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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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MEDICINAL BELIEF

"RUMIANEK" OR CHAMOMILE TEA IS A REMEDY FOR DIGESTIVE DISTURBANCES.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT USED THIS REMEDY ON HER FAMILY WHEN SHE FIRST CAME TO
THIS COUNTRY FROM POLAND. HOWEVER, NOW SHE DOESN'T USE IT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): HERBAL CURE ; INDIGESTION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Plant

Date learned: 02-07-1971

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RUSTY NAIL

IF YOU GET A RUSTY NAIL THROUGH YOUR FOOT, PUT LARD ON THE NAIL AND PUT IT ON A SHELF.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ANIMAL CURE ; INFECTION ; PREVENTATIVE MEDICINE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Remedy

Date learned: 11-17-1969

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FOLK CURE

IF A PERSON HAS AN INCURABLE INFECTION, HE SHOULD PLACE THE SORE
NEAR AN ANT HILL. THE ANTS WILL BE ATTRACTED TO THE SORE
AND EAT OUT THE INFECTION, THEREBY CURING IT.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ANIMAL CURE ; INFECTION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Method of Curing

Date learned: 11-04-1969

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HEALING OF A WOUND

WHEN A DOG LICKS YOUR INFECTED WOUND THE LICK IS
SUPPOSED TO CURE THE WOUND.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT LEARNED THIS FROM HER MOTHER WHO LIVED ON A FARM
AS A GIRL.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ANIMAL CURE ; INFECTION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Method of Curing

Date learned: 03-31-1967

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CURING RHEUMATISM

A SWISS METHOD OF CURING RHEUMATISM IS TO TAKE THE FUR
OF A MARMOT AND PLACE IT OVER THE AREA IN PAIN.
THIS WILL CAUSE THE PAIN TO GO AWAY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SOUTHFIELD

Keyword(s): ANIMAL CURE ; IMITATIVE MAGIC

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Animal

Date learned: 10-28-1970

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REMEDY

I REMEMBER MY GRANDMOTHER CURING A YOUNG CHILD OF A FEAR. IT'S A
RITUAL. WHEN A CHILD IS AFRAID OF SOMETHING, YOU GET SOME WHITE ROCK.
IT'S A SOFT ROCK, I DON'T KNOW THE NAME OF IT. THE ROCK IS PUT INTO A
SKILLET AND HEATED. AS IT HEATS, IT SOFTENS, AND IT WILL FORM INTO A
FIGURE OF WHAT THE CHILD IS AFRAID OF. THE FEAR IS REMOVED FROM THE
CHILD THIS WAY.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): CONJURATION DIVINATION ; HOMEOPATHIC ; MEXICAN-AMERICAN CURE

Subject headings: Observation
Favorites
BELIEF -- Physically handicapped Deformed
BELIEF -- Mineral
BELIEF -- Method of Curing

Date learned: 03-00-1979

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IF YOU TREAT A SICK CHILD LIKE AN ADULT AND A SICK ADULT LIKE
A CHILD, EVERYTHING USUALLY WORKS OUT PRETTY WELL.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; GARDEN CITY

Keyword(s): ADVICE ; CHIASMUS ; CURES ; ILLNESS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Remedy
PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

Date learned: 11-17-1971

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DAB BUTTER ON A BURN, IT WILL MAKE IT FEEL BETTER.

Submitter comment: MY GRANDMOTHER TOLD ME TO DO THIS WHEN I BURNED
MY HAND WHEN I WAS VISITING HER. I LATER FOUND OUT
THIS IS A TERRIBLE THING TO DO. IT SORT OF FRIES THE
SKIN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; REDFORD

Keyword(s): BURN CURE ; REMEDY

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Remedy

Date learned: 00-00-1967

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One night my little brother Mike, had the hick-ups.
Mike was only 8 years old at the time, so I liked
to pick on him. Knowing that he would do just
about anything, I told him that I could cure his
hick-ups as long as he did exactly what I said.
Mike agreed. First I told Mike to stand up. Then
I said to raise his left hand, then to raise his
right foot, then to place his right hand pinky
finger on his left nostril, then to close his
right eye, and then finally to jump up and down.
I was just making things up for him to do. It was
funny watching him. But to my whole family's
surprise, Mike's hick-ups were gone.
Since that day I have cured about 15 people with
hick-ups. It works almost always except when
the person is drunk. Then the success rate drops
below 50%.

Submitter comment: I think the reason the cure works is because
the person has to concentrate so hard to keep
from falling down, that the hick-ups go away.

Where learned: MICHIGAN

Keyword(s): Accidental Cure

James Callow Keyword(s): HICCUPS

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Method of Curing

Date learned: 00-00-1984

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RIDDLE

A MAN WENT INTO A BAR AND ASKED THE BARTENDER FOR A GLASS
OF WATER. THE BARTENDER PULLED A GUN ON HIM. WHY?
-- THE MAN HAD THE HICCUPS SO HE WANTED TO SCARE HIM IN
ORDER TO GET RID OF THEM.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; TOLD AT

Keyword(s): FRIGHT CURE

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- Riddle Question

Date learned: 02-23-1972

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Belief

Take a large piece of Alum and put it in your back pocket and it will cure anything.

