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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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TRADITION

ONE OF THE BIGGEST TRADITIONS IS WHEN THE SENIORS RECOGNIZE THE
FRESHMEN AT THE END OF THEIR FRESHMEN YEAR. AFTER GOING THROUGH A
YEAR OF HELL WITH THE SENIORS (AND JUNIORS AND SOPHOMORES TOO) THEY
ARE READY TO BE RECOGNIZED. THE CEREMONY INVOLVES GOING TO THE
BEACH, WHERE THE FRESHMEN LINE UP ACROSS FROM THE SENIORS. ONE BY
ONE THE FRESHMEN STEP FORWARD AND CALL OUT TO A SENIOR (USUALLY THE
ONE THAT HAS BEEN THEIR BIG BROTHER THE PAST YEAR). AFTER EVERYONE
IS PAIRED OFF, A HUGE BRAWL TAKES PLACE. NOW THE PLEBES ARE TRUE
MEMBERS OF THE CITIDEL TRADITION.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT IS A FRESHMAN AT THIS COLLEGE AND IS LOOKING FORWARD TO
THIS CEREMONY.

Where learned: SOUTH CAROLINA ; CHARLESTON

Subject headings: Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- School
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Maturity
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time Summer
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Initiation rite Hazing

Date learned: 10-00-1976

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TRADITION

THE FRESHMEN AT THE CITADEL ARE REQUIRED TO HAVE THEIR HAIR CUT
(ALMOST COMPLETELY SHAVED OFF) IN ORDER THAT THE UPPERCLASSMEN WILL
KNOW WHO TO TEACH AND DISIPLINE (PICK ON).

Submitter comment: INFORMANT IS A FRESHMAN AT THIS MILITARY INSTITUTION.

Where learned: SOUTH CAROLINA ; CHARLESTON

Subject headings: Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- School
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Initiation rite Hazing

Date learned: 10-00-1976

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GHOST

MY AUNT SAID THAT ONE DAY HER AND HER FATHER WERE WALKING THROUGH
THE GRAVEYARD ON THEIR WAY TO THE THEATER DOWNTOWN. BEFORE THEY
CAME TO THE EDGE OF THE CORNER STONES. MY AUNT SAID SHE TOLD MY
GRANDFATHER THAT SHE DID NOT SEE A MAN STANDING BY THE STONE. HOW-
EVER, MY GRANDFATHER INSISTED THAT HE SAW THE MAN. HE TOLD MY AUNT
THAT WHEN HE STOOPED DOWN SHE WAS TO LOOK OVER HIS LEFT SHOULDER.
SHE DID AND SURE ENOUGH SHE DID SEE THE MAN. SHE SAID SECONDS LATER
THE FIGURE VANISHED RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEIR EYESIGHT.

Where learned: SOUTH CAROLINA

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter

Date learned: 10-11-1972

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LUCK

IF A MAN IS THE FIRST PERSON TO KNOCK ON YOUR DOOR ON A MONDAY
MORNING, YOU WILL HAVE GOOD LUCK ALL OF THAT WEEK. HOWEVER, IF A
WOMAN KNOCKS, IT WILL BE BAD LUCK. THE INFORMANT SAID THIS ACTUALLY
HAPPENED TO HER MOTHER ONCE. INFORMANT WAS NOT SURE OF ACTUAL
CIRCUMSTANCES.

Where learned: SOUTH CAROLINA

James Callow Keyword(s): SEXISM

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
Favorites
BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour
BELIEF -- Good luck
BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 10-25-1972

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MAGIC

IF YOU WOULD LIKE FOR A PERSON TO MOVE OUT OF YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD
OR FROM NEXT DOOR, JUST PLACE A BOX OF STICK MATCHES UNDER THEIR
DOOR STEPS. INFORMANT SAID WHEN SHE WAS A CHILD THERE WAS AN OLD
LADY THAT LIVED NEXT DOOR. SHE SAID EVERYONE CALLED THE OLD LADY
A WITCH BECAUSE SHE WOULD GET ANGRY EVERY TIME THEIR BALL FELL IN
HER YARD. ONE DAY SHE SAID HER AND HER BROTHER DID PUT SOME MATCHES
UNDER THE OLD LADY'S STEPS.

Where learned: SOUTH CAROLINA

Subject headings: Favorites
BELIEF -- Magic of Speech, Sign, Color

Date learned: 10-25-1972

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RIDDLE

THREE LITTLE RED BIRDS SITTING ON A FENCE, IF ONE TOOK A NOTION
TO FLY OFF, HOW MANY WAS LEFT? ANSWER: THREE, ONE ONLY TOOK A NOTION.
HE DID NOT ACTUALLY DO IT. INFORMANT SAID SHE GOT THIS RIDDLE FROM
HER BROTHER. HE WAS ALWAYS TRYING TO CATCH HER WITH SOME KIND OF
JOKE OR RIDDLE.

Where learned: SOUTH CAROLINA

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- Riddle Question

Date learned: 00001960S (EARLY)

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LUCK

IT IS BAD LUCK TO SWEEP TRASH OUT OF THE DOOR AFTER SUNDOWN. IF
YOU DO YOU WILL BE SWEEPING A MEMBER OUT OF YOUR FAMILY. INFORMANT
SAID HER MOTHER WOULD NEVER SWEEP AT THAT TIME AND WOULD NOT ALLOW
HER TO. THIS MEANT THAT ONE MEMBER WOULD DIE.

