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WEDDING CUSTOM

THE IRISH BELIEVE THAT BEFORE ANY MARRIAGE TAKES PLACE
THE COUPLE SHOULD EACH TAKE A GOLD PIECE, AND
AN EGG AND A CROSS IN ONE HAND OF EACH, TO ASSURE
GOOD FORTUNE, FERTILITY AND THE BLESSING OF GOD.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): COIN ; SYMBOLS

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Marriage
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Cross and its various modifications

Date learned: 11-11-1974

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NEW YEAR'S CUSTOM

INFORMANT'S GRANDMOTHER, ON NEW YEAR'S EVE GOES OUT THE BACK DOOR
AT 11:59 AND SLOWLY WALKS TO THE FRONT DOOR AND WALKS IN AT 12:01
SIGNIFYING THE END OF THE OLD YEAR AND THE BEGINNING OF THE NEW
YEAR.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): SYMBOLS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 31 New Year's Eve

Date learned: 11-22-1974

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NEW YEAR'S CUSTOM

GRANDMOTHER SAID WHEN NEW YEAR'S WOULD COME AROUND SHE HAD THE
TRADITIONAL BLACK-EYED PEAS AND COLLARD GREENS TO COMPLETE HER NEW
YEAR'S DINNER. GRANDMOTHER SAID THE TRADITIONAL DINNER REPRESENTED
GOOD FINANCIAL LUCK THROUGHOUT THE YEAR. THE BLACK-EYED PEAS
SYMBOLIZED COINS AND THE COLLARDS REPRESENTED GREENBACKS.

Submitter comment:

INFORMANT
PRACTICED THIS CUSTOM SINCE THE EARLY YEARS OF HER MARRIAGE.

Where learned: SOUTH CAROLINA

James Callow Keyword(s): HOMEOPATHIC MAGIC MONEY ; SYMBOLS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20
Food Drink -- Typical menus for the various meals For meal hours, see F574.84. Special or festive meals
BELIEF -- Color
BELIEF -- Good luck P881.42

Date learned: 00001960S (MID)

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DIVINATION OF DESTINY

WHEN A BABY IS VERY YOUNG PLACE A COIN, BEER AND A ROSARY WITHIN THE
REACH OF THE BABY. IF THE BABY FIRST REACHES FOR THE COIN, IT WILL
ALWAYS HAVE MONEY. IF IT REACHES FOR THE BEER IT WILL FAVOR THE
DRINK. IF IT FIRST REACHES FOR THE ROSARY THE BABY IS DESTINED TO
BECOME RELIGIOUS.

Submitter comment: THIS ITEM WAS GIVEN TO MRS. CHESNEY BY MATILDA MELLON, HER MOTHER, WHO WAS AN IRISH IMMIGRANT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HARPER WOODS

James Callow Keyword(s): ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES ; SYMBOLS ; SYMPATHETIC MAGIC

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Use of Object

Date learned: 09-16-1975

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WEDDING SHOWER CUSTOM

AT A BRIDAL SHOWER, THE NUMBER OF RIBBONS BROKEN FROM THE PRESENTS
THE BRIDE RECEIVES INDICATES THE NUMBER OF CHILDREN SHE WILL HAVE.
SEVEN BROKEN RIBBONS MEAN SEVEN CHILDREN.

Submitter comment: EVERYONE LAUGHS AT THIS CUSTOM, BUT AT EVERY BRIDAL SHOWER I HAVE
ATTENDED THE FUTURE BRIDE HAS BEEN VERY CAREFUL. I HAVE NEVER
SEEN A BROKEN RIBBON.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; LIVONIA

James Callow Keyword(s): NUMBERS ; SYMBOLS

Subject headings: 686 Seven / Sevenths / Several
Observation
BELIEF -- Birth

Date learned: CA00001970

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EASTER FOOD

THE UKRAINIANS PUT A SMALL LOAF OF ROUND BREAD, USUALLY WITH A
BRAIDED TOP, IN THEIR EASTER BASKETS. THIS REPRESENTS THE STAFF OF
LIFE--THE BRAID REPRESENTS THE CROSS OF CHRIST.

