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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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NEW YEAR'S DAY IN LAGOS, NIGERIA

IN PREPARING FOR THE NEW YEAR ON DECEMBER 31 EVERYONE DRINKS A LOT A
GOES TO BED VERY LATE, BUT THIS ISN'T THE BIG EVENT.
AT 6:00 A.M. ON JANUARY 1 WE ALL AWOKE TO THE SOUND OF A CANNON
GOING OFF.
IN ABOUT 20 MINUTES EVERYONE IN THE VILLAGE MUST BE IN THE VILLAGE
SQUARE.
THE VOODOO MAN IS ABOUT TO ARRIVE.
HE IS DRESSED IN ANIMAL SKINS AND MATERIALS WITH A ANIMAL HEAD AND
HORNS.
NOTHING ON HIM IS VISIBLE.
HIS MAIN OBJECT AT THIS TIME IS TO CHASE EVERYONE AND IF HE
CATCHES YOU HE WILL HIT YOU WITH A SWITCH.
HE CARRIES BIG KNIVES THAT HE SWINGS BACK AND FORTH AND HE THROWS
THEM THROUGH THE AIR.
HE SEARCHES HOUSE FOR HOUSE TO MAKE SURE EVERYONE IS PFESENT.
IF YOU ARE SCARED TO COME OUT HE WILL COME IN AND BRING YOU OUT.
THROUGHOUT THE DAY EVERYONE FORMS ONTO GROUPS AND GOES ABOUT
SINGING AND DANCING AND DRINKING.
TOWARDS THE END OF THE DAY HE GOES FROM HOUSE TO HOUSE
TO RECIEVE GIFTS OF MONEY AND HE BLESSES THE HOUSE AND ANY
SMALL KIDS.
IF YOU GET NEAR THE WATER HE WILL NOT COME AFTER YOU.

Submitter comment: THE SIGHT OF THE VOODOO MAN WAS TOO MUCH FOR ME.
I TRIED TO HIDE IN MY ROOM AND LOCK THE DOOR, BUT HE CAME WITH HIS
FOLLOWERS AND GOT ME.
WORD HAD SPREAD FROM DAY ONE THAT AN AMERICAN HAD COME TO THE
VILLAGE.
I DID EVENTUALLY JOIN IN AND FOLLOW THE CROWD.

Where learned: NIGERIA ; LAGOS

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

Date learned: 10-00-1979

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TAPE OF MISCELLANOUS INFORMATION

GHOATS, MONETARY SYSTEM,(NIARA & KOBO) DISEASES, WALKING BAREFOOTED,
CARRYING THINGS ON YOUR HEAD, GHOSTS OF CHILDREN, SUPERSTITIONS:
NIGERIAN SUPERSTITION, THEIR ORIGIN, JUJU, MAKING MONEY
USING HEAD OF CHILD, BANSHEE IN IRELAND, NIGERIAN LIGHTENING,
OMENS, CHARMS, GAMES, (MOTHER MAY I?)
WATER DANGEROUS FOR SWIMMING, AMDG FOR LUCK, FESTIVALS

Where learned: NIGERIA ; SOME FROM IRELAND

Subject headings: Charm / Enchantment / Conjuration
Observation
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Bodily Activity
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F040!
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of quality Monetary system Money Wealth
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Festival
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Means of transportation Human
BELIEF -- P000
BELIEF -- Supernatural Being
BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
BELIEF -- Witch Shaman
BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Lightning Thunder
BELIEF -- Magic of Speech, Sign, Color
BELIEF -- Word Letter
BELIEF -- Medicine
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: OOOOI96OS

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EYO FESTIVAL

DURING THE EYO FESTIVAL IN LAGOS NO ONE IS PERMITTED TO WEAR SHOES.
PEOPLE DRESSED IN WHITE COSTUMES WITH BLACK COWBOY LOOKING HATS RUN
THROUGH THE STREET ALL DAY CARRYING BROOMS SIMILAR TO WHISK BROOMS
AND IF THEY SEE ANYONE WEARING SHOES THEY WILL HIT YOU WITH THESE
BROOMS.
THEY ALSO STOP CARS.
THEY WILL HIT YOU UNTIL YOU GIVE THEM A GIFT OF MONEY OR SOMETHING
ELSE

Submitter comment: I JUST HAPPENED TO BE IN LAGOS ON THE DAY OF THIS FESTIVAL
AND I SAW ALL THESE KIDS RUNNING AROUND CHASING PEOPLE AND I GOT
SCARED.
MY BOYFRIEND ENEV TOLD ME WE HAD BETTER HEAD BACK TO EBUTE-METTA.
HE WAS NOT SCARED, BUT HE DID SO FOR MY SAKE.
THESE PEOPLE WILL HIT YOU ALL OVER YOUR BODY.

Where learned: NIGERIA ; LAGOS

Subject headings: Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Custom
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Typical Elements of a Festive Pattern

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NO SWEET WITHOUT SWEAT.

Where learned: NIGERIA ; KABBA

James Callow Keyword(s): PARA RHYME (PARARHYME): SWEET / SWEAT

Subject headings: Favorites
PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 00-00-1979

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IN NIGERIA A NAMING CEREMONY IS CELEBRATED FOR A NEW BORN BABY
ON THE EIGHTH DAY. THE CEREMONY IS ATTENDED BY THE RELATIVES,
FRIENDS, AND WELL-WISHERS, OF THE PARENTS OF THE NEW BORN BABY.
THE PARENTS OF THE NEW-BORN BABY WILL TELL THEIR PASTOR TO DIRECT
AND LEAD THE CEREMONY. THE PASTOR WILL PRAY FOR THE CHILD AND THE
PARENTS. HE WILL PREACH TO THE PARENTS ON HOW THEY ARE TO TRAIN
THEIR CHILD. AFTER THIS, HE WILL DISCLOSE THE NAME OF THE BABY FOR
THE FIRST TIME TO THE PEOPLE (PRIOR TO THIS TIME THE NAME OF THE
BABY HAD BEEN MADE SECRET TO THE PEOPLE). THEN, THE PEOPLE WILL BRING
THEIR PRESENTS TO THE PARENTS OF THE CHILD. AFTER THIS, THERE WILL
BE A PARTY WHERE DINNER WILL BE SERVED. AT THE SAME TIME THE
OPERATOR IS PLAYING A MELODIOUS RECORDS FOR PEOPLE WHO WILL LIKE TO
DANCE. AFTER SOME TIME THE PEOPLE WILL GO BACK TO THEIR HOMES.

Where learned: NIGERIA ; KABBA

Subject headings: 686 Eighths / Eight
Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Baptism Naming rite

Date learned: 00-00-1976

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IT IS FORBIDDEN FOR A PERSON TO LOOK INTO A MIRROR WHILE IT IS
RAINING AND THUNDERING. WHOEVER DOES SO WILL BE KILLED BY THAT
THUNDER.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT SAID IT WITH ASSURANCE

Where learned: NIGERIA ; KABBA

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Weather sign or control
BELIEF -- Lightning Thunder
BELIEF -- Cloud Fog Mist Rain Hail Ice Snow Frost Dew
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

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