Where learned: SOUTH CAROLINA

Subject headings: Favorites
BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.21
BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.44

Date learned: 10-30-1972

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MAGIC

TO KEEP A WITCH OUT OF YOUR HOUSE JUST PUT A BROOM ACROSS YOUR
DOOR. INFORMANT SAID SHE HAD A NEIGHBOR WHO ACTUALLY DID THIS WHEN
EVER SHE SUSPECTED SOMEONE OF PRACTICING WITCHCRAFT.

Where learned: SOUTH CAROLINA

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Witch Shaman

Date learned: 10-25-1972

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PROVERB

A MAN WHO KNOWS AND KNOW NOT THAT HE KNOWS IS A FOOL, SHUN HIM.

Where learned: SOUTH CAROLINA

James Callow Keyword(s): ITERATION WORD PLAY

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

Date learned: 10-25-1972

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REMEDY

TO CONTROL DIARRHEA, SCORCH SOME MEAL, POUR WATER OVER IT, LET IT
SETTLE AND DRINK AS OFTEN AS NEEDED. INFORMANT ACTUALLY USED THIS
REMEDY HERSELF, AND STILL DOES.

Where learned: SOUTH CAROLINA

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Plant

Date learned: 01-10-1965

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REMEDY

WHENEVER A PERSON HAS RINGWORMS, JUST STEAL SOMEONE ELSE'S WASHCLOTH
AND WASH THE STRICKEN PERSON'S FACE WITH IT. INFORMANT NEVER
ACTUALLY OBSERVED THIS TECHNIQUE IN USE, HOWEVER, HE DID SAY HIS
MOTHER HAD SEEN IT USED BEFORE.

Where learned: SOUTH CAROLINA

James Callow Keyword(s): THEFT

Subject headings: Favorites
BELIEF -- Method of Curing

Date learned: 10-15-1972

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REMEDY

TO STOP A PERSON FROM STUTTERING TAKE A WET DISH CLOTH AND HIT THEM
ON THE MOUTH WHENEVER THEY STUTTER. THE INFORMANT ACTUALLY SAW THIS
DONE TO HER SISTER, BY HER MOTHER WHENEVER HER SISTER WOULD STUTTER.

Where learned: SOUTH CAROLINA

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Method of Curing

Date learned: 10-14-1969

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REMEDY

I REMEMBER SUFFERING FROM AN EARACHE AND MY MOTHER WOULD BLOW
CIGARETTE SMOKE DIRECTLY INTO MY EAR AND PLUG IT WITH A PIECE OF
COTTON. INFORMANT ACTUALLY HAD IT DONE TO HER.

Where learned: SOUTH CAROLINA

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Method of Curing

Date learned: 00001960S

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REMEDY

WHENEVER A BABY IS TEETHING A CRICKET NEST PLACED IN A BAG AND TIED
AROUND THE BABY'S NECK WILL EASE THE TEETHING. THE INFORMANT NEVER
SAW THIS TECHNIQUE USED, BUT WAS INFORMED OF IT BY HIS MOTHER, WHEN
HE AND HIS WIFE HAD THEIR FIRST CHILD.

Where learned: SOUTH CAROLINA

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Animal
BELIEF -- Method of Curing

Date learned: 10-15-1972

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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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MAGIC

TO KEEP A WITCH FROM RIDING YOU, JUST READ A VERSE IN THE BIBLE AND
PLACE IT UNDER YOUR PILLOW OPENED. INFORMANT SAID SHE NEVER DID THIS
BUT HER FATHER TOLD HER A FRIEND OF HIS DID IT AND IT WORKED.

Where learned: SOUTH CAROLINA

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Witch Shaman

Date learned: 00001960S (EARLY)

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LUCK

TO SWEEP TRASH OUT OF A DOOR AT NIGHT MEANS THAT YOU ARE SWEEPING YOUR LUCK AWAY.
INFORMANT SAID HER MOTHER TOLD HER THIS, AND SHE BELIEVED IT.

Where learned: SOUTH CAROLINA

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Measure of time Ruler or historic event
BELIEF -- Measure of time Working
BELIEF -- Fate Destiny Luck Chance
BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.21
BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.21

Date learned: 10-25-1972

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LUCK

IF YOU SHOULD STUMP YOUR LEFT TOE, TURN AROUND, AND SPIT ON THE
GROUND TO KEEP FROM HAVING BAD LUCK. THE INFORMANT SAID SHE ACTUALLY
DID THIS HERSELF WHEN SHE WAS YOUNGER.

Where learned: SOUTH CAROLINA

James Callow Keyword(s): DIRECTION POSITION: LEFT ; STUB

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bad luck
BELIEF -- Conversions

Date learned: 10-26-1972

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DREAM

TO DREAM OF DOLLARS MEANS GOOD LUCK TO THE DREAMER, BUT TO DREAM
OF CHANGE MEANS BAD LUCK. INFORMANT SAID SHE ACTUALLY EXPERIENCED
THIS DREAM HERSELF.

Where learned: SOUTH CAROLINA

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Dreams Bad luck
BELIEF -- Dreams Good luck
BELIEF -- Dreams Money
BELIEF -- Good luck
BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 10-25-1972

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DREAM

TO DREAM OF MUDDY WATER IS A SIGN OF SICKNESS IN THE FAMILY.
INFORMANT HAD NOT EXPERIENCED THIS DREAM HIMSELF, BUT SAID A
RELATIVE HAD.

Where learned: SOUTH CAROLINA

Subject headings: 841 Dreams about the dead and sick
BELIEF -- Dreams Dreams about the dead and sick

Date learned: 10-25-1972

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