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FOOD SUPERSTITION

EATING CARROTS WILL HELP YOU SEE BETTER AT NIGHT.

Submitter comment: FROM MY MOTHER'S MOTHER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BIRMINGHAM

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

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JEWISH NARRATIVE: CEMETERY

FOUR MEN WERE BOASTING ABOUT THEIR BRAVERY. THEY FINALLY DECIDED
THAT A FAIR TEST WOULD BE A SOLO TRIP THROUGH THE CEMETERY. TO
PROVE THAT THEY HAD TRAVERSED THE ENTIRE ROUTE THEY WERE TO POUND
STAKES INTO THE GROUND PERIODICALLY. THREE OF THE MEN ENTERED THE
CEMETERY AND MET ON THE OTHER SIDE PROUND OF THEIR ACCOMPLISHMENT.
THE FOURTH NEVER RETURNED.
THE NEXT DAY THE THREE WENT IN SEARCH OF HIM AND FOUND HIM DEAD OF
A HEART ATTACK. HE HAD POUNDED A STAKE INTO THE GROUND AND HAD
INADVERTANTLY PINNED THE TAIL OF HIS COAT TO THE GROUND.
APPARENTLY AS HE GOT UP TO COMPLETE HIS JOURNEY, HE WAS
IMMOBILIZED FROM BEHIND BY THE STAKE AND HE SUFFERED A HEART
ATTACK FROM HIS PANIC.

Submitter comment:

THE INFORMANT RELATED THIS STORY AS ONE THAT EVERY JEWISH BOY
LEARNS ABOUT FALSE BRAVERY AND RESPECT FOR THE DEAD.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ANN ARBOR

Keyword(s): Aphorism ; CEMETERY ; Fable ; Jewish ; Tale

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Human Being
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

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NOT GIVEN

ONCE THERE WAS A CHILD AT A PICNIC. HE FELL ASLEEP ON THE
BLANKET. WHEN THE PICNIC WAS OVER, HE SEEMED A LITTLE MORE
UNEASY AND RESTLESS THAN USUAL. DURING THE FOLLOWING NIGHT
HE SCREAMED CONTINUOUSLY. THE PARENTS FINALLY TOOK HIM TO
A DOCTOR. THE DOCTOR COULD SEE NOTHING WRONG UNTIL THE X-RAYS
WERE FINISHED.
AFTER EXAMINATION OF THE X-RAYS IT WAS FOUND THAT ANTS HAD
MADE A NEST IN THE FOREHEAD OF THE CHILD AND CAUSED THE
TERRIFIC PAIN TO MAKE HIM SUFFER.
EVEN THOUGH THIS WAS NOTICED, HE DIED BECAUSE THE ANTS HAD
DESTROYED MANY PARTS OF HIS BRAIN.

Submitter comment: THIS WAS TOLD TO ME IN A BIOLOGY CLASS IN COLLEGE. HE BROUGHT
OUT THAT HE READ IT IN A MEDICAL MAGAZINE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Insect
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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LEGEND

THERE IS A LEGEND AT POKEGON STATE PARK IN INDIANA, NEAR FORT
WAYNE, CONCERNING THE WATER. AFTER DRINKING THE WATER FOR MORE
THAN ONE DAY, A PERSON WILL GET STOMACH CRAMPS AND DIARRHEA.
THIS ILLNESS IS COMMONLY CALLED "POKEGON'S REVENGE." THE STORY
BEHIND THIS IS THAT CHIEF POKEGON CURSED THE WATER WHEN HIS LAND
WAS TAKEN AWAY. THIS CHIEF WAS PROBABLY OF THE POTAWATOMI TRIBE
BECAUSE THE POTAWATOMI INN IS LOCATED HERE.

Where learned: ILLINOIS ; DALTON

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Running water Small current. Brook, spring....
BELIEF -- Curse
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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THE LEGEND OF THE LESZEKS AND POPIELS

