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IF YOU EAT BREAD CRUSTS YOU WILL HAVE BLACK CURLY HAIR.

Submitter comment: IN AN ATTEMPT TO CURE MY BLOND HAIR,
MY GRANDMOTHER WOULD TELL ME THIS AS A CHILD.
BLACK HAIR IS CONSIDERED THE LOVELIEST FEATURE
A ROMANIAN WOMAN CAN HAVE AND HAS BEEN CONSIDERED SO FOR GENERATIONS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): BREAD ; ETHNIC SUPERSTITION ; HAIR COLOR ; ROMANIAN

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses Hair, on head, mustache, widow's peak

Date learned: 11-26-1971

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LIGHTNING

IF YOU LIGHT CHARCOAL BEFORE A STORM
YOU WILL NEVER GET HIT BY LIGHTING.

Where learned: HOME

Keyword(s): PREVENTION ; SUPERSTITION

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

Date learned: 00001950'S

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CHRISTMAS

ON CHRISTMAS EVE, THE MOTHER OF THE HOUSEHOLD PLACES A FEW GRAINS
OF VARIOUS SEEDS, AND VARIOUS SILVER COINS INTO A LINEN NAPKIN,
PUTS THE BUNDLE ON THE TABLE, COVERS IT WITH SOME HAY, AND THEN
COVERS ALL WITH A TABLECLOTH (THIS PREVENTS STARVATION AND POORNESS
ALL YEAR).

Submitter comment:

INFORMANT LEARNED THIS FROM PARENTS.

Data entry tech comment:

Informant and collector share the same surname.
 

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): FOOD ; MONEY ; SUPERSTITION ; SUPERSTITION

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve F122.2
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve Christmas
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Straw

Date learned: 11-19-1967

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CHRISTMAS

WHEN SITTING DOWN TO THE LAST SUPPER, IT IS CUSTOMARY TO BLOW AT
THE CHAIR FIRST (IN UKRAINE) TO WARD OFF SPIRITS AND THUS NOT SIT
ON THEM.

Submitter comment:

INFORMANT LEARNED THIS FROM PARENTS IN UKRAINE.

Data entry tech comment:

Informant and collector share the same surname.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): SUPERSTITION

Subject headings: 686 686.1
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve F122.4
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve Christmas

Date learned: 11-19-1967

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PROVERBIAL APOTHEGM

ONE WHO LAYS A HAND ON HIS PARENTS LOSES THAT HAND

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

Keyword(s): SUPERSTITION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses
PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

Date learned: 00-00-1968

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JAPANESE SEA-HORSE

PREGNANT JAPANESE WOMEN WILL WEAR A DRIED SEA HORSE.
IT IS A CHARM FOR SAFE CHILD BIRTH.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): GOOD LUCK CHARM ; SUPERSTITION

James Callow Keyword(s): AMULET

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth
BELIEF -- Animal

Date learned: 11-00-1968

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BIRTH MARKS

IF AN EXPECTANT MOTHER CRAVES STAWBERRIES AND DOESN'T GET THEM,
THE CHILD WILL BE BORN WITH "STRAWBERRY MARKS."

Where learned: DETROIT ; MICHIGAN, ASSUMED

Keyword(s): EATING SUPERSTITION

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth
BELIEF -- P244 P244.6
BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Plant

Date learned: 03-00-1970

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EXPECTANT MOTHERS

PREGNANT WOMEN ARE NOT TO WALK OVER A HOSE (GARDEN HOSE, ETC.)
AS THIS WILL STRANGLE THE UNBORN CHILD

Submitter comment: INFORMANT ASSURED ME THIS WAS ACTUALLY TRUE.

