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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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BELIEF

IF YOU FORGET TO WASH THE TEAPOT OR COFFEEPOT AFTER YOU HAVE
COMPANY, IT MEANS THOSE GUESTS WILL RETURN AGAIN.

Submitter comment: I LEARNED THIS BELIEF FROM MY MOTHER WHO MENTIONED IT ABOUT
FIVE YEARS AGO WHEN WE FORGOT TO WASH A TEAPOT. SHE LEARNED IT
FROM HER GRANDMOTHER WHO WAS IRISH.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BIRMINGHAM

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Home
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Measure of time Working

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SEWING SUPERSTITION

IF YOU SEW ON SUNDAY YOU WILL HAVE TO TAKE OUT EACH STITCH IN HELL
WITH YOUR NOSE.

Submitter comment: MRS. GROVE LEAREND THIS IN SOMERSET, PENNSYLVANIA, APPROXIMATELY
FORTY YEARS AGO.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour
BELIEF -- Measure of time Working

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JAMAICAN SUPERSTITION

IT'S BAD LUCK TO SWEEP THE HOUSE AFTER 6 O'CLOCK AT NIGHT.

Submitter comment: LEARNED FROM A LADY-FRIEND FROM JAMAICA.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; JAMAICA

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour
BELIEF -- Measure of time Working
BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 01-01-1964

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LUCK

IF SOMEONE ACCIDENTALLY SWEEPS YOUR FOOT WITH A BROOM, TO COUNTERACT
THE BAD LUCK YOU SPIT ON THE BROOM. INFORMANT SAID HIS MOTHER DID
THIS OFTEN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Favorites
BELIEF -- Measure of time Working
BELIEF -- Fate Destiny Luck Chance
BELIEF -- Conversions

Date learned: 11-06-1972

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LUCK

TO SWEEP TRASH OUT OF A DOOR AT NIGHT MEANS THAT YOU ARE SWEEPING YOUR LUCK AWAY.
INFORMANT SAID HER MOTHER TOLD HER THIS, AND SHE BELIEVED IT.

Where learned: SOUTH CAROLINA

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Measure of time Ruler or historic event
BELIEF -- Measure of time Working
BELIEF -- Fate Destiny Luck Chance
BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.21
BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.21

Date learned: 10-25-1972

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DON'T IRON YOUR HUSBAND'S SHIRT TAIL. HE WILL LEAVE YOU.

Where learned: DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): IRONING DESERTION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Marriage
BELIEF -- Marriage
BELIEF -- Measure of time Working

Date learned: 09-08-1972

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DON'T SWEEP THE DIRT IN YOUR HOUSE OUTDOORS AFTER SUNDOWN,
YOU'LL SWEEP A MEMBER OUT OF THE FAMILY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Home
BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour
BELIEF -- Measure of time Working

Date learned: 05-08-1972

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NEW YEAR CUSTOM

NEVER SEW, COOK, IRON, WASH ON NEW YEAR OR
YOU WILL BE WASHING SOMEONE OUT OF THE FAMILY.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20
BELIEF -- Measure of time Working

Date learned: 01-20-1971

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NEW YEAR'S DAY

BETTER TO WASH CLOTHES ON NEW YEAR'S THAN DURING THAT WEEK.
IT BRINGS IN GOOD LUCK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
BELIEF -- Measure of time Working
BELIEF -- Good luck

Date learned: 03-00-1979

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CUSTOM ; BELIEF

OUR FAMILY NEVER LEFT DISHES IN THE SINK AT NIGHT BECAUSE IF THEY DID
MOTHER MARY OF CHRIST WOULD HAVE TO DO THEM, AND IT WOULD PLACE A
BURDEN ON HER.

