21 YEARS OF AGE. THE MAN SAW IT AS A TRUE PROVERB.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN HEIGHTS

James Callow Keyword(s): INTERNAL RHYME ; OBSERVATION ; QUALITY

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Maturity
PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim
PROVERB -- Blason Populaire

Date learned: 03-10-1970

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WISDOM TEETH

WHEN YOUR WISDOM TEETH COME IN HALF YOUR LIFE IS OVER.

Where learned: DETROIT ; MICHIGAN, ASSUMED

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses Hands, palms, fingernails
BELIEF -- Maturity

Date learned: 10-20-1968

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SNIENEE

SNIENEE IS THE LEBANESE NAME FOR THE FIRST TOOTH THAT THE BABY GETS.
IT MEANS SWEET ONE WHICH REFERS TO THE FIRST TASTE OF ANYTHING
IS ALWAYS THE BEST.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; NORTH QUAD

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
BELIEF -- Maturity
PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

Date learned: 03-24-1970

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SUPERSTITION

SAVE THE FIRST PIECE OF HAIR CUT FROM A BABY'S
HEAD, BECAUSE IF IT IS PRESERVED IN A SAFE PLACE
THE CHILD WILL LIVE TO BE VERY OLD.

Where learned: OHIO

Keyword(s): FIRST HAIRCUT

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Maturity
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 03-06-1971

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PROVERBIAL APOTHEGM

THE ONLY DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MEN AND BOYS IS THE PRICE OF THEIR TOYS

Submitter comment: THIS WAS TOLD TO INFORMANT IN 1969 BY A MARRIED MAN
ABOUT 21 YEARS OF AGE. THE MAN SAW IT AS A TRUE PROVERB.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN HEIGHTS

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Maturity
PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim
PROVERB -- Blason Populaire

Date learned: 03-10-1970

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PUBERTY SUPERSTITION

LIVING IN A FARM COMMUNITY, W E BOYS ALWAYS WENT
SWIMMING IN THE NUDE. THE OLDER BOYS, NATURALLY, FILLED
OUR HEADS WITH SOME STRANGE IDEAS ABOUT SEX. WE WERE
TOLD (WE BEING THE BOYS APPROACHING THE AGE OF
PUBERTY) THAT RUBBING CIGARETTE ASHES IN THE PUBIC
AREA WOULD ENCOURAGE THE GROWTH OF BODY HAIR. SINCE
WE WERE CONCERNED ABOUT SUCH SECONDARY SEX CHARACTERISTICS
THIS LET TO AN INCREASE IN SMOKING, AT LEAST WHEN WE WERE
WITH THE OLDER BOYS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; NORTH BRANCH

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Maturity
BELIEF -- Maturity
BELIEF -- Remedy

Date learned: 00-00-1942

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Never let young girls wear make-up before age 13 for she may
become a mother before her custom allows.

Submitter comment: My mother explain to me at 12 that I could not wear makeup
until I was 13 years of age because I cannot become a grown lady
before my time.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): COSMETICS

Subject headings: 686 Seconds / Twice / Two
686 Specific number by specific number being described
BELIEF -- Birth
BELIEF -- Maturity

Date learned: 00-00-1987

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BELIEVED THAT I WOULD LIVE ON A CLOUD OVER PARIS WHEN I
TURNED 8 YEARS OLD.

Submitter comment: GRANDMOTHER LIVED IN PARIS--THAT'S WHERE I BELONG.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Maturity

Date learned: 11-02-1971

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WHEN I WAS A CHILD, WE USED TO BELIEVE THAT YOU WOULD NOT BE
HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR YOUR SINS UNTIL YOU REACHED YOUR
TWELFTH BIRTHDAY.
WE USED TO SAY, "AS SOON AS I'M TWELVE, I'M GOING TO THE
ALTAR TO GET SAVED."

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; PEABODY COLLEGE ; NASHVILLE

James Callow Keyword(s): AGE OF REASON

Subject headings: 686 Seconds / Twice / Two
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Private birthday or anniversary
BELIEF -- Maturity

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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IF YOU PUT A TOOTH THAT YOU HAVE PULLED OUT UNDER YOUR
PILLOW AT NIGHT, THE GOOD FAIRY WILL COME AND TAKE YOUR
TOOTH AND LEAVE YOU SOME MONEY.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; PEABODY COLLEGE ; NASHVILLE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Fairy Elf Goblin Gnome
BELIEF -- Body part Senses Mouth, teeth, lips, tongue
BELIEF -- Maturity

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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IF A BABY SEES HIMSELF IN A MIRROR BEFORE ONE YEAR OF AGE, IT
IS BAD LUCK.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
BELIEF -- Birth
BELIEF -- Maturity
BELIEF -- Bad luck Mirror

Date learned: 07-08-1970

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AN UGLY INFANT MAKES A HANDSOME ADULT AND VICE VERSA.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE ; PEABODY COLLEGE LIBRARY

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Birth
BELIEF -- Maturity
BELIEF -- Fate Destiny Luck Chance

Date learned: 04-01-1969

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ON YOUR BIRTHDAY, MAKE A WISH WHEN BLOWING OUT THE CANDLES
OF THE CAKE AND HOWEVER MANY BREATHS IT TAKES TO BLOW THEM
ALL OUT, EQUALS HOW MANY YEARS IT WILL TAKE FOR THE WISH
TO COME TRUE.

Submitter comment: LEARNED FROM PARENTS

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Maturity
BELIEF -- Prayer
BELIEF -- Number

Date learned: 00-00-1952

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IT IS BAD LUCK TO CUT A BABY'S FINGERNAILS BEFORE IT IS A YEAR
OLD. IF THE NAIL GETS SO LONG THAT THE BABY IS SCRATCHING
HIMSELF, YOU SHOULD BITE OFF THE NAILS.

Submitter comment: COUNTRY PEOPLE IN EASTERN KENTUCKY BELIEVED IN THIS SUPERSTI-

Where learned: KENTUCKY EASTERN

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
BELIEF -- Body part Senses Hands, palms, fingernails
BELIEF -- Maturity
BELIEF -- Bad luck Body parts and functions

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