Keyword(s): THREAT SUPERSTITION

James Callow Keyword(s): HOMESOPATHIC MAGIC

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 02-26-1971

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BELIEF

IF DURING PREGNANCY A WOMAN HAS HEARTBURN CONSTANTLY, THEN THE BABY
WILL BE BORN WITH A LOT OF HAIR. IF THE WOMAN EXPERIENCES NO
HEARTBURN THEN THE BABY WILL BE BORN BALD.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; TOLD AT INFORMANTS HOME

Keyword(s): PREDICTION SUPERSTITION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Birth

Date learned: 03-00-1971

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NINE BROTHERS

NINE BROTHERS WERE TRAVELING TO A TOWN AND IN THE EVENING THEY
CAME UP TO A FARMHOUSE AND ASKED TO STAY OVER. IN THE MORNING, WHEN
THEY WERE READY TO LEAVE, THE OLD LADY (SUPPOSEDLY A WITCH) TOLD THE
THAT THEY CAN'T GO ANYWHERE WITHOUT HER PERMISSION. WHEN THEY
REVOLTED, SHE TOLD THEM THAT FROM THAT MOMENT ON THEY WILL BE CROWS-
AND THEY WILL REMAIN CROWS TILL SOMEONE OF THEIR FAMILY WILL BREAK
THE SPELL.
IN THE MEANTIME, THEIR SISTER ALL ALONE AT HOME, WAS STARTING
TO WORRY AND SO SHE SET OUT TO LOOK FOR THEM. BUT TO NO AVAIL.
THEN SHE WENT TO A VERY OLD MAN, WHO WAS BELIEVED TO BE THE WISEST
PERSON AROUND. SHE ASKED HIM HOW SHE COULD HELP HER BROTHERS AND HE
TOLD HER THAT SHE WAS TO SPIN THREAD OUT OF FLAX, ENOUGH TO WEAVE A
LONG PIECE OF LINEN. AND FROM THE LINEN, SHE WAS TO SEW A SHIRT FOR
EVERY BROTHER WITH HER OWN HANDS.
SHE SPUN AND WOVE AND SEWED AND WHEN SHE WAS FINISHED, SHE WENT
BACK TO THE OLD MAN. HE TOLD HER THAT SHE WAS TO WALK FOR THREE DAY
TILL SHE CAME TO HIGH MOUNTAINS. AT THE TOP OF THE MOUNTAINS, SHE
WILL FIND A PLACE WHERE THE RULER OF THE WINDS LIVES. SHE WAS TO
STOP OVER AND ASK HIM IF HE SAW HER BROTHERS, NINE CROWS FLYING
AROUND SOMEWHERE.
THE RULER TOLD HER THAT NOT FAR FROM THE PLACE WHERE THEY WERE,
THERE WAS A CAVE WHERE THE NINE CROWS ALWAYS FLY TO AT NIGHT, SPEND
THE NIGHT AND THEN IN THE MORNING FLY OUT AGAIN.
THE SISTER WALKED ALL DAY AND THEN STARTED LOOKING FOR THE CAVE.
SHE LOOKED IN SEVERAL CAVES BUT DIDN'T FIND ANYTHING. FINALLY, IN
ONE CAVE SHE SAW THAT THERE WAS A TABLE IN THE CENTER WITH NINE
CHAIRS AROUND IT. AND AROUND THE CAVE AGAINST THE WALLS, THERE WERE
NINE BEDS. AND THE YOUNGER BROTHER'S BED STOOD RIGHT BY THE DOOR.