Submitter comment: THIS COMES FROM THE SLAVIC CHRUCH TRADITION (VIA MOTHER) AND IS
FOLLOWED IN INFORMANT'S HOME.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; COLLECTORS HOME

Subject headings: Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Daily Life
BELIEF -- Religious hero
BELIEF -- Measure of time Working

Date learned: 01-00-1979

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IT IS BAD LUCK TO SHAKE OUT A TABLECLOTH AFTER SUNDOWN

Where learned: DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour
BELIEF -- Measure of time Working
BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 03-00-1980

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HAUNTED HOUSE AT MEMPHIS MICHIGAN

THE HAUNTED HOUSE AT MEMPHIS, MICHIGAN WAS DESERTED FOR 20 YEARS.
BUT YET EVERY MONDAY DIRRENCE (SIC) CLOTHES ARE REPORTED TO BE SEEN
HANGING ON A CLOTHESLINE. BONES ARE REPORTED ALSO SEEN IN THE
BASEMENT.

Submitter comment: FROM GRANDFATHER

Where learned: LIVING ROOM

James Callow Keyword(s): PHANTOM WASHING OF CLOTHES

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour
BELIEF -- Measure of time Working

Date learned: 10-05-1967

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SUPERSTITION

IF YOU SEE A SPIDER SPINNING HER WEB IN THE MORNING YOU WILL
HAVE BAD LUCK. BUT, IF YOU SEE THE SPIDER SPINNING HER WEB AT
EVENING YOU WILL HAVE GOOD LUCK.

Where learned: ILLINOIS ; JACKSONVILLE

Keyword(s): INSECTS: SPIDERS

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Insect
BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour
BELIEF -- Measure of time Working
BELIEF -- Good luck P881.33
BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.33

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IF A WOMAN IS SWEEPING A ROOM AND TOUCHES YOU WITH HER BROOM,
YOU WILL NEVER GET A WOMAN.

Submitter comment: THIS IS BELIEVED IN NIGERIA.

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

Subject headings: Favorites
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Marriage
BELIEF -- Measure of time Working

Date learned: 10-00-1981

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GOOD LUCK

IF YOU ARE WORKING AND YOU STUMBLE ON A ROCK WITH YOUR RIGHT FOOT,
GOOD LUCK IN THE FUTURE. IF IT IS THE LEFT FOOT THEN THE FUTURE
HOLDS BAD LUCK.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT LEARNED THIS IN NIGERIA.

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

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Measure of time Working
BELIEF -- Good luck
BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 10-00-1981

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PARING THE FINGER-NAILS AT NIGHT (IN THE DARK) BRINGS POVERTY. (IF
YOU CUT YOUR FINGER-NAILS AT NIGHT YOU WILL RUN THE RISK OF CUTTING
YOUR FINGER TIPS AND THUS STOPPING YOURSELF FROM ATTENDING TO YOUR
WORK.)

Where learned: TANZANIA ; EAST AFRICA

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses Hands, palms, fingernails
BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour
BELIEF -- Measure of time Working

Date learned: 03-00-1982

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DO NOT SEW OR CUT ON SUNDAY BECAUSE IT IS THE SABBATH.

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

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour
BELIEF -- Measure of time Working

Date learned: 03-00-1982

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CREOLE BELIEF

DON'T SWEEP DIRT OUTSIDE AFTER DARK BECAUSE IT'S BAD LUCK.

Where learned: CALIFORNIA ; BREAUX BRIDGE ; LOS ANGELES

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour
BELIEF -- Measure of time Working
BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 00-00-1930

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WASHING ON NEW YEAR'S DAY MEANS YOU ARE WASHING ONE OF YOUR FAMILY
MEMBERS AWAY.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT SPECIFICALLY MEANT LAUNDERED ITEMS AND DEATH.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MUSKEGON

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Measure of time Working

Date learned: 09-19-1982

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MY MOTHER WAS ALWAYS ON US ON NEW YEAR'S EVE TO GET ALL OUR
WORK AND CHORES DONE BY THE END OF THE DAY, BECAUSE IF YOU
DON'T GET EVERYTHING DONE THAT YOU HAVE TO, IT WILL FOLLOW
YOU INTO THE NEW YEAR, AND YOU'LL BE LATE THE WHOLE NEXT YEAR.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SOUTHFIELD

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 31 New Year's Eve
BELIEF -- Measure of time Year
BELIEF -- Measure of time Working

Date learned: 11-00-1983

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