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James Callow Folklore Archive

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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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OLD IRISH CUSTOM

IRISH MOTHERS THROW HOLY WATER ON THEIR KIDS WHEN THEY ARE
FIGHTING IN ORDER TO DRIVE OUT THE DEVIL. THE THROWING OF HOLY WATER
WAS SUPPOSED TO BE AN EXORCISM TO DRIVE THE RAGE (DEVIL) OUT OF
PEOPLE WHO WERE FIGHTING.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): HOSTILITY ; SPRINKLING HOLY WATER

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Devil Demon
BELIEF -- Water
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Magic of Speech, Sign, Color
SPEECH -- Gesture

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HOLY WEEK

IN UKRAINE, ON GOOD FRIDAY, THERE IS A NOON SERVICE IN CHURCH CALLED
A ( UKRANIAN WORD HAS BEEN OMITTED BECAUSE ALPHABET COULDN'T BE
DUPLICATED--TRANSLATION FOLLOWS ) (CLOTH IN WHICH JESUS WAS WRAPPED
AFTER DEATH). THE CLOTH IS CARRIED AROUND THE CHURCH 3 TIMES BY THE
4 ELDEST PARISHIONERS, THEN IT'S PLACED BEFORE THE ALTER ( ALTAR )
(HOLY GRAVE), AND ALL THE PEOPLE WALK UP TO IT ON THEIR KNEES AND
KISS IT. DURING ( THE ) SERVICE, RINGING OF BELLS STOPS AND
HAMMERING ON WOOD BEGINS (REPRESENTS MOURNING).

Submitter comment: INFORMANT LEARNED THIS FROM RELATIVES.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): HOLY SHROUD

Subject headings: 663 Good Friday
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Church
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Holy Week

Date learned: 12-03-1967

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WHY A SHAMROCK HAS THREE LEAVES

ST. PATRICK WAS HAVING A HARD TIME CONVERTING THE PAGANS OF IRELAND
TO CATHOLICISM. NEXT HE WENT DIRECTLY TO THE KING, BUT HE FAILED
THERE TOO. ONE DAY HE WAS TELLING THEM ABOUT THE TRINITY BUT THE
PEOPLE COULDN'T CONCEIVE HOW THREE PERSONS COULD BE IN ONE. SO
ST. PATRICK TOOK A SHAMROCK AND POINTED OUT HOW THERE ARE THREE
LEAVES IN ONE ORGANISM. THE KING THOUGHT THIS A LOGICAL EXPLANATION
BECAUSE NO ONE COULD DENY IT. THUS HE WAS BAPTIZED AND HIS SUBJECTS
FOLLOWED HIM.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; RENO HALL

Keyword(s): THREE AS HOLY NUMBER

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Religious hero

Date learned: 09-29-1968

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When I was a child our family used to prepare for the
Easter holy days with six weeks of sincere fasting
and denying ourselves simple pleasures. When Easter
Sunday arrived we celebrated the Resurrection of
Christ with an abundance of food. On the Saturday
afternoon before this holy day we took our baskets of
food to the church and had them blessed by the priest.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): Lent

James Callow Keyword(s): Holy Saturday

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Easter Sunday
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting F663.2
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Holy Saturday

Date learned: 00001930S

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Superstition: Animals

There is a legendary snake with a crown on its head and the crown had bells on it. The snake has a beard like a nanny goat. It is a huge and fearsome snake. It is said to come out once a year on a holy day and few have seen it.

Submitter comment:

My father's dad claims to have seen it. He saw the ground shaking all around a house and he saw the head of this snake come out of the ground. He claims that 10 to 15 feet of ground was shaking.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; Crown ; Fearful ; Holy ; Legend ; MYTH ; Serpent ; Snake ; SUPERSTITION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Animal
BELIEF -- Mammal

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Superstition: Animals

La Cicilia (Snake Belief):

This is a little short snake (type of viper) which is blind and hisses. It comes out once a year on the feast of the Madonna degli Angeli. On this feastday no child is left alone for the people believe that these vipers seek babies and small children. The vipers are believed to have the spirit of the devil within them and seek little children's souls.

Submitter comment:

My mother really believes this story and claims to have seen them.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Written on the right hand side of the card: Date? Unknown.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): Babies ; CHILDREN ; Feast ; FESTIVAL ; holiday ; Holy Day ; Prey ; Serpent ; Snake ; Soul ; Viper

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Animal
BELIEF -- Mammal

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WHISTLING

GIRLS ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO WHISTLE BECAUSE THE BLESSED MOTHER
WOULD TURN HER HEAD AND CRY.

Submitter comment:

INFORMANT TOLD BY HER MOTHER WHEN SHE WAS YOUNG (1920'S).
SHE PRACTICED THIS
WHEN YOUNG, BUT DOES NOT BELIEVE IN THE TRUTH OF IT NOW.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; PITTSBURGH

Keyword(s): Blessed Mother ; BLESSED VIRGIN ; Cry ; Female ; Feminine ; Girls ; Holy Mother ; Ladylike ; Whistle

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Religious hero

Date learned: 10-02-1971

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BELIEF

THE BLESSED MOTHER TURNS HER BACK ON GIRLS WHO WHISTLE.

Submitter comment:

THIS WAS TOLD TO ME BY FR. CAHILL WHO HEARD IT FROM HIS IRISH MOTHER.
SHE TOLD IT TO HER DAUGHTER.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): Blessed Mother ; Girls ; Holy Mother ; Indecent ; Mary ; MOTHER ; RELIGION ; Whistle

James Callow Keyword(s): FRIVOLITY

Subject headings: Daily Life
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Game Pastime
BELIEF -- Religious hero
BELIEF -- Entertainment Diversion

Date learned: 01-22-1968

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OLD IRISH CUSTOM

IRISH MOTHERS THROW HOLY WATER ON THEIR KIDS WHEN THEY ARE
FIGHTING IN ORDER TO DRIVE OUT THE DEVIL. THE THROWING OF HOLY WATER
WAS SUPPOSED TO BE AN EXORCISM TO DRIVE THE RAGE(DEVIL) OUT OF
PEOPLE WHO WERE FIGHTING.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; RENO HALL ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): CUSTOM ; DEVIL ; EVIL EYE ; Fighting ; Holy Water ; IRELAND ; Irish ; Relationship ; Sibling

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Custom
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank

Date learned: 09-29-1968

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WHISTLING

GIRLS ARE NOT ALLOWED TO WHISTLE BECAUSE THE BLESSED MOTHER
WOULD TURN HER HEAD AND CRY.

Submitter comment:

INFORMANT WAS TOLD THIS BY HER MOTHER WHEN SHE WAS YOUNG.
SHE PRACTICED THIS WHEN YOUNG, BUT DOES NOT BELIEVE IN THE
TRUTH OF IT NOW. (1920s).

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; PITTSBURGH ; informant's home

Keyword(s): Blessed Mother ; BLESSED VIRGIN ; Cry ; Female ; Feminine ; Girls ; Holy Mother ; Ladylike ; Whistle

James Callow Keyword(s): VANITY

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Religious hero
BELIEF -- Entertainment Diversion
SPEECH -- Extra Corporal Means of Communication

Date learned: 10-02-1971

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showing 10 items

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