Submitter comment:

Told at informant's place of occupation - Detroit Board of Education

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; DETROIT BOARD OF EDUCATION

Keyword(s): FOOD CUSTOM ; SYMBOLS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Easter Sunday

Date learned: 03-17-1970

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ON EASTER MONDAY, TO PROTECT THE CHILDREN OF THE HOUSE FROM EVIL, IT
IS ADVISABLE TO WRITE THE INITIALS OF THE THREE WISE MEN
OVER THE HOUSE DOOR.

Data entry tech comment:

Informant and collector share the same surname.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; GROSSE POINTE WOODS

Keyword(s): SYMBOLS: INITIALS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Easter Monday Dyngus
BELIEF -- Word Letter

Date learned: 10-25-1969

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THE HAND OUTLASTS THE SWORD.

Submitter comment: THIS PROVERB IS ALSO A VARIANT OF THE GERMAN.

Where learned: LOCATION NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR

Keyword(s): SYMBOLS

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: DATE NOT RECORDED BY THE COLLECTOR

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POLISH WEDDING CUSTOM

AT POLISH WEDDING RECEPTIONS, THE BRIDE AND GROOM ARE
PRESENTED WITH SALT AND WATER BY THE GUESTS. THIS INSURES THAT
THE COUPLE WILL HAVE SUSTENANCE THROUGHOUT THEIR MARRIED LIFE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): SYMBOLS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage Reception
BELIEF -- Mineral
BELIEF -- Water

Date learned: 02-00-1979

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PROVERB

THE FOOT ON THE CRADLE AND THE HAND ON THE DISTAFF IS THE SIGN OF A
GOOD HOUSEWIFE.

Submitter comment: SPANISH SAYING

Where learned: MACKENZIE HIGH SCHOOL

Keyword(s): MOTHERHOOD ; SPINNING WHEEL ; SYMBOLS ; WORK, INDUSTRY

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 10-12-1965

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TRAFFIC RULE

RED LIGHT ON A TRAFFIC SIGNAL MEANS STOP
YELLOW LIGHT ON A TRAFFIC SIGNAL MEANS CAUTION
GREEN LIGHT ON A TRAFFIC SIGNAL MEANS PROCEED WITH CAUTION

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): AUTOMOBILES ; COLORS SYMBOLS

