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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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TO SWEEP AT NIGHT IS TO CHASE AWAY BLESSINGS.

Submitter comment: THIS AFRICAN BELIEF CAUTIONS ONE AGAINST SWEEPING UP SOMETHING OF
VALUE AND THROWING IT AWAY IN THE DARK.

Where learned: TANZANIA ; EAST AFRICA

Subject headings: Favorites
BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour
BELIEF -- Bad luck Broom Sweeping

Date learned: 03-00-1982

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SWEEPING TRASH OUTSIDE THE DOOR AFTER DARK BRINGS BAD LUCK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time Working
BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour
BELIEF -- Bad luck Broom Sweeping

Date learned: 09-19-1982

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AFRO-AMERICAN BELIEFS

TO TALK WITH THE DEAD WAIT UNTIL MIDNIGHT, WRITE THE NAME
OF THE PERSON YOU WISH TO CONVERSE WITH, COVER A GLASS
OF WATER WITH THE NAME WRITTEN ON A SHEET OF PAPER, AND
STAND BEFORE A MIRROR WITH LIGHTED CANDLE. THE FIGURE OF
THE PERSON WILL APPEAR IN THE MIRROR. MM
IF A PERSON SWEEPS ACROSS YOUR FEET WITH THE BROOM YOU
MUST SPIT UPON IT OR YOU WILL GO TO JAIL. MM
PICKING A MARRIAGE PARTNER:
A WOMAN WHOSE SECOND TOE IS LONGER THAN THE FIRST IS A
POOR CHOICE FOR A WIFE IN THAT SHE WILL MAKE HER
HUSBAND MISERABLE BY DOMINATION OR HER ATTEMPTS AT DOING
SO. MM
ANOTHER IS THAT A PREGNANT WOMAN SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED
TO PREPARE FOOD BECAUSE SHE IS UNCLEAN. MM
IF A MAN'S WIFE
CLIMBS ACROSS HIM TO GET OUT OF BED HE WILL BEAR THE
LABOR PAINS.

Where learned: DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): CONTAGIOUS MAGIC ; TRANSFER

Subject headings: Charm / Enchantment / Conjuration
BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Birth
BELIEF -- Bad luck Broom Sweeping
BELIEF -- Conversions Gestures
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 07-00-1967

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IF SOMEONE SWEEPS YOUR FEET WITH A BROOM, YOU HAVE TO
GRAB THE BROOM AND SPIT ON IT OR BAD THINGS WILL HAPPEN.

Where learned: ALABAMA

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Bad luck Broom Sweeping
BELIEF -- Conversions Broom Sweeping

Date learned: 01111984CA

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BAD LUCK WITH A BROOM

IF YOU SWEEP SOMEONE'S FOOT WITH A BROOM, THEY MUST SPIT ON THE
BROOM TO GET RID OF THE BAD LUCK YOU GAVE THEM.

Where learned: DETROIT ; PARENTS HOME

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Bad luck Broom Sweeping
BELIEF -- Conversions

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IF YOU ARE HIT BY A BROOM WHILE SOMEONE IS SWEEPING IT IS
BAD LUCK, BECAUSE YOU COULD GO TO JAIL IF HIT.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; MARTIN

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Measure of time Working
BELIEF -- Bad luck Broom Sweeping

Date learned: 00001947CA

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IF YOU SWEEP YOUR FEET WITH A BROOM IT WILL BRING
YOU BAD LUCK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses Feet, toes, toenails
BELIEF -- Bad luck Broom Sweeping

Date learned: 03-05-1970

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IF YOU SWEEP UNDER THE BED OF A SICK PERSON, IT IS
SAID THAT YOU WILL HAVE BAD LUCK.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT LEARNED IN CHILDHOOD.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bad luck Broom Sweeping

Date learned: 03-06-1971

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MALTESE PEOPLE DON'T SWEEP AFTER 6:00 P.M., OR AFTER
DARK, BECAUSE THEY BELIEVE BAD LUCK WILL FOLLOW.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour
BELIEF -- Bad luck Broom Sweeping

