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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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IF A ROOSTER SINGS IN FRONT OF YOUR DOOR THAT MEANS YOU ARE GOING
TO HAVE VISITORS COMING TO THE HOUSE.

Where learned: GUADELOUPE

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Bird
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank

Date learned: 00-00-1972

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IF SOMEONE IS GIVING YOU MONEY OR GIVING YOU BACK SOME CHANGE, DO
NOT LET HIM COUNT THE MONEY IN YOUR HAND; THIS WILL BRING YOU
MISFORTUNE.

Where learned: GUADELOUPE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Number Counting beliefs

Date learned: 00-00-1970

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YOU SHOULD NOT CROSS OVER A CHILD WHO IS CRAWLING ON THE FLOOR
BECAUSE HE MIGHT HAVE SOME PHYSICAL ABNORMALITIES WHEREVER YOU
CROSSED OVER HIM. IN ORDER FOR THIS NOT TO HAPPEN, YOU SHOULD
RECROSS OVER HIM IN THE OPPOSITE WAY.

Where learned: GUADELOUPE

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Birth
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 00-00-1965

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WHEN THERE IS A DEAD PERSON IN A HOUSE, YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO COVER
ALL MIRRORS THAT ARE IN THE HOUSE; OTHERWISE THEY WILL FADE OR IF
YOU LOOK AT YOURSELF IN THEM YOU MIGHT SEE THE DEFUNCT STANDING
BEHIND YOU.

Submitter comment: IN GUADELOUPE, AS WELL AS IN MARTINIQUE, WE KEEP THE DEFUNCT IN
THE HOUSE. THE FUNERAL HOME JUST DELIVERS THE COFFIN TO THE HOUSE,
PUTS THE BODY IN THERE, MAKES THE ARRANGEMENTS WITH THE CEMETERY
FOR THE BURIAL. USUALLY, THE BODY IS KEPT TWO DAYS IN THE HOUSE,
AND BY THE SECOND DAY, THE DEFUNCT IS BURIED. FUNERALS ARE
GENERALLY HELD LATE AFTERNOON.

Where learned: GUADELOUPE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

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IF A DOG IS HOWLING FACING THE GROUND IT MEANS THAT A HOUSE IS
GOING TO BURN TO THE GROUND.

Where learned: GUADELOUPE

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Mammal

Date learned: 00-00-1970

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IF SOMEONE HAS HICCUPS, IT IS SAID THAT HE HAS STOLEN SOMETHING.
IF HE IS EATING, THIS MEANS THAT THERE IS SOMEONE HUNGRY AROUND
HIM.

Where learned: GUADELOUPE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal

Date learned: 00-00-1967

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IN ORDER TO HARM SOMEONE, YOU WRITE HIS NAME ON A PIECE OF PAPER,
OR YOU TAKE SOMETHING THAT BELONGS TO HIM AND YOU PUT IT IN A
COFFIN ALONG WITH A DEAD PERSON.

Where learned: GUADELOUPE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Curse

Date learned: 00-00-1979

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IN ORDER TO BRING A "LOUP-GAROU" BACK TO HIS HUMAN STATE, YOU
HAVE TO SHOOT HIM WITH A SILVER BULLET THAT HAS BEEN PREVIOUSLY
BLESSES BY A "QUIMBOISEUR", AND YOU SHOULD BE WEARING A GOLDEN
CRUCIFIX. AFTER SHOOTING, YOU SHOULD KISS THE CRUCIFIX, LAY
FACING THE GROUND, AND RECITE THE "OUR FATHER".

Submitter comment: A "QUIMBOISEUR" IS A PERSON THAT DOES WITCHCRAFT AS WELL AS
HEALING OR WHITE MAGIC.

Where learned: GUADELOUPE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Werewolf Vampire

Date learned: 00-00-1965

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SOME "DIABLESSES" CHANGE THEIR PHYSICAL APPEARANCE TO BECOME A
THREE LEGGED CALF. IN ORDER TO BRING THEM BACK TO THEIR HUMAN
STATE, YOU SHOULD HIT THEM WITH A CUTLASS OR ANY GLITTERING OBJECT.
YOU SHOULD BE WEARING A GOLDEN CRUCIFIX, AND AS SOON AS YOU HIT
THE THREE LEGGED CALF, YOU SOULD LAY FACING THE GROUND AND
RECITE THE "OUR FATHER".