Subject headings: SPEECH -- To Be Seen

Date learned: 11-00-1968

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KWANZA

KWANZA WAS CREATED BY DR. RON KARENGA FOR BLACK AMERICANS.
IT STARTS DECEMBER 26TH AND ENDS JANUARY 1ST.
BLACK, RED, AND GREEN ARE ITS COLORS. BLACK IS FOR OUR PEOPLE
RED FOR OUR CONTINUING STRUGGLE AND GREEN FOR LAND AND HOPE.
KANZA HAS SEVEN PRINCIPLES OF THE BLACK VALUE SYSTEM, CALLED THE
NGUZO SABA.
1. UMOJA -(UNITY)- TO STRIVE FOR AND MAINTAIN UNITY IN THE FAMILY,
COMMUNITY, NATION AND RACE.
2. KUJUCHAGULIA -(SELF-DETERMINATION)- TO DEFINE
OURSELVES, NAME OURSELVES,
CREATE FOR OURSELVES AND SPEAK
FOR OURSELVES RATHER THAT TO ALLOW OTHERS
TO DO THESE THINGS FOR US.
3. UJIMA -(COLLECTIVE WORK AND RESPONSIBILITY)- TO BUILD AND
MAINTAIN OUR COMMUNITY TOGETHER TO MAKE OUR SISTERS AND BROTHERS
PROBLEMS OUR PROBLEMS AND TO SOLVE THEM TOGETHER.
4. UJAMAA -(COOPERATIVE ECONOMICS)- TO BUILD AND MAINTAIN OUR
OWN STORES,
SHOPS, AND OTHER BUSINESSES AND TO PROFIT FROM THEM TOGETHER.
5. NIA -(PURPOSE)- TO MAKE OUR COLLECTIVE VOCATION THE BUILDING AN
DEVELOPING OF OUR COMMUNITY IN ORDER TO RESTORE OUR PEOPLE TO THEIR
TRADITIONAL GREATNESS.
6. KUUMBA -(CREATIVITY)- TO DO ALWAYS AS MUCH
AS WE CAN IN THE WAY WE
CAN, IN ORDER TO LEAVE OUR COMMUNITY MORE BEAUTIFUL AND BENEFICIAL
THAN WHEN WE INHERITED IT.
7. IMANI -(FAITH)- TO BELIEVE WITH ALL OUR
HEARTS IN OUR PEOPLE, OUR
PARENTS, OUR TEACHERS, OUR LEADERS AND THE
RIGHTEOUSNESS AND VICTORY OF OUR STRUGGLE. MM
CELEBRANTS BRING FOOD AND DRINKS TO SHARE FOR EACH DAY'S FEAST. EAC
CELEBRANT IS GREETED WITH THE WORDS "HABARI GANI" WHICH MEANS WHAT'S
THE NEWS OR WHAT'S HAPPENING. THE RESPONSE IS THAT DAY'S NQUZO SABA
PRINCIPLE.
THE HOUSE IS DECORATED WITH THE COLORS
GREEN, RED, AND BLACK. EVERYONE
GATHERS INTO A SEMICIRCLE. THE TABLE IS SET WITH THE SYMBOLS OF
KWANZA AND EACH PIECE IS EXPLAINED.
A STRAW MAT (MKEKA), THE SYMBOL
FOR OUR HISTORICAL FOUNDATION IN
TADITIONAL AFRICAN CULTURE. A CANDLEHOLDER
(KINARA), THE SYMBOL FOR OUR AFRICAN ANCESTORS. IT HOLDS SEVEN
CANDLES, (MISHUMAA), THREE RED, ONE BLACK, AND THREE GREEN ONES. TH
CANDLES REPRESENT THE SEVEN PRINCIPLES.
(MATUNDA)- TROPICAL FRUIT, VEGETABLES AND NUTS, WHICH REPRESENT THE
YIELD OF TRADITIONAL HARVEST.
EARS OF CORN WHICH REPRESENT THE NUMBER
OF CHILDREN IN THE FAMILY AND UNSHUCKED EARS OF CORN TO REPRESENT
CHILDLESS HOMES TO EXPRESS THE POTENTIAL FOR CHILDREN.
GIFTS, GIVEN ON THE SEVENTH DAY OF KWANZA, ARE MAINLY FOR CHILDREN
AND REPRESENT PARENT'S SATISFACTION
THAT THEIR CHILDREN HAVE ACHIEVED
AND GROWN IN A MANNER THAT GIVES HONOR TO THE FAMILY. THE GIFTS ARE
EXPRESSING THE HISTORY, CULTURE AND COMMITMENT
TO EDUCATION AS A LIBERATING
FORCE. MM
THE ELDERS OF THE FAMILY TAKE SEATS ON EACH SIDE OF THE KWANZA TABLE
SETTING AND THE CEREMONY BEGINS. THE
ELDERS CHARGE YOU TO REMEMBER OUR
ANCESTORS AND TO STRUGGLE FOR A NEW WORLD FOR
OUR CHILDREN. THEY POUR A LIBATION FORM THE UNITY CUP.
A LIBATION IS AN EXPRESSION OF COMMUNICATION AMONG US:
THE LIVING, OUR ANCESTORS AND OUR CHILDREN YET
TO BE BORN.
TO EXPRESS UNITY AS AN IDEAL IN BLACK
COMMUNITIES THROUGHOUT THE WORLD,
THE ELDERS DRINK FROM THE UNITY CUP AND PASS IT TO THE
OTHER MEMBERS OF THE CELEBRATION.
EACH PERSON SHOUTS "HARAMBEE" (LET'S PULL TOGETHER),
THEREBY PLEDGING THEMSELVES TO UNITY.
THE CHILDREN LIGHT A CANDLE FOR EACH
DAY OF THE CELEBRATION WHICH HAS
PASSED AND FOR THE PRESENT DAY. EACH
CELEBRANT EXPRESSES THEIR THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS ABOUT THE PRINCIPLE
FOR THE DAY AND HOW IT AFFECTS THEIR LIVES. MM
KWANZA WAS FOUNDED TO CELEBRATE OUR FAMILIES AND COMMUNITIES, OUR
WARMTH AND LOVE, OUR INTERDEPENDENCE AND FREEDOM STRUGGLE AND OUR
JOY AND STRENGTH. BECAUSE WE ARE AN AFRICAN PEOPLE. DR. KARENGA
LOOKING TO THE MOTHERLAND; BORROWED AN IDEAL; USED CREATIVITY AND
INGENUITY, AND MIXED IT WITH THE BLACK EXPERIENCE IN AMERICA. HE
CREATED MATUNDA YA KWANKA (KISWAHILI),
FOR FIRST FRUIT, THE CELEBRATION
COMMONLY KNOWN AS KWANZA.
KWANZA IS AN EXTENDED FAMILY CELEBRATION AND AN OCCASION FOR
STRENGTHENING FAMILY CONSCIOUSNESS AND SOLIDARITY WHILE SERVING AS A
EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE FOR CHILDREN IN SOCIAL AND SPIRITUAL MATTERS.
MUCH TIME IS SPENT REFLECTING ON THE PAST YEAR, MAKING DECISIONS
ABOUT IMPORTANT MATTERS THAT AFFECT THE FAMILY, WISHING RELATIVES A
PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR AND ENJOYING FOOD, MUSIC AND GAMES.
IN THE U.S. THE FIRST FRUIT CELEBRATION, KWANZA, IS A SYMBOLIC EVENT
DURING THE FESTIVAL BLACK PEOPLE COME
TOGETHER TO CELEBRATE OUR AFRICAN
HERITAGE, TO GIVE THANKS TO OUR ANCESTORS,
TO REAFFIRM THE BELIEF THAT ELDERS SHOULD BE
RESPECTED, TO REINFORCE OUR VALUE FRAMEWORK FOR OUR CHILDREN
AND TO CELEBRATE THE SEVEN PRINCIPLES OF THE BLACK VALUE SYSTEM,
THE NGUZO SABA.

