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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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KEEPING AWAY THE EVIL EYE

I CARRY IN MY CAR TO KEEP AWAY THE EVIL EYE AN ITALIAN CORNI HORN.

Submitter comment: THE HORN IS IN THE SHAPE OF A GOAT'S, AND IS MADE OF EITHER WOOD GOLD
OR PLASTIC. IT HAS AT IT'S TOP USUALLY A CROWN. IT CAN BE FOUND MOST
ANYWHERE IN ITALY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; RIVERVIEW

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Emblem
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 01-00-1974

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MAGICAL CURE

THE TOPAZ WILL CURE OR PROTECT FROM AN ILLNESS ANY PERSON WEARING THE
STONE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; FARMINGTON ; TOLD IN

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Emblem
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness
BELIEF -- Remedy

Date learned: 09-26-1972

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PATRON SAINT

ST. JOSEPH IS THE PATRON SAINT OF THE MALTESE AND WEARING HIS
MEDAL BRINGS GOOD LUCK.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): AMULET TALISMAN

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Religious hero
BELIEF -- Emblem
BELIEF -- Good luck P881.1

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MARIE LAVEAU

AMONG SOME OF THE MORE SUPERSTITIOUS NEGROES OF SOUTHERN LOUISIANA
AND NEW ORLEANS IN PARTICULAR, THERE IS A PERSISTENT BELIEF
IN MARIE LAVEAU, THE VOODOO QUEEN OF NEW ORLEANS. BELIEVERS
MARK WITH CHALK ON HER TOMB WALL AND ASK FOR SUPERNATURAL
ASSISTANCE. ALSO, IT'S BELIEVED THAT SOIL FROM HER GRAVE HAS
MAGICAL PROPERTIES SO IT IS USED IN DIFFERENT VOODOO RITES.
MARIE LAVEAU'S GRAVE IN NEW ORLEANS DATES BACK TO THE LATE 18TH
CENTURY AND IS A WELL KNOWN PLACE FOR VOODOO FOLLOWERS. NEW
ORLEANS ABOUNDS WITH LEGENDS AND STORIES OF HER FANTASTIC LIFE.

Data entry tech comment:

Informant and collector are the same person.

Where learned: LOUISIANA ; New Orleans

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Witch Shaman
BELIEF -- Explanation of a name
BELIEF -- Emblem
BELIEF -- Use of Object

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KEEPING AWAY EVIL

ITALIAN PEOPLE BELIEVE IN WEARING A HORN OR USING THE TWO FINGERED
HAND TO KEEP EVIL AWAY. SHE BELIEVES THAT THE CUSTOM IS NOT REALLY
FOLLOWED TODAY, ESPECIALLY IN THE U.S.

Submitter comment: SHE DELIVERED THIS ITEM TO ME IN A VERY OFF-HANDED MANNER. IT
APPEARS TO BE SOMETHING SHE WAS TOLD WHEN SHE WAS A LITTLE GIRL BUT
DOES NOT BELIEVE IN IT HERSELF.

Where learned: OHIO ; AKRON

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure
BELIEF -- Emblem
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 10-00-1976

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IF YOU FIND A COIN FACE UP, KEEP IT--ITS GOOD LUCK. BUT IF ITS
FACE DOWN, THROW IT AS FAR AWAY AS YOU CAN. IT MEANS BAD LUCK.

Where learned: CANADA ; CALGARY ; ALBERTA

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Circle and other round forms
BELIEF -- Emblem
BELIEF -- Fate Destiny Luck Chance

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TELLING FORTUNES-PROTECTION AT SEA

THE SEVENTH DAUGHTER OF SEVEN DAUGHTERS, BORN WITH A VEIL, CAN TELL
FORTUNES.
THIS VEIL IS THEN GIVEN TO A SEA CAPTAIN, SO THAT HE WILL NOT PERISH
AT SEA
(IRISH)

Submitter comment: MRS. DUNMIRE SAID THAT THIS HAPPENED TO HER MOTHER, AND THAT SHE
REALLY DID
HAVE THE POWER TO READ FORTUNES.

Where learned: HOME ; TOLD AT

Keyword(s): AMULET

Subject headings: 686 Seven / Sevenths / Several
Prophet / Seer / Soothsayer
Favorites
BELIEF -- Birth
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Emblem

Date learned: 01-00-1970

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MARIE LAVEAU

AMONG SOME OF THE MORE SUPERSTITIOUS NEGROES OF SOUTHERN LOUISIANA
AND NEW ORLEANS IN PARTICULAR, THERE IS A PERSISTENT BELIEF
IN MARIE LAVEAU, THE VOODOO QUEEN OF NEW ORLEANS. BELIEVERS
MARK WITH CHALK ON HER TOMB WALL AND ASK FOR SUPERNATURAL
ASSISTANCE. ALSO, IT'S BELIEVED THAT SOIL FROM HER GRAVE HAS
MAGICAL PROPERTIES SO IT IS USED IN DIFFERENT VOODOO RITES.
MARIE LAVEAU'S GRAVE IN NEW ORLEANS DATES BACK TO THE LATE 18TH
CENTURY AND IS A WELL KNOWN PLACE FOR VOODOO FOLLOWERS. NEW
ORLEANS ABOUNDS WITH STORIES AND LEGENDS OF HER FANTASTIC LIFE.