AFTER THE DEATH OF WANDA, THE LEGENDARY HEROINE AND RULER OF
CRACOW, THERE RULED A GROUP OF TWELVE PALATINES. THEY FEARED
THAT SOME ENEMY WAS APPROACHING FROM RUMORS THAT WERE GOING AROUND
IN THE COUNTRYSIDE. THE ENEMY WAS SCARED OFF BY THE FORESIGHT
AND INGENUITY OF A YOUNG GOLDSMITH, LESZEK.
ON THE BUSHES AND TREES HE HUNG UP THE SHIELDS, SHINY ONES, AND
HELMETS OF THE ARMY. WHEN THE ENEMY SAW THE MULTITUDE OF THESE
SHIELDS AND HELMETS FROM FAR OFF, THEY QUICKLY LEFT, AFRAID OF
THE "LARGE ARMY" THAT AWAITED THEM. ABOUT 760 A.D. LESZEK BEGAN
HIS REIGN. HE IS ALSO KNOWN AS PRZEMYSTAIN, "AN INGENIOUS
PERSON."
WHEN LESZEK DIED, HE LEFT NO SON. THE KINGDOM, THEREFORE, HELD
A HORSE RACE TO SEE WHO WOULD BE THE NEXT RULER. THERE WERE
FIFTEEN OR SO BRAVE VOLUNTEERS. ONE SCHEMING PARTICIPANT COVERED
THE ROAD OF THE RACE WITH NAILS THE NIGHT BEFORE THE RACE. HE
DREW HIMSELF A PATH IN THE SAND SO THAT HE COULD FOLLOW WITHOUT
HURTING HIS OWN HORSE. ANOTHER PARTICIPANT DISCOVERED THE TRICK
AND PUT IRON HORSE SHOES ON HIS OWN HORSE. HE WON THE RACE AND
BECAME LESZEK II.
AFTER SEVERAL RULERS CAME POPIEL I WHO TRANSFERRED THE CAPITOL
OF POLAND FROM CRACOW TO GNIEZNO, FROM WHICH THE KINGDOM ORIGINA-
TED. HE THEN TRANSFERRED, IT IS SAID, TO THE CITY OF KRUSZWICZ
NEAR THE LAKE OF GOPLO. IT WAS HIS SON, POPIEL II, WHO WAS A
VERY GLUTTONOUS AND WEAK CHARACTER. IT IS SAID THAT HE WAS BALD
AND HAD A THICK BEARD CALLED "CHWOSTEK." HE HAD A GERMAN WIFE
WHO WAS SAID TO BE WICKED AND CRUEL, AND WHO TEMPTED HER HUSBAND
OFTEN TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF SITUATIONS AND DO WRONG.
IT WAS A CUSTOM AMONG THE SLAVS TO NAME THEIR SONS AFTER THEIR
SEVENTH BIRTHDAY. HIS HAIR WAS THEN CUT FOR THE FIRST TIME
AND A BIG FEAST WAS HELD WITH FRIENDS AND RELATIVES. POPIEL II
HELD SUCH A FEAST FOR HIS SON. MANY PEOPLE WERE INVITED.
AT THIS SAME TIME, TWO PILGRIMS CAME TO HIS CASTLE ASKING FOR
REFUGE, BUT POPIEL AND HIS WIFE ANGRILY CHASED THEM OUT. IN THE
EYES OF THE POLISH AND THE SLAVS IN GENERAL, SUCH BREAKING OF THE
LAWS OF HOSPITALITY WAS A SERIOUS CRIME. POPIEL SOON PAID FOR
IT.
IT IS SAID THAT THE TWO PILGRIMS WERE REALLY TWO ANGELS. OTHERS
SAY THEY WERE THE SAINTS CYRIL AND METHODIUS ON A MISSION. BUT
THIS INCIDENT DID NOT CHANGE POPIEL. HE CONTINUED IN HIS DRUNKEN
REVELRIES AND CRIMES ONLY TO ESCAPE THE PANGS OF HIS GUILTY CON-
SCIENCE.
FINALLY, WITH COUNSEL OF HIS WIFE, HE HELD A FEAST FOR ALL HIS
RELATIVES IN ORDER TO "MAKE UP" FOR THE TIMES HE DID THEM WRONG.
HE REALLY BELIEVED THAT THESE PEOPLE WERE THE CAUSE OF HIS GUILTY
FEELINGS. AT THIS FEAST, HE POISONED EVERYONE.
IMMEDIATELY HIS PUNISHMENT FOLLOWED. FROM THE BODIES OF THE DEAD
CAME OUT HUNDREDS OF MICE. THESE MICE CHASED POPIEL AND HIS WIFE.
THEY TRIED TO HIDE IN A TOWER, BUT DID NOT SUCCEED AND WERE EATEN
UP BY THE MICE AS WELL AS WERE HIS PEOPLE. THIS TOWER, CALLED
"MICE TOWER" OR "THE TOWER OF POPIEL," STANDS IN THE CITY OF
KRUSZIVICA, POLAND.

Submitter comment: THESE LEGENDS I'VE KNOWN SINCE CHILDHOOD DAYS FROM MY PARENTS AS
WELL AS FROM MY LESSONS IN POLISH HISTORY I TOOK FROM MRS. HELEN
CHMIELEWSKI OF DETROIT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Angel
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Religious hero
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Secular hero
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Explanation of a name
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F535
BELIEF -- Mammal
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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ROCKING AN EMPTY CHAIR IS A SURE SIGN OF SICKNESS.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT 'S MOTHER BELIEVED THIS SUPERSTITION
TO BE TRUE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Number Emptiness, nothingness, zero
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 07-15-1964

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IF A CHILD IS LYING ON THE FLOOR, AND YOU STEP OVER
IT, IT IS A SURE SIGN THAT THE BABY WILL STOP GROWING.

Submitter comment: MRS. GERMAIN'S MOTHER PASSED THIS BELIEF ON TO HER
DAUGHTERS. SHE WAS A FIRM BELIEVER IN THIS SUPER-
STITION.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

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

Date learned: 07-15-1964

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IF MY NAILPOLISH IS CHIPPED, I WILL CUT MY FINGER
SOMETIME THAT DAY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Body part Senses Hands, palms, fingernails
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 03-27-1970

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IF YOU PLAY WITH FIRE, YOU WILL WET YOUR PANTS.