Submitter comment: I HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO PARTICIPATE IN A CELEBRATION OF KWANZA LAST
YEAR AT A FRIEND'S HOUSE. SHE (MARLA PITTS), HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO
CELEBRATE IT WHILE ON HER VACATION IN 1975.

Where learned: DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): SYMBOLS

Subject headings: 686 Seven / Sevenths / Several
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 26 Boxing Day St. Stephen's Day
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F122
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 28 Holy Innocents
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F122
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F123
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 31 New Year's Eve
Food Drink -- Typical menus for the various meals For meal hours, see F574.84. Special or festive meals
BELIEF -- Color

Date learned: 00-00-1978 ; 00-00-1975

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FIRST BIRTHDAY

ON A BABY'S FIRST BIRTHDAY, PLACE A ROSARY, WHISKEY GLASS AND SOME
MONEY BEFORE HIM. WHICHEVER HE PICKS WILL BE WHAT HE BECOMES;
A PRIEST, A DRUNK, OR A WEALTHY PERSON.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT SAYS THIS WAS A PRACTICED CUSTOM AMONG HER FAMILY

Where learned: TOLD IN ; MCKENDRICK ; ANCIENT DRAMA CLASS

James Callow Keyword(s): SYMBOLS

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
Observation
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth

Date learned: 02-12-1971

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BLISTERS ON THE LIP MEANS ONE HAS TOLD A LIE

