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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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TO KEEP YOUR CHILD FROM HAVING TERRIBLE NIGHTMARES,YOU SHOULD
PUT A BIBLE UNDER HIS OR HER PILLOW.

Where learned: VIRGINIA

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Magic Book
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness
BELIEF -- Dreams

Date learned: 04091984CA

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An Old African Fable: When a baby is about to teethe,
about four months or so (drooling stage) take a raw egg
from the refrigerator and wrap it in a cloth diaper if
you have one. Keep it where you place other diapers
(hamper). This will prevent the baby from any
difficulty in teething. Older people have sworn by it.

Where learned: VIRGINIA

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Remedy

Date learned: 00-00-1939

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It is not good to put your hat on the bed or table.
It is bad luck. When asked why it is bad luck, Mr. Ford's
answer was "I don't know".

Where learned: VIRGINIA

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 00-00-1939

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Don't let a woman in your house before 12 noon on Monday.
It is okay or good to let a man in.

Where learned: VIRGINIA

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 00-00-1939

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Among some black folks, it's good to let a "white" man
in your house before 12 noon. It's okay to let a black
man in also, but a "white" man takes precedence.

Where learned: VIRGINIA

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Good luck

Date learned: 00-00-1939

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If a dog howls that's a sign of death in the neighborhood.

Where learned: VIRGINIA

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

Date learned: 00-00-1939

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Some people say that a man of dark color is crazy about a
high yellow, but high yellow will throw you, and when
you come home, there will be another mule kicking in your
stall. A brown skin girl is the best gal after all.

Where learned: VIRGINIA

James Callow Keyword(s): African-American color of skin

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Color
SPEECH -- Formula

Date learned: 00-00-1939

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I don't want no black woman to fix my tea, cause she's
liable to "PISON" me.

Where learned: VIRGINIA

James Callow Keyword(s): poison

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness
SPEECH -- Formula

Date learned: 00-00-1939

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NEVER HAVE A TOOTH PULLED WHEN THE MOON IS IN THE SIGN
OF THE HEAD OR BAD WILL COME OF IT.

Submitter comment: THIS WAS TOLD TO ME BY MY GRANDMOTHER, WHO FOLLOWS THE
MOON'S CYCLE FOR A NUMBER OF THINGS. THE SIGNS OF THE
ZODIAC EACH CORRESPOND TO A DIFFERENT PART OF THE BODY,
THE HEAD BEING THE SIGN OF CAPRICORN, THE RAM.

Where learned: VIRGINIA ; SPLASHDAM

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

Date learned: 00-00-1930

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Entry filtered.

Historical record from James Callow Folklore Archive.

Why do blacks keep their fly open?
In case they want to count to eleven!
What did Lincoln say after his five-day drunk?
I freed who?!
Why do blacks wear wide brim hats?
So pigeons can't shit on their lips!

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: NAVY ; VIRGINIA ; On the base

Keyword(s): African American ; Black ; JOKE ; Offensive ; RACISM ; Racist ; RIDDLE ; Stereotype ; Tasteless

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- Riddle Question
Filter - Mature Content

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NOT GIVEN

WHEN A PERSON IN VIRGINIA IS REAL POOR, WE SAY HE'S SO
POOR THAT HE DON'T HAVE A POT TO PEE IN OR A WINDOW TO
THROW IT OUT OF.

Where learned: VIRGINIA ; GALLATIN ; ROUTE 3

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Comparison

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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IF ONE EXPERIENCES REPEATED ITCHINESS OF THE PALMS,
IT IS A SURE SIGN THAT UNEXPECTED MONEY WILL BE RECEIVED.

Where learned: VIRGINIA ; SPLASHDAM

Keyword(s): ITCH

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Measure of quality Monetary systemMoneyWealth

Date learned: 00001930ca

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IF ONE IS CUTTING THE HAIR OF A CURLY-HAIRED CHILD AND
WANTS TO ENSURE THAT THE CHILD'S HAIR WILL REMAIN CURLY,
THE HAIRCUT SHOULD TAKE PLACE WHEN THERE IS A FULL MOON.

Where learned: VIRGINIA ; SPLASHDAM

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

Date learned: 00001930ca

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Room Location

The master bedroom should be located in the northeastern corner of the house to maintain harmony and fortune in the family.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Where learned: VIRGINIA ; Roanoke

Keyword(s): Bedroom ; Feng Shui ; fortune ; Harmony ; House ; LOCATION ; Master

Subject headings: ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Plan, design, color, building material, and technic

