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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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PLANT

THERE IS A TREE IN THE JUNGLES OF PANAMA WHICH IS SQUARE.

Submitter comment: MISS ZITZEWITZ LEARNED OF THIS FROM HER MOTHER AS A CHILD.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Plant
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Angular forms

Date learned: 10-01-1963

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HEX CHARM

THE GERMANS HAVE A CHARM WHICH IS A CIRCLE WITH POINTS. IT REMOVES A
CURSE IF IT IS WORN EVERY DAY FOR A MONTH.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

James Callow Keyword(s): AMULET TALISMAN

Subject headings: Charm / Enchantment / Conjuration
BELIEF -- Measure of time Month
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Circle and other round forms
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Angular forms
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: CA1963-1975

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AT EASTER THE GREEK PEOPLE DECORATE EGGS WITH PAINTINGS AND
SEQUINS. MANY CONTAIN TRIANGLES WHICH IS THE SIGN OF THE TRINITY.
IT IS CONSIDERED A PRIVILEGE TO GET ONE AND IT IS KEPT IN THE
FAMILY AND HANDED DOWN FROM GENERATION TO GENERATION.

Submitter comment:

THESE EGGS ARE CALLED RESURRECTION EGGS.

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; SCRANTON

Keyword(s): SYMBOL

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Easter eggs
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Angular forms

Date learned: 03-01-1972

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POLISH CUSTOM

WHEN A GYPSY PEDDLER CAME TO A POLISH HOUSEHOLD, THE LADY OF THE
HOUSE WOULD TUCK A CORNER OF HER APRON INTO THE WAISTBAND ABOVE THE
DIAGONALLY OPPOSITE CORNER SO THAT THE GYPSY WOULD NOT CHEAT HER
ON ANY SALES.
MY GRANDMOTHER LEARNED THIS WHILE SHE WAS GIRL IN WARSAW IN
THE EARLY 1900'S.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; POLAND ; WARSAW ; COLLECTED IN DETROIT

Keyword(s): GYPSY POLISH SALES

Subject headings: Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Work Commerce Business
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Angular forms

Date learned: 10-05-1967

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SUPERSTITION

IF YOU COUNT STARS, ONE WILL FALL ON YOU.

Submitter comment: THIS IS NOT STRONGLY BELIEVED BUT PRACTICED ON A "IT COULDN'T
HURT" BASIS. PERHAPS THIS SUPERSTITION CAME ABOUT BECAUSE OF
THE MYSTERY OF THE HEAVENS. ALSO MAYBE SOMEONE WAS ONCE
COUNTING STARS AND SAW A FALLING STAR.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Star
BELIEF -- Celestial body come to earth
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Angular forms
BELIEF -- Number Counting beliefs

Date learned: 10-10-1977

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IF A SPOON AND A FORK ARE CROSSED, IT MEANS BAD LUCK.

Submitter comment:

MR. MARCHETT WAS TOLD THIS BY HIS RELATIVES WHILE
HE VISITED IN LATIN AMERICA.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): Bad ; Fork ; LUCK ; OMEN ; SIGN ; Spoon ; UTENSILS

James Callow Keyword(s): DIRECTION ; POSITION ; Silverware

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Service Table furnishing and decoration Implement to handle food
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Angular forms
BELIEF -- Bad luck Eating utensils

Date learned: 02-28-1970

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THE REASON WHY IT'S BAD LUCK TO WALK UNDER A LADDER
IS BECAUSE THE TWO SIDES OF THE LADDER AND THE
FLOOR REPRESENT THE TRIANGLE OF THE HOLY TRINITY
AND TO PASS THROUGH IT IS AN INVASION OF HEAVEN
AND BREAKS THE TRINITY.

Where learned: ILLINOIS ; CHICAGO

Subject headings: Favorites
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Angular forms
BELIEF -- Bad luck Ladder (angles, pyramid, etc.)

Date learned: 02-00-1971

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IF YOU WALK UNDER A LADDER, YOU WILL HAVE SEVEN YEARS
BAD LUCK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

Subject headings: 686 Seven / Sevenths / Several
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Angular forms
BELIEF -- Bad luck Ladder (angles, pyramid, etc.)

Date learned: 10-30-1968

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DON'T WALK UNDER A LADDER OR YOU WILL HAVE BAD LUCK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Angular forms
BELIEF -- Bad luck Ladder (angles, pyramid, etc.)

Date learned: 11-22-1968

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WALKING UNDER A LADDER IS BAD LUCK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Angular forms
BELIEF -- Bad luck Ladder (angles, pyramid, etc.)

Date learned: 11-25-1969

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IT IS BAD LUCK TO WALK UNDER A LADDER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WYANDOTTE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Angular forms
BELIEF -- Bad luck Ladder (angles, pyramid, etc.)

Date learned: 10-20-1969

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WALKING UNDER A LADDER IS BAD LUCK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Angular forms
BELIEF -- Bad luck Ladder (angles, pyramid, etc.)

Date learned: 11-02-1970

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IF YOU WALK UNDER A LADDER, YOU WILL HAVE BAD LUCK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Angular forms
BELIEF -- Bad luck Ladder (angles, pyramid, etc.)

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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IF A LADDER IS LEARNING AGAINST THE HOUSE,
ALWAYS WALK AROUND IT OR BAD LUCK WILL FOLLOW.

Where learned: HOME

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Angular forms
BELIEF -- Bad luck Ladder (angles, pyramid, etc.)

Date learned: 10-00-1968

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WALKING UNDER A LADDER IS BAD LUCK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Angular forms
BELIEF -- Bad luck Ladder (angles, pyramid, etc.)

Date learned: 12-00-1967

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IF A PERSON WALKS UNDER A LADDER, HE WILL HAVE BAD
LUCK.

Submitter comment: LEARNED IN CHILDHOOD.

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

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Angular forms
BELIEF -- Bad luck Ladder (angles, pyramid, etc.)

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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IF YOU WALK UNDER A LADDER YOU WILL HAVE BAD LUCK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; EAST DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Angular forms
BELIEF -- Bad luck Ladder (angles, pyramid, etc.)

Date learned: 04-02-1967

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BAD LUCK WILL COME TO A PERSON WHO WALKS UNDER
A LADDER.

Submitter comment: HEARD THIS AS A CHILD.

Where learned: OHIO ; CANTON

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Angular forms
BELIEF -- Bad luck Ladder (angles, pyramid, etc.)

Date learned: 11-28-1967

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WALKING UNDER A LADDER (IS BAD LUCK.)

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Angular forms
BELIEF -- Bad luck Ladder (angles, pyramid, etc.)

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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DON'T WALK UNDER A LADDER (BAD LUCK.)

Where learned: BIG BOY RESTAURANT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Angular forms
BELIEF -- Bad luck Ladder (angles, pyramid, etc.)

Date learned: 11-15-1968

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