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): SYMBOLS

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal

Date learned: 10-00-1979

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THE CLADDOUGH RING

AN IRISH ENGAGEMENT RING IS CALLED A CLADDOUGH RING, A HEART HELD
IN TWO HANDS UNDER A CROWN. WHEN WORN ON THE LEFT HAND IT
SYMBOLIZES THAT THERE IS SOMEONE SPECIAL IN YOUR LIFE. WHEN WORN
ON THE RIGHT HAND WITH THE HEART FACING YOU, IT MEANS THAT THERE
IS SOMEONE THAT YOU ARE ESPECIALLY FOND OF, AND WORN ON THE
RIGHT HAND WITH THE HEART FACING OUT IT MEANS THAT YOUR HEART
IS STILL OPEN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; LIVONIA

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION ; SYMBOLS

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Marriage

Date learned: CA02001980

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BELIEF

SANDDOLLARS GOT THEIR DESIGN ON GOOD FRIDAY. IT IS SAID THAT THE
SANDDOLLAR WAS AFFECTED BY THE CRUCIFICTION, WHICH IS THE REASON
FOR THE FIVE HOLES IN ITS SURFACE, AND THE ETCHING OF AN EASTER
LILY AROUND THEM.

Where learned: DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): CRUCIFIXION ; SYMBOLS OF CHRIST'S WOUNDS

Subject headings: 663 Good Friday
BELIEF -- Fish

Date learned: CA00001974

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POLISH CUSTOM FOR A NEW HOUSE

THE FIRST THINGS TO ENTER A NEW HOUSE ARE A TABLE, A CROSS, AND
SOME HOLY WATER.

Submitter comment: BRINGING THE TABLE INSURES THAT THE FAMILY WILL NEVER BE WITHOUT
FOOD. THE CROSS, REPRESENTATIVE OF RELIGION, GUARANTEES A BLESSED
LIFE. THE HOLY WATER REMOVES EVIL FROM THE HOUSE.

Where learned: DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): SYMBOLS

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
Favorites
BELIEF -- Home
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Cross and its various modifications

Date learned: 01-13-1980

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GREEK WEDDING CUSTOM

AT A WEDDING, WRAP A CLOTH AROUND THE BRIDE AND GROOM.
THIS SIGNIFIES JOINING TOGETHER AS ONE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

James Callow Keyword(s): SYMBOLS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage

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RUSSIAN WEDDING CUSTOM

WHEN A BRIDE AND GROOM ARE MARRIED EITHER A DOLL OR A BEAR IS PLACED
ON THEIR CAR. THIS SIGNIFIES WHAT THEY WANT THEIR FIRST CHILD TO BE.
A DOLL IS A GIRL AND A BEAR IS A BOY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; GARDEN CITY

James Callow Keyword(s): SYMBOLS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage

Date learned: CA0001969

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FEAST OF SAINT JOSEPH

EVERY MARCH 19TH, IT IS COMMON AMONG MANY SICILIANS TO CELEBRATE
THE FEAST OF SAINT JOSEPH. IT IS TRADITIONALLY REPRESENTED BY
THE PREPARATION OF HOMEMADE SPAGHETTI WHICH CONTAINS TWELVE
DIFFERENT KINDS OF BEANS AND PEAS TO REPRESENT EACH OF THE
TWELVE APOSTLES. THESE INCLUDE: SPLIT PEAS, KIDNEY BEANS,
CHICK PEAS, HORSE BEANS, LINTO BEANS, LIMA BEANS, BLACKEYE
PEAS, GREEN BEANS, CRANBERRY BEANS, SWEET PEAS, PINTO BEANS,
AND NORTHERN BEANS.

Submitter comment: DURING THE FEAST MANY SICILIAN FAMILIES CELEBRATE THE OCCASION
BY RECREATING THE LIFE OF JESUS AND HIS APOSTLES.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): SYMBOLS

Subject headings: 686 Seconds / Twice / Two
Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- March 19 Feast of St. Joseph
BELIEF -- Religious hero

Date learned: CA00001920

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