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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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IRISH CUSTOM

IT IS BAD LUCK TO GIVE A PURSE AS A GIFT WITHOUT PUTTING A PENNY
OR MORE IN IT. THE PENNY SYMBOLIZES THAT THE PURSE SHOULD
ALWAYS BE FILLED WITH MONEY. THE SAME IS TRUE OF A WALLET.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT IS AMERICAN BORN OF AN IRISH FAMILY IN WHICH THE
CUSTOM HAS BEEN BELIEVED FOR AS LONG AS THE FAMILY CAN
REMEMBER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Measure of quality Monetary systemMoneyWealth

Date learned: 11-23-1963

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GEORGIA NEW YEAR'S EVE CUSTOM

"WHENEVER YOU'D GET A KNIFE AS A GIFT ON NEW YEAR'S EVE,
YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO GIVE THE PERSON A COIN IN RETURN
SO THAT YOUR FRIENDSHIP WOULDN'T BE CUT IN TWO DURING THE NEXT YEAR"

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT STATED THAT A VARIATION OF THIS CUSTOM WAS PRACTICED
BY BRANCHES OF HER FAMILY IN WHICH THE CUSTOM WAS EXTENDED
TO INCLUDE OTHER HOLIDAYS AND BIRTHDAYS.

Where learned: OHIO ; FLORIDA ; ALLIANCE ; EUSTIS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 31 New Year's Eve
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Measure of time Year
BELIEF -- Measure of quality Monetary systemMoneyWealth

Date learned: 11-13-1980 ; 00001920S

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ALABAMA SUPERSTITION

"IF YOU GIVE SOMEONE A GIFT OF A PURSE OR A WALLET, YOU SHOULD
PUT A COIN IN IT TO BRING THE PERSON GOOD LUCK".

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT LEARNED THIS ITEM AS A CHILD IN BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA
FROM HIS MOTHER, CIRCA 1928. SHE FIRST LEARNED IT FROM HER MOTHER
IN ALABAMA CIRCA 1900.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ALABAMA ; DETROIT ; BIRMINGHAM

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Measure of quality Monetary systemMoneyWealth
BELIEF -- Good luck

Date learned: 11-22-1980 ; 00-00-1928 ; 00-00-1900

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SUPERSTITION

IF YOUR PALM ITCHES YOU WILL SOON RECEIVE UNEXPECTED MONEY.

Where learned: DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Measure of quality Monetary systemMoneyWealth
BELIEF -- Sensations and involuntary actions Itching hands and feet

Date learned: 00-00-1981

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BAD LUCK OMEN

IF YOU SPILL SALT, THERE WILL BE A FIGHT BETWEEN YOU AND ANOTHER
PERSON. IF YOU SPILL PEPPER, MONEY WILL COME TO YOU THAT DAY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Mineral
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Measure of quality Monetary systemMoneyWealth

Date learned: 00-00-1946

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LUCK

A WAY OF RECEIVING GOOD LUCK IN THE FORM OF MONEY IS DONE BY
SPITTING ON THE SIDEWALK. AFTER SOMEONE DOES THIS, THEY CAN
EXPECT TO FIND MONEY ON THE GROUND SOON AFTERWARD.

Where learned: DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Measure of quality Monetary systemMoneyWealth
BELIEF -- Magic of Speech, Sign, Color
BELIEF -- Good luck
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 10-10-1981

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IF YOUR RIGHT HAND ITCHES YOU WILL RECEIVE SOME MONEY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): RIGHT LEFT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Measure of quality Monetary systemMoneyWealth
BELIEF -- Sensations and involuntary actions Itching hands and feet

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WEARING WET CLOTHES BRINGS POVERTY. (THIS BELIEF TEACHES PEOPLE TO
AVOID CATCHING COLD.)

Where learned: TANZANIA ; EAST AFRICA

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Measure of quality Monetary systemMoneyWealth
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 03-00-1982

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THE FIRST DOLLAR A MAN EARNS SHOULD BE HUNG PROMINENTLY ON A WALL AT
HIS PLACE OF BUSINESS TO BRING GOOD LUCK.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT'S PARENTS WERE BORN IN LEBANON, AND HIS FATHER PLACED A
DOLLAR FROM THE FIRST PAYCHECK HE EARNED IN THE U.S. ABOVE THE FRONT
DOOR OF HIS HOME SINCE HE DID NOT HAVE HIS OWN PLACE OF BUSINESS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; FRASER

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Home
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Work Commerce Business
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Wall Partition Door Window
BELIEF -- Measure of quality Monetary systemMoneyWealth
BELIEF -- Good luck Money

Date learned: 03-00-1982

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THE JEWISH PEOPLE CONSIDER IT VERY GOOD LUCK IF YOU HAVE 17 CENTS
IN YOUR POCKET.

