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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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SPRING CLEANING

A CATHARTIC DOSE OF EPSOM SALTS EVERY SPRING AND FALL FOR THE
WHOLE FAMILY, TO CLEAN US OUT.

Submitter comment: THEY REALLY DID IT IN HER FAMILY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Measure of time Spring
BELIEF -- Measure of time AutumnFall
BELIEF -- Mineral

Date learned: 04-15-1967

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METHOD OF CURE

FOR A FRIGHT OR A NIGHTMARE THAT FRIGHTENED SOMEONE - I WAS ABOUT 3
OR 4 YEARS OLD WHEN I FIRST SAW MY GRANDPARENTS DO THIS. THEY DUG A
SMALL HOLE IN THE GROUND (ABOUT 6 INCHES DEEP) TO BE FILLED WITH
FRESH WATER. THEY PUT A CROSS OF PALM LEAVES, GOTTEN ON PALM SUNDAY,
AT ONE SIDE OF THE HOLE. THE FRIGHTENED PERSON STOOD NEAR THE SIDE
OF THE HOLE (1) THEN CROSSED THE HOLE TO THE OTHER SIDE (2) AND THE
MEDICINE MAN (OR WOMAN) WHISPERS IN HIS EAR, "DO YOU BELIEVE IN ME?
WILL YOU COME?(APPROXIMATELY)". THEN THE FRIGHTENED PERSON WOULD STEP
A QUARTER OF THE WAY AROUND THE HOLE (3) AND THE MEDICINE MAN OR
WOMAN WOULD AGAIN WHISPER THAT IN HIS EAR. THE PERSON WOULD CROSS
THE HOLE TO THE OPPOSITE SIDE AGAIN (4) AND THAT WOULD BE 3 MOVES.
THE MEDICINE MAN/WOMAN WOULD REPEAT THE WHISPER. (THIRD TIME) THE
MEDICINE MAN/WOMAN WOULD CLEAR THE TOP OF THE WATER OF SCUM AND
WOULD TAKE A CUP OF CLEAR WATER FROM THE HOLE. THE FRIGHTENED PERSON
WOULD TAKE 3 SIPS OF THE WATER. THEY WOULD TAKE THE PERSON AND LAY
THEM IN BED. THEN THEY WOULD TAKE LONG BAY LEAVES (AS MANY AS THEY
COULD HOLD IN THEIR HAND-4 OR 6) AND SWEEP THEM IN A CROSS OVER THE
FRIGHTENED PERSON 3 TIMES. THE MEDICINE MAN/WOMAN WOULD PUT THE
LEAVES UNDER THE BED FOR THE NIGHT. THEN THEY'D TAKE THE LEAVES AND
SWEEP THE DIRT BACK INTO THE HOLE THEN THEY'D THROW THE LEAVES AS IF
GETTING RID OF THE EVIL OR FRIGHT THE PERSON HAD EXPERIENCED. THEY
DID THIS TO ME WHEN I WAS LITTLE, SO I KNOW IT WORKS.

Submitter comment: THIS ITEM WAS ORIGINALLY LEARNED BY THE INFORMANT FROM HER
GRANDPARENTS WHEN SHE WAS A LITTLE GIRL IN TEXAS. SHE BELIEVES THIS
METHOD WORKS, BECAUSE IT WAS USED ON HER. SHE GAVE IT TO ME IN MUCH
THE SAME MANNER AS A RECIPE. SHE KEPT SAYING THAT SHE KNOWS IT MIGHT
BE ALL PSYCHOLOGICAL, BUT SHE IS VERY SURE IT WORKS. SINCE THIS WAS
A RATHER LONG ITEM, SHE KEPT GOING OVER THE DETAILS TO MAKE SURE I
WAS GETTING THEM ALL. THE ITEM WAS INTERESTING IN ITSELF, BUT IT WAS
MADE EVEN MORE SO BY HER ATTITUDE OF COMPLETE TRUST IN ITS WORKING
POWERS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; LINCOLN PARK

James Callow Keyword(s): PLANTS

Subject headings: 686 Thirds / Thrice / Three / Triple
Food Drink -- Flavoring
BELIEF -- Plant
BELIEF -- Mineral

Date learned: 01-10-1973

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BIRTH

IGNORANT SOUTHERNERS FEED EXPECTANT MOTHERS CLAY TO AID IN THE
BIRTH OF THEIR CHILD.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): PICA

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth
BELIEF -- Mineral
BELIEF -- Mineral

Date learned: 09-00-1973

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"ALSO THEY USED TO WEAR COPPER AROUND THEIR WRISTS ALSO."

Submitter comment: CONCERNING CURING A COLD.

Where learned: DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mineral

Date learned: 11-15-1972

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SORE THROAT CURE

TAKE HOT COALS FROM A FIRE, WRAP THEM IN A CLOTH AND
THEN PUT THE CLOTH AROUND THE SORE THRAOT.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT WAS TOLD THIS BY HER MOTHER, A SICILIAN IMMIGRANT.

Where learned: OVER THE TELEPHONE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mineral

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MUD WILL EASE THE PAIN OF BEE STINGS AND WILL DRAW OUT THE STINGER.
VERIFIED BY COLLECTOR ON SEVERAL OCCASSIONS.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; Wappingers Falls

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mineral

Date learned: 00001960S

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MUD PUT ON MOSQUITO BITES STOPS THEM FROM ITCHING AND MAKES THEM
GO AWAY FASTER.