Submitter comment: "DIABLESSE" IS THE FEMININE OF "DIABLE" WHICH MEANS DEVIL.

Where learned: GUADELOUPE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Werewolf Vampire

Date learned: 00-00-1967

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SOME "FOSSOYEUR", IN ORDER TO MAKE SOME MONEY, SELL DIRT FROM
CEMETERIES, WATER FROM TOMBS, AND ALSO SKULLS TO "QUIMBOISEURS".
THE "QUIMBOISEURS" USED TO PAY IN A CERTAIN WAY SO THAT THEY DO
NOT GET BAD LUCK OR MISFORTUNE. FOR INSTANCE, THE DIRT AND THE
WATER WERE SOLD IN GLASS CONTAINERS, AND THEY PAY FOR THEM WITH
WHITE ROCKS OR SILVER JEWELRY, AND ON THE OTHER HAND, THE SKULL
WAS PAID FOR WITH GOLD.

Where learned: GUADELOUPE

Keyword(s): "FOSSOYEURS" ARE GRAVEDIGGERS ; "QUIMBOISEURS" ARE PEOPLE THAT ; PRACTICE WITCHCRAFT AND ALSO WHITE MAGIC.

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Witch Shaman
BELIEF -- Curer

Date learned: 00-00-1973

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"M'AN COCO POTE D'ENFER" IS A WOMAN WHO LIVES IN AN UNDERWATER
CAVE, AND IT IS BELIEVED THAT SHE ATTACKS FISHERMEN AND DIVERS.

Submitter comment: SOME PEOPLE SAID THAT THEY HAVE BEEN IN HER UNDERWATER CAVE, AND
WHAT THEY SAW WAS A HUGE TABLE FULL OF DISHES.

Where learned: GUADELOUPE

Keyword(s): "M'AN COCO" MEANS "MADAME COCO". "POTE D'ENFER" MEANS "HELL'S GATE" ; SUPPOSELY THAT IS WHERE SHE LIVES. ; WHICH IS THE NAME OF THE NORTHERN EXTREMITY OF GUADELOUPE, AND

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Supernatural Being

Date learned: 00-00-1966

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IT IS BELIEVED THAT IF YOU WANT TO INVOKE THE DEVIL, YOU REPEAT
HIS NAME WITHOUT STOPPING FOR 24 HOURS. IF DURING THAT TIME YOU
SAY: "OH MY GOD" YOU WILL FIND YOURSELF IN THE MIDDLE OF THE OCEAN.

Where learned: GUADELOUPE

Subject headings: Charm / Enchantment / Conjuration
BELIEF -- Devil Demon
BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour
BELIEF -- Prayer
BELIEF -- Word Letter
BELIEF -- Number P686.24

Date learned: 00-00-1968

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IF A BLACK BUTTERFLY ENTERS YOUR HOUSE, THIS MEANS THAT A RELATIVE
OF YOURS IS TO DIE. IF THE BUTTERFLY IS OF ANOTHER COLOR, THIS
MEANS YOU ARE GOING TO RECEIVE SOME NEWS VERY SOON.

Where learned: GUADELOUPE

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Insect
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 00-00-1968

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IN ORDER TO CURE SOMEONE WHO HAS BEEN SICK, THE "QUIMBOISEUR" WILL
GIVE THE PERSON A BATH USING THE SAME WATER THAT SEVEN DOGS HAD
BEEN BATHED IN.

Where learned: GUADELOUPE

Keyword(s): "QUIMBOISEUR" IS SOMEONE THAT PRACTICES WITCHCRAFT AND WHITE MAGIC.

Subject headings: 686 Seven / Sevenths / Several
BELIEF -- Animal
BELIEF -- Mineral

Date learned: 00-00-1974

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THERE IS A KIND OF BLACK FLY THAT IS 3/4 OF AN INCH IN LENGTH,
QUITE COMMON IN GUADELOUPE, THAT PEOPLE CALL "DEATH FLY", AND
EACH TIME IT COMES INTO A HOUSE, IT IS BELIEVED THAT IT BRINGS
DEATH. THEREFORE PEOPLE CHASE IT FROM THE HOUSE.

Where learned: GUADELOUPE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Insect
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 00-00-1966

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IT IS BELIEVED THAT SNAKES GOBBLE DOWN THE EYES OF DEAD PEOPLE.

