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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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MEXICAN GOOD LUCK

THE MEXICANS HAVE A CHARM WHICH IS A CLOSED FIST WITH A BRACELET.
THIS IS PROTECTION FROM THE EVIL EYE.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

James Callow Keyword(s): AMULET TALISMAN

Subject headings: Charm / Enchantment / Conjuration
BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Curse
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: CA1963-1975

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BUILDING A FIRE

WITCHES BUILD A FIRE IN THE OPEN AND DRAW A MAGIC
CIRCLE ABOUT IT WITH A SWORD. MEN AND WOMEN ALTERNATELY JOIN
HANDS AND QUICKEN THEIR PACE, FROM A WALK
TO A RUN, CHANTING ANCIENT RITES.

Submitter comment:

Taken from 1967 "Life" magazine.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MOUNT PLEASANT

Subject headings: 646
BELIEF -- Witch Shaman
BELIEF -- Curse
BELIEF -- Use of Object

Date learned: 10-28-1971

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JAMAICAN CURSE

IF YOU WANT TO GET RID OF ANYONE GO TO A RELATIVE'S GRAVE AND
SPRINKLE RICE AROUND IT' THEN, TRAIL THE RICE TO YOUR ENEMY,S
YARD. HE WILL BE DEAD THE NEXT DAY.

Submitter comment: DONALD LEE LEARNED THIS ITEM IN BUFF BAY, JAMAICA.

Where learned: JAMAICA ; BUFF BAY

James Callow Keyword(s): CONTAGIOUS MAGIC

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Curse

Date learned: 10-31-1975

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CURSE

IT IS AN ITALIAN BELIEF THAT A CURSE CAN BE UNCONSCIOUSLY
WISHED UPON YOU. IF YOU GET THE CURSE, THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN RID
YOURSELF OF IT IS TO HAVE THREE PEOPLE TRY TO GET RID OF IT. THEY
GET RID OF IT BE RECITING A SPECIAL CHANT. THE WORDS TO THE CHANT
CAN ONLY BE LEARNED ON CHRISTMAS EVE.

Submitter comment: THIS WAS TOLD TO MY INFORMANT BY HER COUSIN IN ITALY. EVERYONE IN
HER FAMILY HAD HEARD OF THE CURSE, BUT NO ONE KNEW THE WORDS TO CURE
IT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): NUMBERS

Subject headings: 686 Thirds / Thrice / Three / Triple
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Belief Belief
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20
BELIEF -- Curse
SPEECH -- Formula

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BELIEF CONCERNING DEVIL

IN THE UKRAINE, TO SEE IF HER
BABY IS BEWITCHED, THE MOTHER LICKS
IT'S FOREHEAD AND IF SHE DETECTS
A SALTY TASTE, THE BABY IS UNDER THE
INFLUENCE OF THE DEVIL.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT ;

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Curse

Date learned: 03-08-1971

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EVIL EYE IN INDIA

IF THE EYE HAS BEEN CAST UPON YOU
YOU WILL GET SICK OR SOMETHING BAD WILL HAPPEN.
TO TAKE IT AWAY YOU MUST WAVE A MIXTURE OF RED CHILES
AND SALT OVER THE CHILD'S HEAD. AT THE SAME TIME
YOU RECITE A CRADLE AND END UP BY WAVING OVER THE
HEAD IN THE SHAPE OF A CROSS.
THEN YOU MUST THROW IT INTO THE FIRE TO BURN.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT ; TOLD AT INFORMANTS HOME ; EAST QUAD

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Curse

Date learned: 03-05-1971

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HEXING MULES

MR. REJAN HAD A GOOD SPAN OF YOUNG MULES THAT
HE WAS AFRAID TO SHOW OFF FOR FEAR SOMEBODY
WOULD WANT TO BUY THEM AND THEY WOULD BE HEXED.

Submitter comment: SEEMS LIKE THE EVIL EYE.

Where learned: NOT GIVEN

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Curse

Date learned: 02-01-1971

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VACILE SAYS THAT THE GREEK PEOPLE ARE
BELIEVERS IN THE EVIL EYE. IF SOMEONE
LOOKS AT YOU IN THAT FASHION
YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO GET SICK OR DIE.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; STUDENT UNION ; TOLD IN

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Curse

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SWEEP

IF SOMEONE HAS A GRUDGE AGAINST YOU, DON'T
LET THEM SWEEP DUST UNDER YOUR RUG
BECAUSE THAT IS A SIGN THAT THEY HAVE A FIX ON YOU.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT LEARNED IN CHILDHOOD.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT ; BRIGGS BUILDING

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Curse

Date learned: 03-05-1971

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EVIL EYE DISTRACTION

TO PREVENT A CHILD FROM BEING OVERCOME BY THE
EVIL EYE THE PEOPLE FROM INDIA PUT A BLACK
SPOT ON THE FOREHEAD OF THE CHILD,
THUS DISTRACTING FROM IT'S BEAUTY AND
KEEPING THE EVIL EYE AWAY.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT ; EAST QUAD

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Curse

Date learned: 03-05-1971

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CURSE

IF YOU WANT SOME KIND OF MISFORTUNE TO
HAPPEN ON A PERSON YOU WRITE THE CURSE ON A
YELLOW PIECE OF PAPER AND YOU BURN IT.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT LEARNED THIS SUPERSTITION IN TAIWAN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT ; LANGUAGE DEPARTMENT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Curse