ON THE TABLE THERE WAS SOME BREAD AND OTHER KINDS OF FOOD FOR EACH
BROTHER. THE SISTER WAS VERY HUNGRY AND FROM EVERY BROTHER'S PIECE
OF BREAD, SHE BROKE OFF A PIECE FOR HERSELF AND HAD A COUPLE OF
SPOONFULS OF SOUP.
SHE WASN'T FINISHED EATING YET WHEN SHE HEARD A GREAT NOISE OF
WING FLAPPING. SHE WAS SO FRIGHTENED, THAT SHE RAN AND HID IN THE
CORNER UNDER ONE OF HER BROTHER'S BEDS.
THE BROTHERS FLEW IN, TURNED INTO HUMANS AND IMMEDIATELY SAT DOWN
TO EAT FOR THEY WERE VERY HUNGRY. THEY ALL WERE SURPRISED WHEN THEY
NOTICED THAT THEIR FOOD WAS TOUCHED. THEY WERE VERY UNHAPPY ABOUT
THAT AND AFTER EATING, THEY FELL ASLEEP.
IN THE MORNING, THEY DRESSED AND AS SOON AS THEY STEPPED OUT OF
THE CAVE, THEY AGAIN TURNED INTO CROWS. AND THEIR SISTER SAW ALL
THIS. THE SISTER IMMEDIATELY SAW THAT THEIR BEDS WEREN'T MADE, THE
CAVE WASN'T SWEPT. SHE SWEPT THE CAVE AND AGAIN ATE SOME OF THEIR
FOOD. SHE DIDN'T HAVE ENOUGH COURAGE YET TO SHOW HERSELF TO HER
BROTHERS, SO WHEN SHE HEARD THEM FLYING IN, AGAIN SHE HID UNDER A
BED.
THE BROTHERS AGAIN SAW THAT THEIR FOOD WAS TOUCHED, WHILE EATING,
THE YOUNGER BROTHER NOTICED THAT THE CAVE WAS SWEPT, THEIR BEDS WERE
MADE AND THEY COULDN'T UNDERSTAND WHO WOULD COME IN TO FIX THEIR
CAVE. AGAIN THEY WENT TO BED DISCUSSING WHO IT COULD BE, BUT NO ONE
MENTIONED IT THAT IT COULD BE THEIR SISTER WHO CAME.
THE THIRD DAY, THE SISTER FIXED UP THEIR CAVE, ATE SOME OF THEIR
FOOD, BUT THIS TIME LEFT A SHIRT ON EACH BROTHER'S MADE BED.
IN THE EVENING, WHEN THE BROTHER'S FLEW IN, THEY NOTICED THAT
THEIR FOOD WAS EATEN, THEIR BEDS WERE MADE AND THEY ALSO NOTICED THE
SHIRTS. THEN THEY WERE HAPPY AND CERTAIN THAT SOMEONE HAS BEEN
ENTERING THEIR CAVE AND THAT MAYBE THEY WERE HIDING IN IT NOW.
THE SISTER WAS LISTENING TO HER BROTHERS AND DECIDED TO CRAWL OUT
FROM UNDER THE BED AND SHOW HERSELF TO THEM. THE BROTHERS WERE VERY
HAPPY, BUT THEY TOLD HER THAT BEING CROWS TILL NINE YEARS WAS LEFT
ONLY A LITTLE TIME, AND NOW THEY WILL HAVE TO BE CROWS FOR ANOTHER
NINE YEARS. BUT SHE TOLD THEM THAT THEY DON'T HAVE TO BE, BECAUSE
SHE BROUGHT THEM SHIRTS THAT WHEN THEY WEAR THE SHIRT OUTSIDE THE
CAVE, THEY WILL REMAIN HUMANS. SO THEY ALL STAYED UP THAT NIGHT
WAITING FOR THE DAWN, TO FIND OUT IF IT WAS TRUE. WHEN DAWN CAME,
THE OLDEST BROTHER STEPPED OUT BUT REMAINED HUMAN. THEN THE REST PU
ON THEIR SHIRTS AND THEY ALL WENT HOME HAPPILY.