Submitter comment: LEARNED IN BROOKLYN, NEW YORK

Where learned: NEW YORK ; BROOKLYN

Subject headings: Favorites
BELIEF -- Measure of quality Monetary systemMoneyWealth
BELIEF -- Number P686.1.17
BELIEF -- Good luck Money

Date learned: 00-00-1975

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ON NEW YEAR'S EVE, WE ALWAYS EAT BLACK-EYED PEAS AND GREENS,
BECAUSE BLACK-EYED PEAS BRING LUCK AND GREENS BRING MONEY.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT TOLD ME SHE LEARNED THIS FROM HER HUSBAND WHO IS
FROM THE SOUTH.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): HOMEOPATHIC

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 31 New Year's Eve
Food Drink -- Typical menus for the various meals For meal hours, see F574.84. Special or festive meals
BELIEF -- Measure of quality Monetary systemMoneyWealth
BELIEF -- Color
BELIEF -- Good luck Food and drink

Date learned: 02-00-1982

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ITCH IN THE PALM OF THE HAND

IF THE PALM OF THE HAND ITCHES IT MEANS THAT YOUR GOING TO GET SOME
UNEXPECTED/SURPRISING MONEY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses Hands, palms, fingernails
BELIEF -- Measure of quality Monetary systemMoneyWealth
BELIEF -- Sensations and involuntary actions Itching hands and feet

Date learned: 12-00-1982

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CURE FOR WARTS

TO RID YOURSELF OF A WART, RUB A PENNY ON IT AND TAKE THE
PENNY TO THE NEAREST CROSSROAD. THROW THE PENNY OVER YOUR
LEFT SHOULDER AND LEAVE WITHOUT LOOKING BACK. THE NEXT
PERSON FINDING THE PENNY WILL ALSO GET THE WART. THIS
WAS TOLD TO ME AROUND 1970 BY MY GRANDMOTHER, MARY GIBBLE,
IN KALAMAZOO. SHE ALSO TOLD ME THAT SHE TRIED THE CURE
YEARS AGO AND IT WORKED.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT LATER TOLD ME THAT MRS. GIBBLE WAS BORN IN
SWITZERLAND AND EMIGRATED TO THE UNITED STATES AROUND 1920.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ROYAL OAK

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION ; TRANSFER

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Measure of quality Monetary systemMoneyWealth
BELIEF -- Method of Curing

Date learned: 09-00-1982

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GIFT GIVING BELIEF

IF YOU GIVE A PERSON A KNIFE AS A GIFT, YOU MUST ALSO
INCLUDE A PENNY IN THE PACKAGE. FAILING TO INCLUDE A
PENNY ALONG WITH THE GIFT RISKS SEVERING THE FRIENDSHIP.
I REMEMBER HEARING THIS FROM MY MOTHER AROUND 1957.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT LATER REMEMBERED RECEIVING A SET OF KNIVES
AROUND 1967 WITH A PENNY INCLUDED. THE INFORMANT'S
MOTHER'S NAME IS LOUISE WILSON, BORN APRIL 27, 1911,
IN ALABAMA.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Measure of quality Monetary systemMoneyWealth

Date learned: 09-00-1982

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SUPERSTITION

IF YOUR PALM ITCHES, YOU ARE GOING TO GET MONEY FROM
SOMEONE.

Where learned: SOUTHFIELD

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses Hands, palms, fingernails
BELIEF -- Measure of quality Monetary systemMoneyWealth
BELIEF -- Sensations and involuntary actions Itching hands and feet

Date learned: 00001970S

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ALWAYS HAVE MONEY IN YOUR POCKET ON NEW YEARS DAY AND YOU WILL
ALL DURING THE YEAR.

Where learned: DETROIT

Subject headings: Observation
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
BELIEF -- Measure of time Year
BELIEF -- Measure of quality Monetary systemMoneyWealth

Date learned: 00001950S

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DONT PUT YOUR PURSE ON THE FLOOR OR YOUR MONEY WILL BE LOW.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT LIVES BY THIS ONE.

Where learned: DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): HOMEOPATHIC

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Measure of quality Monetary systemMoneyWealth
BELIEF -- Good luck Money
BELIEF -- Bad luck Money

Date learned: 00001950S

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IF A PERSON KEEPS A CLOVE OF GARLIC IN HIS PURSE OR WALLET,
HE WILL ALWAYS HAVE SOME MONEY.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT HEARD THIS FROM A POLISH FRIEND.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Plant
BELIEF -- Measure of quality Monetary systemMoneyWealth

Date learned: 03-00-1983

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ON NEW YEAR'S EVE YOU SHOULD SERVE SOME COLLARD GREENS
MIXED WITH SOME TURNIP GREENS BECAUSE THIS WILL INSURE
THAT MONEY WILL COME TO YOU IN THE NEW YEAR.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 31 New Year's Eve
Food Drink -- Typical menus for the various meals For meal hours, see F574.84. Special or festive meals
Food Drink -- Plant food Vegetable
BELIEF -- Measure of time Year
BELIEF -- Measure of quality Monetary systemMoneyWealth

Date learned: 04-00-1983

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