Where learned: DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): POULTICE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mineral

Date learned: 08-00-1969

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BRUISES

COAL OIL OR KEROSENE RUBBED ON THE AREA WILL PREVENT THE SKIN
FROM TURNING BLACK AND BLUE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; JACKSON

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mineral

Date learned: 11-01-1972

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EAR ACHE

AN OLD FAMILY REMEDY FOR EAR ACHE IS TO POUR A CUP OF SALT ON A
TEA TOWEL. FOLD THE TOWEL OVER THE SALT. HEAT IT IN THE OVEN
AND THEN SLEEP WITH THE HOT SALT UNDER THE SORE EAR.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BIRMINGHAM

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mineral

Date learned: 12-04-1972

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BLESSED WATER

RAIN WATER COLLECTED DURING EASTER WEEK WILL CURE RHEUMATISM.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): HEALTH

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting F663.30
BELIEF -- Mineral

Date learned: 03-10-1968

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COPPER RING ARTHRITIS CURE

FOR ARTHRITIS WEAR A COPPER RING ON YOUR FINGER.

Submitter comment: FROM SEPTUAGENARIAN GUARD OF FIRST NATIONAL BUILDING.

Data entry tech comment: THERE ARE 9 OTHER SIMILAR REFERENCES IN THIS SECTION OF ARCHIVE.
OTHER REFERENCES RECOMMEND WEARING
COPPER BRACELET
CHARM BRACELET
BRASS RING OR BRACELET
SOLID BRASS RING ON MIDDLE FINGER OF EACH HAND

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mineral

Date learned: 07-00-1964

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EACH YEAR IN THE SPRING, MY MOTHER'S GRANDFATHER WOULD LINE UP
ALL THE SMALL CHILDREN AND HAVE THEM EACH LICK SOME POWDER(WHITE)
CALLED CALAMEL OFF HIS PEN KNIFE IN ORDER TO CLEAN OUT
THEIR BLOOD FOR SUMMER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; COLLECTORS HOME

Keyword(s): BLOOD ; PREVENTATIVE MEDICINE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mineral

Date learned: 04-00-1970

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A CURE

IN POLAND, IN THE COUNTRY IT'S PRACTICED TO PUT CLAY ON BUMPS
ON THE HEAD, TO MAKE THE SWELLING GO DOWN.

Submitter comment: ANNA STANISZKIS LEARNED THIS WHEN SHE SPENT
VACATIONS IN THE COUNTRY.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT

Keyword(s): POLISH BELIEFS ; REDUCTION OF SWELLING

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mineral

Date learned: 11-30-1967

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A CURE

SHE SAYS THEY (FOLK) PUT CLAY ON BURNS
IN ORDER TO HELP THEM HEAL MORE QUICKLY.

Submitter comment: ANNA STANISZKIS LEARNED THIS WHILE SHE SPENT VACATIONS IN THE
COUNTRY IN POLAND.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT

Keyword(s): BURNS, TREATMENT OF ; POLISH BELIEF

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mineral

Date learned: 11-30-1967

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REMEDY - MINERAL

CARRY ALUM TO CURE CHAFING.

Submitter comment: LEARNED FROM MY MOTHER.

Where learned: INDIANA ; Hudson Lake

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mineral

Date learned: 11-25-1967

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HOW TO GET RID OF LICE

TO KILL LICE THAT MIGHT BE IN ONE'S HAIR,
HE SHOULD WASH IN KEROSENE HIS HAIR.

Data entry tech comment: THIS SECTION OF THE ARCHIVES CONTAINS ANOTHER SIMILAR COMMENT

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mineral

Date learned: 10-18-1969

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REMEDY FOR MALARIA

WHOEVER WISHED TO GET RID OF MALARIA WOULD SCRAPE HIS FINGERNAILS
MAKING A BALL OUT OF THE SCRAPINGS
AND WITH THE BALL THEY WOULD HANG IT TO THE DOOR
OF A NEIGHBOR.

Submitter comment: THIS IS STILL PRACTICED BY SOME PEOPLE IN ITALY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): CONTAGIOUS MAGIC

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mineral

Date learned: 11-20-1967

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RUBBING A GOLD WEDDING BAND ON A STY WILL MAKE IT GO AWAY.

Data entry tech comment: THERE ARE 14 OTHER REFERENCES IN THIS SECTION OF THE ARCHIVE.

Where learned: MAIL ; TOLD BY

Keyword(s): JEWELRY

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mineral

Date learned: 02-20-1970

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REMEDY-MINERAL

HOMESICKNESS CAN BE CURED BY SEWING SALT AND BREADCRUMBS INTO
THE PETTICOAT OF A GIRL OR THE SEAM OF A SUITCOAT OF A MALE.

Submitter comment: LEARNED FROM YOUTH.

Where learned: INDIANA ; Hudson Lake

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mineral
BELIEF -- Mineral

Date learned: 11-25-1967

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CURE FOR ARTHRITIS

WEAR A COPPER BRACELET AND SOMEHOW THAT WILL RELIEVE THE PAIN.

Submitter comment: MRS. DULGERIAN, A YOUNG MARRIED WOMAN OF GERMAN DESCENT, SAID SHE
HAD LEARNED OF THIS CURE FROM A NEIGHBOR.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; LATHRUP VILLAGE

Keyword(s): GERMAN

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mineral

Date learned: 05-09-1965

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