Where learned: LOUISIANA ; New Orleans

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Witch Shaman
BELIEF -- Explanation of a name
BELIEF -- Emblem
BELIEF -- Use of Object

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ALWAYS HAVE YOUR SUGAR BOWL FULL AND YOU WILL NEVER BE POOR.

Submitter comment: MY AUNT HAS ALWAYS BELIEVED THIS TO BE TRUE. WHEN SHE WAS YOUNGER,
AN UNCLE OF HERS TOLD HER THIS. WHENEVER SHE VISITS US, SHE ALWAYS
FILLS OUR SUGAR BOWLS. SHE IS NOW 78 YEARS OLD AND HAS NEVER BEEN
POOR. SOMEHOW SHE HAS ALWAYS BEEN ABLE TO AFFORD TO HAVE EXPENSIVE
ITEMS AND BEEN ABLE TO TRAVEL AROUND THE WORLD.
FULLNESS

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; PITTSBURGH

Subject headings: Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of quantity or weight Solid
BELIEF -- Measure of quantity or weight Solid
BELIEF -- Number Last events: the last person to the table...
BELIEF -- Emblem

Date learned: 11-24-1977

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EVIL EYE

ANYTHING BLUE OR WEARING THE EVIL EYE WILL KEEP PEOPLE FROM GIVING
YOU THE EVIL EYE

Submitter comment:

ALSO SOMEONE WITH BLUE EYES WILL NOT GET THE EVIL EYE

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; Blue ; COLOR ; DEVIL ; EVIL EYE ; SUPERSTITION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses Eyes, evil eye
BELIEF -- Curse
BELIEF -- Emblem

Date learned: 10-00-1977

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FIXED DATE

ON JANUARY SIXTH, THREE MEN DRESSED LIKE KINGS WOULD GO TO EACH HOUS
AND WRITE K.M.B. ABOVE THE DOORS IN CHALK. THESE LETTERS ARE THE
INITIALS OF THE THREE KINGS THAT VISITED THE NEW BORN SAVIOR.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SAINT CLAIR SHORES

Subject headings: 686 Thirds / Thrice / Three / Triple
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 6 Twelfth Day Epiphany
BELIEF -- Religious hero
BELIEF -- Emblem

Date learned: 00001920S ; 02-16-1980

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WHEN I WANT MY TRUE LOVE BY ME
I SHAPE MY SHOES INTO A T.

Submitter comment: THIS IS DONE TO BRING YOUR LOVER TO YOUR SIDE. YOU SAY THIS AFTER
YOU HAVE ARRANGED YOUR SHOES SO THAT THE TOE OF THE RIGHT SHOE
TOUCHES THE MIDDLE OF THE LEFT SHOE.
INFORMANT REMEMBERS READING ABOUT THIS IN A MAGAZINE.

Where learned: OHIO ; DEFIANCE

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Dress Lower body and legs
BELIEF -- Marriage
BELIEF -- Emblem

Date learned: 02-00-1982

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A HORSE SHOE HUNG ABOVE THE DOOR OF A HOME WILL BRING
GOOD FORTUNE TO THE FAMILY AND KEEP HARM AWAY FROM
THE HOUSE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SAINT CLAIR SHORES

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Emblem

Date learned: 00-00-1961

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IF A PERSON WEARS A LADY BUG SYMBOL WITH A RELIGIOUS
SYMBOL (CROSS, ETC.) HE WILL THEN HAVE GOOD LUCK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Emblem
BELIEF -- Good luck

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WHEN YOU PLACE A STAMP UPSIDE DOWN ON A LETTER, IT MEANS
"I LOVE YOU."

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; GROSSE POINTE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Emblem

Date learned: 02-03-1970

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VIKINGS BELIEVED THAT IF THEY PAINTED EYES ON THE FRONT
OF THEIR SHIPS THEY COULD HELP GUIDE THEM THROUGH
BAD WEATHER. ALSO DONE BY ITALIANS AND VIETNAMESE.

Submitter comment: FOUND THIS OUT WHILE SERVING IN THESE COUNTRIES.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Emblem

Date learned: 00-00-1968

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BELIEF AMONG THE VIETNAMESE THAT IF THEY SAW THE ACE
OF SPADES, IT MEANT DEATH.
AMERICAN G.I.S USED TO PAINT THE ACE OF SPADES ON THEIR
HELMETS, UNIFORMS AND VEHICLES TO SCARE THE VIETCONG.

Submitter comment: FOUND THIS WHILE IN VIETNAM.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Emblem

Date learned: 00-00-1968

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HAWAIIAN

WHEN YOU SEE DIAMOND HEAD (HAWAII) IF YOU THROW YOUR
LEI OVER THE BOATRAIL, AND IF IT FLOATS BACK TO SHORE,
YOU'LL RETURN TO HAWAII.

Data entry tech comment: LEI=WREATH OR NECKLACE OF FLOWERS

Where learned: NOT GIVEN

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Emblem

Date learned: 11-19-1968

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WEARING THE SIGN OF THE CROSS GUARDS AGAINST EVIL
THINGS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Emblem

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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GREEK CUSTOM

A BAG WITH ONE OR TWO ALMONDS IN IT, WORN ON THE BODY,
IS A SIGN OF FERTILITY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Measure of quality
BELIEF -- Emblem

Date learned: 11-05-1968

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