Data entry tech comment:

Contributed to Folklore Archive; December 1967.

Motifs Added by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; Patient

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; CURE ; DOCTOR ; Medicinal ; MINERAL ; Patient

James Callow Keyword(s): BELIEF ; MEDICINE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mineral

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Remedy - Animal

Whoever carries the right eye of a wolf fastened inside his right sleeve, remains free from all injury.

Where learned: INDIANA ; VEEDERSBURG

Keyword(s): "NATURAL" REMEDY ; AMULET ; ANIMAL ; BELIEF ; CLOTHING ; CURE ; Injury ; MEDICAL ; PREVENTION ; talisman

James Callow Keyword(s): "NATURAL" REMEDY ; ANIMAL ; BELIEF ; REMEDY

Subject headings:

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Japanese Snake Medicine

Japanese may eat snakes because of their belief in its medicinal value, especially when charred black.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by T.R. Davidson

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ANIMAL ; COOKING ; Culinary ; CURE ; Japanese ; MEDICINE ; Natural Remedy ; PREVENTION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Animal

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Curing Belief

Use leeches on a sick person to rid him of the illness. This takes out the diseased blood.

Submitter comment:

"Curing Belief" collected at informant's home.

Data entry tech comment:

Motif added by TRD.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): "NATURAL" REMEDY ; Bloodletting ; CURE ; ILLNESS ; Leaching ; LEECHES ; REMEDY ; REMEDY

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Remedy

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Frogs and Pain

Years ago, people had rainbarrels. They would use the water for many purposes. With this old aunt of mine, she kept frogs in this rainbarrel. (If anyone asks, there were floats of cork in the rainbarrel that the frogs could hop on; they can't stay in the water all the time of they'd drown.) She had a good reason for it, too!

Because she was tiny and worked very hard, she had a weak back. When she would get a severe backache, she would send her son out to the rainbarrel to get a frog. Then her son would put the frog in her girdle. Now, she was tiny and wore a girdle for back support. Wherever the pain was, the frog would go and it would sit right where the pain was. When the frog died, the pain was gone. (It took about 15 minutes for the frog to die.) The frog would take the pain away!

Submitter comment:

[Question by Collector:] How did the frog know where the pain was?

[Answer by Informant:] The frog always goes to where the pain is localized. This never failed to work with her and all her children do the same. Men do the same with a tightly wrapped sheet around their backs in stead of a girdle.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ANIMAL CURE ; BACKACHE ; CURE ; FROG ; Girdle ; MEDICAL ; Medicinal ; PAIN ; Pain Remedy

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Animal

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Superstition

Superstition:

That warts come from handling frogs

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [P880.440] crossed out. Replaced with current classification

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): AMPHIBIAN ; ANIMAL ; BELIEF ; CURE ; Fallacy ; FROG ; HEALTH ; ILLNESS ; MEDICINE ; SUPERSTITION ; Touching tabu ; Warts

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

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Superstition: Pregnancy

Birth Marks:

After giving borth to a child, an Italian woman will ask the doctor, "are there any marks?" Immediately, if there were any, they would disappear.

Submitter comment:

This is another Italian "in" story

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [P740.542, F542] crossed out. Replaced with current classification

Where learned: HOME

Keyword(s): BABY ; BIRTH ; Birth Mark ; CURE ; CURSE ; Delivery ; ETHNIC ; Italian ; PREGNANCY ; REMEDY

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

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Superstition: Pregnancy

Birthmarks:

Mother always said "if a child was born with a birthmark, to do this, before the child got into the bath or anything." Take the afterbirth, the sack the baby grows in, take the lining from the sack and rub the baby all over with that. The skin would come out clean and the birthmark would be gone.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [P720, P760.750] crossed out. Replaced wtih current classifications

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): Afterbirth ; BABY ; BIRTH ; Birth Mark ; CURE ; CURSE ; Delivery ; Labor ; Newborn ; Placenta ; PREGNANCY ; REMEDY

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Remedy

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Ethnic:Polish Superstition

Curing a Spell:

To cure a spell, especially the evil eye, cast on a small child, you remove all the clothes, and dress the baby again with all the clothes inside out. This is a Polish belief.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Where learned: HOME

Keyword(s): CHILD ; CLOTHING ; CURE ; CURSE ; ETHNIC ; EVIL EYE ; Fashion ; MAGIC ; POLAND ; POLISH ; REMEDY ; Removal

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Method of Curing

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Ethnic: Isreali Superstition

The Druse, a tribe in Isreal, protect their babies from the Evil Eye by painting a circle around each eye of the child with a dye called Kehl.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Keyword(s): BABY ; CHILD ; CURE ; CURSE ; Druse ; Dye ; ETHNIC ; EVIL EYE ; Israel ; Israeli ; Kehl ; Protection ; REMEDY ; SUPERSTITION ; Tribe

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

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