Submitter comment: TRANSLATED FROM LITHUANIAN BY RAMUNE STONYS WHILE STORY WAS BEING
TOLD.

Where learned: DINNER TABLE

Keyword(s): SUPERSTITION

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Tale

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BELIEF

SOME PEOPLE IN THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS BELIEVE THAT WHEN A PERSON
SNEEZES HIS SOUL HAS ESCAPED. TO GET THE SOUL BACK, THEY SHOUT VERY
LOUDLY, "SOUL, COME BACK HERE."

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): RELIGIOUS BELEF SUPERSTITION

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Formula

Date learned: 10-02-1967

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IF YOUR NOSE ITCHES, YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE A FIGHT.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT HEARD THIS FROM HIS MOTHER, ELIZABETH ZDROJESKI WHEN
HE WAS GROWING UP. ELIZABETH HEARD IT FROM HER MOTHER, MRS. RICE,
AROUND 1910.

Where learned: NEW JERSEY ; JERSEY CITY

Keyword(s): HUMANS SENSUAL EXPERIENCES SUPERSTITION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Dreams P841.72
PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

Date learned: CA00001968 ; 00-00-1910

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COMING INTO MONEY

IF YOUR PALM ITCHES, YOU'RE GOING TO COME INTO MONEY SOON.

Submitter comment: HEARD IT FROM A FRIEND.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; YPSILANTI

Keyword(s): ADVICE ; SUPERSTITION ; WEALTH

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Proverb C880.700

Date learned: 10-13-1967

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PROVERB

WAMMER FLUCHT IHERM FISCHE, FANGT MER NIX.

Submitter comment: IF YOU SWEAR WHILE FISHING, YOU WILL NOT CATCH ANY FISH.
TRADITION OF PENNSYLVANIA DUTCH.

Where learned: NEW YORK CITY ; NEW YORK

Keyword(s): ADVICE ; SUPERSTITION

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 10-00-1965

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DAYS OF THE WEEK

VARIOUS BELIEFS ARE ASSOCIATED WITH THE DAYS OF THE WEEK.
MONDAY IS CONSIDERED A WORK DAY. THEREFORE, IF NEW YEAR'S
DAY FALLS ON A MONDAY, THE ENTIRE YEAR WILL BE HARD.
TUESDAY IS CONSIDERED A HAPPY DAY. WEDNESDAY AND FRIDAY
ARE FAST DAYS COMMEMORATING GOOD FRIDAY AND THE WEDNESDAYS
OF LENT. THURSDAY IS ASSOCIATED WITH GOOD LUCK AND IS THE
DAY ASSOCIATED WITH MATCHMAKING. IF YOU ARE BORN ON THIS
DAY YOU WILL BE RICH. SATURDAY IS A DAY OF REMEMBRANCE OF
THE DEAD.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; ROCHESTER

Keyword(s): SUPERSTITION

Subject headings: Observation
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
BELIEF -- Marriage
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Measure of time Year
BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour
BELIEF -- Good luck Time (year, season, week, hour, etc.) Occasion Event

Date learned: 00001950S

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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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It is extremely bad luck for a bride-to-be to sew
even one stitch in her own wedding dress.

Submitter comment: Elaine first heard this warning as a young woman, when her
friend was sewing her own wedding gown. The bride's relatives
(Polish) warned her not to, as it would surely bring trouble.
They dismissed it as an "old-wives tale." Later, however,
her best friend died an unexpected and premature death.
She now believes this to be true.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

Keyword(s): Superstition, advice, tabu

Subject headings: ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Dress Overall body coverUpper body and arms
BELIEF -- Bad luck Crucial moment of life

Date learned: 00001950S

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If you thank someone who gives you a plant, it will
not grow.

Submitter comment: Elinor really believes this saying to be true, and states
that she is very careful to avoid thanking someone for a
plant.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; FRASER

Keyword(s): superstition, vegetation, curse

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Plant
BELIEF -- P535
BELIEF -- Bad luck Plants

Date learned: 00001950S

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When you clear the table you should never put
the crumbs on the floor so that you won't go
hungry. You should never sweep the dirt and
crumbs from the floor directly out the door;
you should always use a dustpan.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: KANSAS ; Manhattan

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; CUSTOM ; Domesticity ; Housekeeping ; SUPERSTITION

James Callow Keyword(s): DIRECTION ; POSITION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Measure of time Eating For menu, see N222.

Date learned: 00001920S

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THERE IS AN OLD WIVES' TALE THAT SAYS THAT WHEN A WOMAN IS
IN THE PROCESS OF GIVING BIRTH TO A CHILD THE ANGEL OF
DEATH CIRCLES HER BED NINE TIMES. ONCE FOR EVERY MONTH OF
HER PREGNANCY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; Lansing

Keyword(s): PREGNANCY SUPERSTITION

Subject headings: 686 Ninths / Nine
Favorites
BELIEF -- Angel
BELIEF -- Birth
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 00001950CA

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