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OFFICIAL REQUEST

THERE WAS ONCE A MAN AND A WOMAN WHO HAD TWELVE SONS, AND THE
THIRTEENTH WAS ON THE WAY. THE FIRST TWELVE HAD BEEN NAMED
AFTER THE APOSTLES AND THEY DIDN'T KNOW WHAT THE NAME FOR THIS
ONE WOULD BE. BY THE TIME HE ARRIVED THEY HAD DECIDED TO NAME
HIM CHRIST--CHRIST MURPHY.
AFTER A FEW YEARS CHRIST MURPHY STARTED TO SCHOOL. ONE DAY
IN SECOND GRADE THE BISHOP WAS VISITING. HE SAID TO THE TEACHER,
"SISTER, I WOULD LIKE TO HEAR ONE OF YOUR PEOPLE SING. HOW ABOUT
THAT LITTLE BOY THERE," POINTING OUT LITTLE MURPHY.
"CHRIST MURPHY CAN'T SING," SHE PROTESTED.
"WELL, GODAMMIT, HE CAN TRY, CAN'T HE?"

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT HAS NO RECORD OF WHERE HE FIRST HEARD THE JOKE.

Where learned: VIRGINIA ; WOODSTOCK

Subject headings: 686 Specific number by specific number being described
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Explanation of a name
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Ordinary Tale
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Baptism Naming rite

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IT IS BAD LUCK TO PASS THE SALT AND PEPPER SEPARATELY. ALWAYS
KEEP THEM TOGETHER WHEN YOU PASS THEM.

Submitter comment: SUSAN IS VERY SUPERSTITIOUS.

Where learned: VIRGINIA ; R-MWC ; LYNCHBURG

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Flavoring
BELIEF -- Measure of time Eating For menu, see N222.
BELIEF -- Bad luck Food and drink

Date learned: 00001967-1968

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IF YOU GIVE A BRIDE-TO-BE A KNIFE, SHE HAS TO GIVE YOU A PENNY
SO IT WON'T CUT YOUR FRIENDSHIP.

Submitter comment: SOMEONE HAD JUST GIVEN SUSAN A KNIFE AT A SHOWER WE HAD FOR

Where learned: VIRGINIA ; R-MWC ; LYNCHBURG

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Marriage
BELIEF -- Measure of quality Monetary systemMoneyWealth

Date learned: 00001967-1968

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IF YOU EAT OFF TWO PLATES, YOU WILL BE AN OLD MAID.

Submitter comment: AT R-M, IF NOT ALL THE PLACES ARE FILLED AT THE TABLE, WHOEVER

Where learned: VIRGINIA ; R-MWC ; LYNCHBURG

Subject headings: 686 Seconds / Twice / Two
686 Thirds / Thrice / Three / Triple
Food Drink -- Food
BELIEF -- Marriage
BELIEF -- Measure of time Eating For menu, see N222.
BELIEF -- Number Counting beliefs

Date learned: 00001967-1968

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LIFE

DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME BECAUSE THIS IS THE BASIC ELEMENT OF
LIFE, AS YOU KNOW LIFE IS WHAT YOU MAKE OF IT, IF YOU
WASTE ALL YOUR TIME, THINK...WHAT YOU HAVE GAINED IN LIFE.

Submitter comment: SHE REMEMBERED THIS ITEM FROM TIMES WHEN SHE WAS YOUNG. BUT
IT WAS TOLD TO HER FROM HER MOTHER AND NEIGHBORS USUALLY BY WORD
OF MOUTH. HER MOTHER AS WELL AS HER MOTHER'S MOTHER BELIEVED
THAT OLD SAYINGS ARE WORTH REMEMBERING. THE INFORMANT REGARDS
THIS FOLK ITEM AS A PIECE OF GOLD FOR A GUIDE LINE OF LIFE'S
EXPERIENCE.
SHE LEARNED THIS ITEM IN RICHMOND, VIRGINIA
THIS IS A SAYING CONCERNING THE IMPORTANCE OF TIME.

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; VIRGINIA ; PHILADELPHIA ; RICHMOND

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

Date learned: 00-00-1935

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SPEED PLUS ACCURACY

QUESTION: WHAT CAN KILL YOU FASTER THAN A TRAVELING
BULLET?
ANSWER: YOUR HEART.

Submitter comment: SHE REMEMBERED THIS ITEM FROM TIMES WHEN SHE WAS YOUNG. BUT
IT WAS TOLD TO HER FROM HER MOTHER AND NEIGHBORS USUALLY BY WORD
OF MOUTH. HER MOTHER AS WELL AS HER MOTHER'S MOTHER BELIEVED
THAT OLD SAYINGS ARE WORTH REMEMBERING. THE INFORMANT REGARDS
THIS FOLK ITEM AS A PIECE OF GOLD FOR A GUIDE LINE OF LIFE'S
EXPERIENCE.
SHE LEARNED THIS ITEM IN RICHMOND, VIRGINIA
THIS ITEM IS A QUESTIONING RIDDLE.

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; VIRGINIA ; PHILADELPHIA ; RICHMOND

Subject headings: --

Date learned: 00-00-1935

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