Date learned: 02-12-1971

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SUPERSTITION EVIL EYE

MY MOTHER USED TO BELIEVE THAT PEOPLE CAME
AND CARRIED YOUR SLEEP AWAY,
ESPECIALLY IF THERE WAS
A NEW BABY .
IF A STRANGER STARES AT THE BABY THEY
TAKE THE SLEEP AWAY.
TO UNDO THIS YOU TAKE A HOT COAL
FROM THE FIRE AND DROP IT IN A TALL GLASS
OF WATER. IF IT DOES NOT SINK, THEN IT IS TRUE
THAT THE PERSON HAD WICKED EYES.
IF THE COAL GOES TO THE BOTTOM THE BABY WILL
GO TO SLEEP. SHE WOULD ALSO
TAKE A DRINK OF THE WATER AND SHE WOULD
MAKE THE SIGN OF THE CROSS OVER THE WATER.

Submitter comment: THE MOTHER OF MARY ABRAMS WAS BORN IN HUNGARY AND
RAISED IN EUROPE. SHE CAME TO THE UNITED STATES AND
LIVED ON A FARM IN SCANTON, PENN.
WITH HER HUSBAND AND FAMILY.

Where learned: TOLD AT INFORMANTS HOME

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Curse

Date learned: 11-10-1970

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EVIL EYE (ITALIAN)

IF AN ITALIAN FEARS HE HAS BEEN GIVEN THE "BAD EYE"
(USUALLY A HEADACHE IS INVOLVED).
YOU TAKE THREE SEPARATE DISHES OF COOL
WATER, EACH MUST BE GOTTEN IN THREE SEPARATE
TRIPS. THROW SALT IN EACH DISH IN THE
FORM OF A CROSS. TAKE A SMALL SPOON
WITH OIL AND DIP YOUR FINGERS IN THE OIL AND
DROP THREE SEPARATE DROPS IN EACH DISH,
WHILE THE DISH IS ON TOP OF THE EFFECTED PERSON'S HEAD.
WHILE DROPPING THE OIL THE PERSON EACH TIME
MAKES THE SIGN OF THE CROSS AND RECITES
THE CREED. IF THE OIL SPREADS THIS MEANS
THE PERSON DID HAVE THE "EVIL EYE" AND
IT HAS BEEN COUNTERACTED, IF THE OIL
STAYS LUMPED HE NEVER HAD THE EVIL EYE.

Submitter comment: SHE IS VERY DEFINITE THAT THIS REALLY WORKS
AND WAS ABLE TO RELATE INCIDENTS WHERE IT
HAS WORKED.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WARREN

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Curse

Date learned: 12-00-1969

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BELIEF IN THE EVIL EYE

IF SOMEONE HAS VERY VIVIDLY DARK BROWN EYES,
THEY MUST ONLY STARE AT YOU TO PLACE A HEX.
THE BELIEF IS ONE OF POLISH AMERICANS,
AND THE POLISH WORD IS OCZAROWANIA.

Where learned: TOLD AT COLLECTORS HOME

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Curse

Date learned: 10-25-1970

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EVIL EYE PREVENTION, (ITALIAN)

TO PREVENT THE "BAD EYE" A TRINKET
IN TE FORM OF A HAND
IN THE FORM OF A HAND WITH THE THUMB PLACED
BETWEEN THE FIRST AND SECOND FINGERS.
IT IS GOOD LUCK. IN ITALIAN IT IS CALLED "LO CORNNO FICO."

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WARREN

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Curse

Date learned: 01-00-1970

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CURSE

TO PUT A CURSE ON SOMEONE, YOU GET SOME
PERSONAL ITEMS OF THEIRS, SAY SOME
MAGIC WORDS AND THEN BURN IT.

Submitter comment: WHILE TRAVELLING AND LIVING IN LATIN AMERICA,
MR. MARCHETT HEARD THESE AND HE IN TURN
TOLD MY FRIEND WHILE THEY WERE WORKING TOGETHER.

Where learned: DETROIT ; IRA WILSON AND SONS CREAMERY

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Curse

Date learned: 02-28-1970

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BAD EYES

IF A PERSON LOOKS AT YOU ANGRILY,
THIS WILL IN SOME WAY CAUSE BAD LUCK.

Submitter comment: MR. MARCHETT WAS TOLD THIS WHILE HE LIVED AND TRAVELLED
IN LATIN AMERICA.

Where learned: DETROIT ; IRA WILSON AND SONS CREAMERY

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Curse

Date learned: 02-28-1970

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CURSE

IF YOU HAVE PEACOCK FEATHERS IN YOUR HOUSE, A CURSE
CAN BE PUT ON YOU MORE RAPIDLY.

Where learned: DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Curse

Date learned: 02-00-1968

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EGYPTIAN CURSE

MAY ALL YOUR TEETH FALL OUT BUT ONE,
AND MAY THAT ONE GIVE YOU A TOOTHACHE.

Where learned: NOT GIVEN

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Curse

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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HUNGARIAN CURSE

MENGY A ANAYD KYNADBA
MAY YOU GO INTO YOUR MOTHER'S SUFFERINGS.

Where learned: NOT GIVEN

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Curse

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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