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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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Wedding Custom

At a shower for a bride-elect, she wil have the same number of children as ribbons broken.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Keyword(s): Break ; Bridal ; Bride ; Broken ; CHILDREN ; CUSTOM ; Offspring ; Predict ; Ribbons ; Shower ; WEDDING

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Maturity

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Superstition

Belief:

If a pregnant woman gets frightened and touches some part of her body, her child will be born with a birthmark on the same part of its body. The birthmark will be the same shape as the thing which frightened the mother.

Data entry tech comment:

motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Reference

Original BN [P438] crossed out and replaced with current classification

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): BABY ; BELIEF ; CHILD ; FRIGHT ; Offspring ; Old Wives Tale ; PREGNANCY ; Scare ; SUPERSTITION

James Callow Keyword(s): Reference

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Birth

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Superstition

Belief:

A pregnant woman should avoid being scared or shocked because this will disfigure or mark the baby.

Examples:

1. During a fire, a terrified pregnant woman grabbed her face with her hands and the baby was born with a red streak on its face.

2. A pregnant woman was scared by a mouse, and her baby was born with a marking on its shoulder similar to a mouse.

Submitter comment:

The informant heard of these two instances while she as a young girl in Poland.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Reference

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; Biology ; BIRTH ; Birthmark ; CHILD ; FEAR ; FIRE ; Mouse ; Offspring ; Old Wives Tale ; PREGNANCY ; RODENT ; SUPERSTITION

James Callow Keyword(s): Reference

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Birth

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Superstition

Pregnancy Belief:

When the informant was a student nurse in obstetrics at Mt. Carmel Hospital in 1968, she had a Slavic patient who had a patch of hair on her back at the base of her spine. the woman haad been told by her mother that she had been frightened by a bear while she was carrying her daughter. She was extrememly frightened when she suddenly saw the bearbut as she made the spontaneous gesture of clutching herself, she thought it would be dangerous to her child if she raised her hands to her face in fear in the front, so she reached behind and grabbed her back. She belived this had caused the patch on her daughter's back.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Reference

Where learned: Public Health Nurse

Keyword(s): BABY ; Bear ; BELIEF ; CHILD ; CURSE ; FEAR ; infant ; jinx ; Offspring ; Old Wives Tale ; SUPERSTITION

James Callow Keyword(s): Reference

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Birth

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Superstition

If a pregnant woman is frightened by fire, the baby will have a red or purple birthmark.

Submitter comment:

Belief: Means of Cursing

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Reference

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

Where learned: HOME

Keyword(s): BABY ; BIRTH ; Birthmark ; CHILD ; COLOR ; CURSE ; FEAR ; FIRE ; jinx ; Offspring ; Old Wives Tale ; Purple ; Red ; SUPERSTITION

James Callow Keyword(s): Reference

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Birth

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Superstition

Pregnancy Superstition:

If a pregnant woman is frightened her baby will be born marked in some way.

Submitter comment:

This is a superstition common in the Oswald family

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Reference

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): BABY ; BELIEF ; Birthmark ; CHILD ; CURSE ; FEAR ; jinx ; Mark ; Offspring ; PREGNANCY ; Scare ; SUPERSTITION

James Callow Keyword(s): Reference

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Birth

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Superstition

My grandmother has a mark, which she calls a "fire mark" on her upper arm. It is oddly similar ro a birthmark, bu this is the story of its origin according to my grandmother:

When her mother was pregnant with her, there was a fire in the Russion town where they lived. Her mother went out to look at it, and the night was quite cold. She grasped her upper arm because of this cold, and so my grandmother was born with a mark in the same place her mother had held her arm.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Reference

Original BN [P840] crossed out. Replaced with current classification.

Where learned: Myself

Keyword(s): BABY ; BIRTH ; Birthmark ; Cold ; CURSE ; FEAR ; FIRE ; jinx ; Offspring ; Russia ; Scare ; SUPERSTITION

James Callow Keyword(s): Reference

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Birth

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Superstition

Belief:

If you're frightened during pregnancy after the 7th month the child will be born with a birth mark such as a strawberry or in the shape of a thing that produced the fright.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Reference

Original BN [P880] crossed out. Replaced with Current Classification

Where learned: HOME

Keyword(s): BABY ; BIRTH ; CHILD ; CURSE ; FEAR ; jinx ; Offspring ; Old Wives Tale ; Scare ; SUPERSTITION

James Callow Keyword(s): Reference

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Birth

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Superstition

Superstition:

Pregnant women should not look at strawberries because then their children will develop red blotches on themselves (which look like strawberries).

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Reference

Original BN [P740] crossed out. replaced with current classification

Where learned: HOME

Keyword(s): BABY ; BIRTH ; Birthmark ; CURSE ; jinx ; Mark ; Offspring ; Old Wives Tale ; PREGNANCY ; STRAWBERRY ; SUPERSTITION

James Callow Keyword(s): Reference

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Birth

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Superstition

How Many Children?