Submitter comment: TOLD BY MOTHER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): ACCIDENT

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Fire
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 10-00-1967

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IRISH TRICKERY

THROW SALT OVER YOUR LEFT SHOULDER IN CASE OR IF YOU FEEL
SOMEONE IS IN BACK OF YOU WITH A KNIFE AND TRY TO HARM YOU.
IF YOU FEEL THAT THE PERSON IN BACK OF YOU WILL HARM YOU, BY
ANY MEANS THAT THEY CAN, THEN DO THIS ALSO.
THIS WILL SCARE THEM OFF.

Submitter comment: THIS ITEM WAS LEARNED DURING HIS LATE ADOLESCENT STAGE IN HIS
HOME TOWN.
THIS SUPERSTITIOUS BELIEF IS SYMPATHETIC MAGIC BECAUSE IT INVOLES
A SAFETY PRECAUTION OF DANGER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): INVOLVES

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

Date learned: 00001930S

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GRAVE POINTER

IF YOU POINT YOUR FINGER AT A GRAVE THAT'S A SIGN OF BAD
LUCK OR YOUR FINGER WILL ROT OFF.

Submitter comment: THIS WAS LEARNED IN MY EARLY ADOLESCENT STAGE IN MY HOME TOWN.
THIS WAS SOMETHING LEARNED IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD WITH MY PLAY MATES.
THIS SUPERSTITIOUS BELIEF IS CONNECTED WITH GESTURE OF A FINGER
AND AN OBJECT. IT HAS AN AIR OF SYMPATHETIC MAGIC.

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; PHILADELPHIA

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses Hands, palms, fingernails
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness
BELIEF -- Bad luck
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: CA06171966

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POLISH PLAY RHYME

ABRAHAM NIE HADZ TAM BO CIE MISZKA ZROBI HAM. TRANSLATION: ABRAHAM
DON'T GO THERE, CAUSE THE MOUSE WILL DO YOU HARM. ACCOMPANYING
GESTURE: MOTHER TOUCHES BABY'S FACE IN VARIOUS PLACES AND AT THE
WORD HAM (HARM) PUTS HER FINGER INTO THE CHILD'S MOUTH SO THAT
HE CAN BITE ON IT WHEN TEETHING.

Submitter comment: SPELLING AND TRANSLATION CAME FROM INFORMANT

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Game Verse Game Verse
BELIEF -- Body part Senses Mouth, teeth, lips, tongue
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 09-20-1974

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HOW TO KEEP A BELLY-BUTTON FROM GROWING OUTWARD

IF YOU TAPE A SILVER DOLLAR TO A YOUNG NEWBORN'S NAVEL IT WILL
PREVENT THE NAVEL FROM GROWING OUTWARD.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT DIDN'T BELIEVE IT WORKED EVEN THOUGH HER MOTHER TOLD HER
IT DID.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MADISON HEIGHTS

James Callow Keyword(s): DIRECTION

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

Date learned: 10-00-1973

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GENERAL EXPLANATION OF HAIR DYING

ARABIC WOMEN DYE THEIR HAIR BECAUSE GREY HAIR GIVES THEM HEADACHES.

Submitter comment: COMPARED TO THE DEEP FEELINGS THEY HAVE TOWARD DEATH, THIS IS
MUCH SHALLOWER.
SEE ITEM 730653-28

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses Hair, on head, mustache, widow's peak
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 02-00-1974

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MEANS OF CAUSING ILLNESS

DON'T TOUCH A TOAD CAUSE YOU'LL GET WARTS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT ; RESIDENCE HALLS

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

Date learned: 00001950S AND 00001960S

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MEANS OF CAUSING OR AVOIDING ILLNESS

IF YOU MASTURBATE REGULARLY, YOU WILL GET A SERIOUS CASE OF ACNE, AND
EVENTUALLY YOUR PALMS WILL BECOME VERY HAIRY.

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

James Callow Keyword(s): TRANSFER

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses Hands, palms, fingernails
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 11-00-1973

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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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LUCK

IF YOU LIE A BUMP WILL GROW ON YOUR TONGUE OR YOU WILL ACCIDENTALLY
BITE YOUR TONGUE.

Where learned: LOUISIANA ; New Orleans

James Callow Keyword(s): LYING ; SYMBOL

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses Mouth, teeth, lips, tongue
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: CA11001973

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LUCK

NEVER SIT A BABY ON THE EDGE OF A TABLE TO FEED HIM BECAUSE IT
WILL CAUSE HIM TO TEETH HARD.

Where learned: LOUISIANA ; New Orleans

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Measure of time Eating For menu, see N222.
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: CA11001973

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LUCK

NEVER BREAK FRENCH BREAD WITH YOUR HAND. ALWAYS CUT IT OR YOU WILL
CAUSE YOUR FATHER TO BREAK HIS BACK.

Where learned: LOUISIANA ; New Orleans

James Callow Keyword(s): HOMEOPATHIC

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses Upper body, arms, neck
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness
BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.21

Date learned: CA11001973

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