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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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MY FATHER BROUGHT BACK A QUITE UNUSUAL GIFT FROM HIS
BUSINESS TRIP-- AN OSTRICH'S TOENAIL KEY CHAIN. THIS
KEYCHAIN IS POLISHED QUITE NICELY, IT IS SAID TO BRING
GOOD LUCK TO THOSE WHO HAVE IT.

Submitter comment: THEY SAY THAT AN OSTRICH'S TOENAIL CAN KILL SOMEONE
IF THEY ARE STUCK BY THE OSTRICH'S FOOT.
PURCHASED AT BUSH GARDENS, FLORIDA

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; GROSSE POINTE WOODS

Keyword(s): ART ; GOOD LUCK CHARM ; SUPERSTITION

James Callow Keyword(s): AMULET

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Good luck

Date learned: 02-00-1978

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WEAR A BULB OF GARLIC AROUND YOUR NECK TO WARD OFF EVIL SPIRITS.

Submitter comment: LEARNED AT A SUMMER ETHNIC CAMP
A LIST OF ITEMS COMPILED BY THE CAMP DIRECTOR BUT LOST BY
THE INFORMANT

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): AMULET

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Devil Demon
BELIEF -- Plant

Date learned: 07-00-1975

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To her knowledge, when a child of Greek descent is born, he or
she is given a charm (a golden eye) to protect him or her from what
is called a "matiasma." Roughly translated it means "given the eye"
or "eyed." This happens when someone admires someone out of jealousy
out loud. For example, "His voice is so incredible. I wish I had it."
Once one is eyed, if he or she is not wearing the charm or if one
doesn't say "ftousou" which is a Greek word that means "to spray
saliva," he or she is condemned to sickness. (When said, ftousou
literally sprays saliva in the person's face.)

Submitter comment: This particular superstition is feared by my informant because,
as a child, she was "eyed" and became seriously ill. All was tried to
lower my informant's fever but nothing worked. Finally, with
hesitation, a witch doctor was summoned and the fever disappeared
within a single day. To this day she has believed in the curse and
gave me and her other son the golden eye. However, both have been
misplaced and to this date have not been found.

Where learned: GREECE

Keyword(s): AILMENT ; SICKNESS ; unexplained

James Callow Keyword(s): amulet, talisman

Subject headings: Favorites
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Witch Shaman
BELIEF -- Witch Shaman
BELIEF -- Curse

Date learned: 00001943CA

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Saying

Stubborn as a mule.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Keyword(s): Language ; METAPHOR ; Mule ; Saying ; SIMILE ; Stubborn

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Group of Vowels and Consonants, and of Words

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WEAR GARLIC AROUND YOUR NECK TO KEEP EVIL SPIRITS
AWAY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BLOOMFIELD HILLS

James Callow Keyword(s): AMULET

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Plant food Vegetable
BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter

Date learned: 09-12-1969

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YOU WILL ALWAYS BE PROSPEROUS IF YOU CARRY A
COIN WITH THE YEAR OF YOUR BIRTH STAMPED ON IT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): AMULET ; MONEY

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Birth
BELIEF -- Measure of time Year
BELIEF -- Measure of quality Monetary systemMoneyWealth
BELIEF -- Good luck

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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A PROTECTION AGAINST WITCHES

TIE GARLIC AROUND THE NECK AND IT WILL MAKE YOU
INVISIBLE TO WITCHES.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): AMULET

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Witch Shaman

Date learned: 11-12-1969

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MISS STOUDT, WHILE EMPLOYED ON THE NURSING STAFF AT HERMAN
HOSPITAL IN HOUSTON, TEXAS, OBSERVED PATIENTS WHO WORE DIMES
ON A CHAIN AROUND THEIR ANKLES TO WARD OFF EVIL SPIRITS.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; TEXAS ; NASHVILLE ; HOUSTON

James Callow Keyword(s): AMULET

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Devil Demon
BELIEF -- Body part Senses Feet, toes, toenails
BELIEF -- Fate Destiny Luck Chance

Date learned: 07-00-1968

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WEARING A NECKLACE MADE OF GARLIC KEEPS EVIL SPIRITS
AWAY.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

James Callow Keyword(s): AMULET

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Devil Demon
BELIEF -- Magic of Speech, Sign, Color

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IF YOU WEAR A SCAPULAR AROUND YOUR NECK AND DIE WITH
IT ON, YOU WILL GO DIRECTLY TO HEAVEN. HOWEVER,
A STORY TOLD BY AN ELEMENTARY NUN GOES, A COUPLE
WAS IN A CAR NECKING AND PETTING; THEY BOTH HAD
SCAPULARS; ON THE WAY HOME, THE BOY HAD AN
ACCIDENT, IN WHICH HIS HEAD WAS SEVERED FROM HIS
BODY AND THE SCAPULAR WAS HANGING ON A TREE, THIS
INFERRING THAT HE WENT STRAIGHT TO HELL.

Submitter comment: THIS WAS TOLD BY A NUN AS A WARNING TO HER STUDENTS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT ; LANSING-REILLY

James Callow Keyword(s): AMULET ; BELIEF TALE ; FUNCTION

Subject headings: Charm / Enchantment / Conjuration
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Product or activity of man or animal

Date learned: 10-06-1970

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IF YOU WEAR A SCAPULAR AROUND YOUR NECK AND DIE WITH
IT ON, YOU WILL GO DIRECTLY TO HEAVEN. HOWEVER,
A STORY TOLD BY AN ELEMENTARY NUN GOES, A COUPLE
WAS IN A CAR NECKING AND PETTING; THEY BOTH HAD
SCAPULARS; ON THE WAY HOME, THE BOY HAD AN
ACCIDENT, IN WHICH HIS HEAD WAS SEVERED FROM HIS
BODY AND THE SCAPULAR WAS HANGING ON A TREE, THIS
INFERRING THAT HE WENT STRAIGHT TO HELL.

Submitter comment: THIS WAS TOLD BY A NUN AS A WARNING TO HER STUDENTS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT ; LANSING-REILLY

James Callow Keyword(s): BELIEF TALE AMULET FUNCTION

Subject headings: Charm / Enchantment / Conjuration
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Product or activity of man or animal

Date learned: 10-06-1970

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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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FOLKLORE OF GOOD LUCK

IN JAPAN, BAMBOO IS HUNG IN DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE HOUSE TO GIVE ITS
STRENGTH TO WARD OFF SICKNESS AND TO BE ABLE TO KEEP WORKING.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

Keyword(s): Holistic ; Japan ; LUCK ; PLANT ; SYMBOL

James Callow Keyword(s): AMULET

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

Date learned: CA00001935

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