Where learned: GUADELOUPE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Animal
BELIEF -- P576

Date learned: 00-00-1970

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IF YOU HAVE A DOG AND YOU WANT HIM NEVER TO GET LOST, YOU TAKE
SOME HAIR FROM HIS TAIL AND YOU BURY THEM UNDER THE FIRST STEP
OF THE STAIRS OF YOUR HOUSE.

Where learned: GUADELOUPE

James Callow Keyword(s): CONTAGIOUS MAGIC ; HOMEUPATHIC MAGIC

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mammal

Date learned: 00-00-1972

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IF YOU WANT A DOG TO FOLLOW YOU HOME, YOU TAKE A PIECE OF PORK
FAT, YOU PUT IT IN YOUR SHOES FOR THREE DAYS, AND THEN YOU GIVE IT
TO HIM, AND YOU WILL BE SURE THAT HE WILL COME HOME WITH YOU.

Where learned: GUADELOUPE

Subject headings: 686 Thirds / Thrice / Three / Triple
BELIEF -- Mammal

Date learned: 00-00-1971

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YOU SHOULD NOT PASS UNDER A LADDER; IT BRINGS YOU BAD LUCK.

Where learned: GUADELOUPE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bad luck Ladder (angles, pyramid, etc.)

Date learned: 00-00-1974

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CARNIVAL IN GUADELOUPE

CARNIVAL IN GUADELOUPE IS VERY IMPORTANT AND WELL PREPARED. IT
STARTS ON THE FIRST SUNDAY OF THE YEAR, AND EVERY SUNDAY THERE ARE
DOZENS OF GROUPS AND BANDS DANCING AND SINGING IN THE STEETS. THE
CARNIVAL REACHES ITS PEAK ON MARDI-GRAS. USUALLY, PEOPLE ARE
DRESSED WITH VIBRANT COLORS, AND ARE MASKED. THE CARNIVAL IS TAKEN
SERIOUSLY SINCE THERE IS A COMMITEE FOR THE CARNIVAL THAT
PREPARES IT VERY CAREFULLY. A QUEEN IS ELECTED FROM THE VARIOUS
CANDIDATES, BUT THE KING IS A FETISH MADE SPECIALLY FOR THE
OCCASION, AND HE IS CALLED "VAVAL". ON MERCREDI DES CENDRES
(ASH WEDNESDAY), PEOPLE ARE AGAIN DANCING AND SINGING IN THE
STREETS, BUT THIS TIME THEY ARE DRESSED IN BLACK AND WHITE,
SIGN OF MOURNING. THIS IS THE END OF THE CARNIVAL BECAUSE
"VAVAL" IS DEAD. AT SUN DOWN, THE FUNERAL OF "VAVAL" STARTS.
HE IS PUT IN A CANOE AND SENT IN THE SEA WHILE HE IS SET ON
FIRE, AND EVERY BODY WATCH THE SCENE. THEN COMES THE
MI-CAREME (MID SPRING), AND AGAIN PEOPLE ARE BACK IN THE
STREETS STILL IN BLACK AND WHITE. THEY DANCE AND SING ALL
DAY LONG, AND THEN LATE AT NIGHT, THEY PASS FOR THE VERY
LAST TIME IN THE STREETS, CARRYING BROOMS AND SWEEPING THE ROAD
BEHIND THEM. THEY ARE SWEEPING OFF THE TRACE OF THE CARNIVAL.
NOW THE CARNIVAL IS OVER. SEE YOU ALL NEXT YEAR!

Submitter comment: IN THE ESCLAVAGIST PERIOD, SLAVES AND MASTERS USED TO EXCHANGE
ROLES ONCE A YEAR, AND THE SLAVES USED TO HAVE THEIR MASTERS
DO WHATEVER THEY WANTED THEM TO DO. BUT THE SLAVES USED TO WEAR
MASKS SO THAT THEY COULDN'T BE RECOGNIZED AND PUNISHED LATER,
THIS IS WHY PEOPLE WEAR MASKS ON CARNIVAL. CARNIVAL THEREFORE,
COMMEMORATES THIS PERIOD IN THE ESCLAVAGIST TIMES.

Where learned: GUADELOUPE

Subject headings: 663 Mardi Gras

Date learned: 00001960S

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