Date learned: 03-08-1970

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IT'S BAD LUCK TO SWEEP IN FRONT OF A PERSON. WHEN
YOU DO, THE BROOM TAKES AWAY ALL THE GOOD LUCK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WESTLAND

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bad luck Broom Sweeping

Date learned: 09-15-1969

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IF YOU MOVE TO ANOTHER HOME, DO NOT MOVE THE BROOM
FROM THE OLD HOUSE, IT IS A SIGN OF BAD LUCK.

Submitter comment: LEARNED AT HOME.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
BELIEF -- Bad luck Broom Sweeping

Date learned: 03-27-1967

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WHEN YOU MOVE INTO A NEW HOME, DON'T TAKE A BROOM
FROM THE OLD HOME OR ONE THAT SOMEONE HAS GIVEN
YOU OR YOU WILL HAVE BAD LUCK. IT'S BEST TO BUY A
NEW ONE AFTER YOU GET IN THE NEW HOME.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
BELIEF -- Bad luck Broom Sweeping

Date learned: 03-00-1971

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IT IS BAD LUCK TO SWEEP AFTER SUNDOWN.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT ACTUALLY EXPERIENCED THIS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): BROOM

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour
BELIEF -- Bad luck Broom Sweeping

Date learned: 01-26-1971

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IT IS BAD LUCK TO SWEEP THE FLOOR AT NIGHT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): BROOM

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour
BELIEF -- Bad luck Broom Sweeping

Date learned: 02-15-1971

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IF A PERSON SWEEPS YOUR FEET WITH A BROOM, EVEN BY
MISTAKE, YOU WILL HAVE BAD LUCK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses Feet, toes, toenails
BELIEF -- Bad luck Broom Sweeping

Date learned: 10-10-1971

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IF YOU STEP OVER A BROOM INSTEAD OF PICKING IT UP, IT
MEANS BAD LUCK.

Submitter comment: MY MOTHER COLLECTED THIS SUPERSTITION FROM A WOMAN
WITH WHOM SHE WORKED. MRS. HAIRSTON LEARNED IT FROM
HER MOTHER AND HER GRANDMOTHER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bad luck Broom Sweeping

Date learned: 02-00-1967

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IT IS BAD LUCK TO BUY A BROOM IN AUGUST.

Submitter comment: GERTRUDE INHERITED THIS BELIEF FROM HER ITALIAN
MOTHER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- August
BELIEF -- Measure of time Month
BELIEF -- Bad luck Broom Sweeping

Date learned: 07-13-1964

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IT IS VERY BAD LUCK TO BE HIT BY A BROOM.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT SAID THAT ONCE HER FATHER EVEN GOT INTO
A FIST FIGHT BECAUSE SOMEONE HAD HIT HIM WITH
A BROOM.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SOUTHFIELD

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bad luck Broom Sweeping

Date learned: 08-00-1964

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IF YOU PUT A BROOM ACROSS THE DOOR, ESPECIALLY ON HALLOWEEN
THE WITCHES CAN'T GET IN YOUR HOUSE, BUT IF THERE IS
SOMEBODY OUTSIDE WANTS TO GET IN, HE OUGHT TO HOLLER OR
KNOCK AND GET SOMEBODY INSIDE TO PICK UP THE BROOM TILL
HE GETS IN, BECAUSE IT IS REAL BAD LUCK TO STEP OVER A
BROOM.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- October 31 Halloween
BELIEF -- Witch Shaman
BELIEF -- Bad luck Broom Sweeping

Date learned: 00001928 CA.

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IF I STEPPED OVER A BROOM THAT WAS LYING ON THE FLOOR, I
WOULD HAVE BAD LUCK.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; THE NEW AMERICAN LIBRARY

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bad luck Broom Sweeping

Date learned: 00-00-1945

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