Thread a needle and hold it at the top, next to your left wrist. If you keep watching for awhile, the needle and thread will move all by itself. If it moves in circles, for example, three times, that means you will have three daughters someday. If it sways back and forth, that means you will have the respective number of sons. If the needle and thread don't move at all, you will be childless.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [P542, P860] crossed out. Replaced with current Classification

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): BIRTH ; Childbirth, divination ; CHILDREN ; FUTURE ; GAME ; gender ; NUMBER ; Offspring ; Ordaining ; SUPERSTITION ; TRICK

James Callow Keyword(s): Reference

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Birth

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Superstition: Pregnancy

When you're pregnant is you see a fire there will be a mark on your child.

Data entry tech comment:

motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Reference

Original BN [P870] crossed out. Replaced with P542

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN HEIGHTS

Keyword(s): Birthmark ; CHILD ; CURSE ; FIRE ; Mark ; Offspring ; SUPERSTITION

James Callow Keyword(s): Reference

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Birth

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Superstition

"Mouse"

My brother has a birthmark on his thigh. But my grandmother refuses to believe that it did not come about inthis way: She says that when my mother was pregnant a mouse must have frightened her and she must have grabbed her leg at the thigh, in the place where my brother has the "mouse." Her proof is that my uncle has the same kind of mark in the same place on his leg, and she is sure that she was scared by a mouse when pregnant with him.

Data entry tech comment:

motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Reference

Original BN [P840] crossed out and replaced with current classification.

Where learned: Myself

Keyword(s): BIRTH ; Birthmark ; CHILD ; CURSE ; FEAR ; Mouse ; Offspring ; Scare ; SUPERSTITION

James Callow Keyword(s): Reference

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Birth

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Superstition: Pregnancy

Prediction Belief:

If a pregnant woman looks at an ugly animal, her child may be ugly.

Submitter comment:

Prediction / Belief

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Reference

Original BN [P800] crossed out / replaced with current classification

Where learned: HOME

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; BIRTH ; CHILD ; CURSE ; jinx ; Offspring ; Old Wives Tale ; PREGNANCY ; SUPERSTITION

James Callow Keyword(s): Reference

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Birth

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Superstition: Pregnancy

Cats:

Cats shouldn't be allowed in the same room as a sleeping baby because the smell of milk on a baby's breath will cause the cat to suffocate the baby when the cat attempts to suck the milk out of the baby through the baby's mouth.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [P400] crossed out / replaced with current classification

Where learned: HOME

Keyword(s): ANIMAL ; ASPHYXIATION ; BABY ; CAT ; CHILD ; DEATH ; FEAR ; Feline ; FOOD ; Kill ; Milk ; Newborn ; Offspring ; Suffocate ; SUPERSTITION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mammal

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Superstition: Pregnancy

IF A HARE PASSES IN FRONT OF A PREGNANT WOMAN, HER CHILD WILL BE BORN
WITH A HARELIP UNLESS SHE MAKES A TEAR IN HER SLIP.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added and information updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WARREN ; informant's home

Keyword(s): ANIMAL ; BELIEF ; CURSE ; Deformity ; Hare ; Offspring ; PREGNANCY ; Rabbit ; SUPERSTITION

James Callow Keyword(s): IMITATIVE MAGIC

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Body part Senses Mouth, teeth, lips, tongue
BELIEF -- Mammal
BELIEF -- Birth

Date learned: 01-22-1970

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Entry filtered.

Superstition: Pregnancy

Historical record from James Callow Folklore Archive.

Marks on the Body:

If a pregnant woman has any desires and touches herself, the baby will be marked on that spot.  

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [P680, P870] crossed out. replaced with current classifications

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; WORK

Keyword(s): BABY ; BELIEF ; BIRTH ; CONCEPTION ; Desire ; MASTURBATION ; Offspring ; PREGNANCY ; SEX ; Sexuality ; SUPERSTITION ; Suppression ; TABU ; Unborn ; Woman

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness
Filter - Mature Content

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Superstition: Pregnancy

Remedy:

If a woman is frightened during her pregnancy, the child will have a birth mark.

Submitter comment:

Learned at home on the farm.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): BABY ; BELIEF ; Birth Mark ; CHILD ; CURSE ; FEAR ; Frightened ; Offspring ; PREGNANCY ; SUPERSTITION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Remedy

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Proverb

From small acorns spring great oaks.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Keyword(s): Acorn ; Aphorism ; Apothegm ; Maxim ; Oak ; Offspring ; PROVERB ; Seed ; Tree ; VERSE

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

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A MOTHER SHOULD COUNT THE BLACK BALLS OF FIBER IN THE
CORD TO DETERMINE HOW MANY MORE CHILDREN SHE WILL HAVE.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; Black ; COLOR ; Fiber ; NUMBER ; Offspring ; PREGNANCY ; UMBILICAL CORD

James Callow Keyword(s): UMBILICAL CORD

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Birth
BELIEF -- Measure of quantity or weight
BELIEF -- Number Counting beliefs

Date learned: 08-20-1973

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BELIEF-WITCHES

IF A WOMAN ( SUPPOSEDLY) A WITCH HAS A DAUGHTER SHE WISHES
TO MARRY OFF, SHE WILL BURN A STOCKING AND THIS WILL BEWITCH
A BOY AND DRAW HIM TO THE DAUGHTER.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; CHILDREN ; DAUGHTER ; MAGIC ; Offspring ; Son ; Spell ; WITCHES

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Witch Shaman
BELIEF -- Marriage

Date learned: 11-20-1969

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