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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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IT WAS CONSIDERED A GOOD OMEN IF WHILE TRAVELLING
ONE MET A WOLF WITH ITS MOUTH WIDE OPEN.

Submitter comment: GOOD OMEN IN ITALY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ITALY ; DETROIT

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

Date learned: 11-20-1967

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A WEDDING BAD OMEN IN ITALY

IF A ROOSTER WOULD CROW UNNATURALLY, OR A SNAKE FALL
INTO THE ATRIUM OR A BLACK DOG ENTERED THE HOUSE,
EVEN THOUGH A WEDDING HAD BEEN ARRANGED WITH INVITATIONS
SENT OUT AND EVERYTHING IN READINESS, THE WEDDING
WOULD BE POSTPONED.

Submitter comment: PEOPLE STILL DO THIS IN ITALY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ITALY ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Animal
BELIEF -- Marriage

Date learned: 11-20-1967

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Death Custom

After a family member dies in an Italian family,
the relations must all wear black for one week.
They have to wear everything black!

Where learned: ITALY ; SICILY

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Color

Date learned: 00001972CA

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Christmas Presents

Open smallest gift on Christmas Eve. The rest are
opened on Christmas Day.

Where learned: ITALY ; SICILY

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of quantity or weight

Date learned: 00001972CA

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Italian Food Custom

The men always eat first and the women last during a holiday
meal.

Where learned: ITALY ; SICILY

James Callow Keyword(s): SEXISM

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time Eating For menu, see N222.

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Mafia Tradition

Oldest child has the responsibility to take care of
mother both financially and emotionally when the father
dies.

Where learned: ITALY ; SICILY

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Outlaw Criminal Bandit Pirate

Date learned: 00001972CA

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Mafia Tradition

Oldest child has the responsibility to take care
of his father when the father is over 65 years old.

Where learned: ITALY ; SICILY

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Outlaw Criminal Bandit Pirate
BELIEF -- Number P686.1.66

Date learned: 00001972CA

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Mafia Tradition

Mafia members send white roses to the widow of an
enemy upon his death. This means that they will take
care of the widow. The grudge is broken because her
husband is dead.

Where learned: ITALY ; SICILY

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Outlaw Criminal Bandit Pirate
BELIEF -- Plant
BELIEF -- Color

Date learned: 00001972CA

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Christening Outfit

Paternal grandfather gives first born grandchild
a christening outfit. All grandchildren wear this
outfit, but the eldest gets to keep it to give to
their children.

Where learned: ITALY ; SICILY

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Baptism Naming rite

Date learned: 00001972CA

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Good Luck (Italian)

Throw salt over left shoulder for good luck. The
paternal grandfather does this on the day of a wedding
or birth.

Where learned: ITALY ; SICILY

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage
BELIEF -- Good luck

Date learned: 00001972CA

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Revolving Christmas Eve Dinner

Every year dinner changes to another female member's
house. This has to be an eight-course meal.

Where learned: ITALY ; SICILY

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 25 Christmas Also see F642, below.
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
Food Drink -- Typical menus for the various meals For meal hours, see F574.84. Special or festive meals

Date learned: 00001972CA

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Wedding Custom

All females must wear white; that includes the bride.
Bride has to wear veil to cover her whole face.

Where learned: ITALY ; SICILY

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage

Date learned: 00001984CA

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Italian Funerals

Only wear black colors to a funeral. The widow
must wear a veil.

Where learned: ITALY ; SICILY

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 00001984CA

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Italian Christmas Tradition

Eldest cousin buys the youngest cousin a gift.
Paternal grandfather buys the newest member a
welcome gift to the family.

Submitter comment: The newest member is a new addition to the family.
This includes a new baby or someone who married into
the family.

Where learned: ITALY ; SICILY

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve

Date learned: 00001972CA

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Entry filtered.

Ethnic Joke

Historical record from James Callow Folklore Archive.

Can pick any three ethnic groups to use, but one has
to be the "brunt of the joke."
Three guys are in a bar. One is Polish, another is
Italian, and the last one is German. There are three
girls sitting at the other end of the bar. The guys
decide they want to impress the girls with their
knowledge of drinks. The Italian says, "Give me an
RC." The girls say, "Oh what's that?" The bartender
says, "Rum and Coke". The German says, "Give me a
W&W." The girls say, "Oh what's that?" The bartender
says, "Whiskey and Water." The Polish guy says, "Give
me a 15." The girls say, "Oh what's that?" The bartender
says, "What's that?" The Polish guy says, "7&7."

Where learned: ITALY ; SICILY

James Callow Keyword(s): Mathematics--addition

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Jest Anecdote
BELIEF -- Poli

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Custom

In a Sicilian family, it is customary to name the first
son after the paternal grandfather. The second son is
named after the maternal grandfather.

Where learned: ITALY ; SICILY

Subject headings: Person / Nickname
686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
686 Seconds / Twice / Two
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank

Date learned: 00001977CA

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In the city of Florence, there is a bronze statue of a boar
whose finish has dulled with time except for the nose which
is quite shiny. Custom has it that visitors to the city should
rub the nose of the boar in order to have the good luck to be
able to return to the city, thus the shiny nose.

Where learned: ITALY ; FLORENCE

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Body part Senses Nose
BELIEF -- Good luck

Date learned: 00-00-1989

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RAY WAS EATING AT AN OUTDOOR SIDEWALK CAFE. A BIRD FLEW
ONTO RAY'S HEAD. HE REACHED UP AND FELT A FURRY LITTLE THING.
HE REACHED UP HIS HAND AND SWIPED THE BIRD OFF, AND
IT LANDED ON THE TABLE OF AN AUSTRALIAN COUPLE.

Where learned: ITALY ; FLORENCE

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Jest Anecdote

Date learned: 07-00-1985

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WHEN YOU THINK THAT YOU ARE WITH SOMEONE WHO WILL GIVE
YOU THE EVIL EYE, HOLD OUT YOUR FOREFINGER AND BABY
FINGER, HOLD THIS UNTIL THE PERSON LEAVES.

Submitter comment:

INFORMANT SAW HIS BROTHER DO THIS WHEN IN CALABRIA,
ITALY, AND BELIEVED IT WARDED OFF THE EVIL EYE.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ITALY ; OAK PARK ; CALABRIA

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; CUSTOM ; EVIL ; EVIL EYE ; Eye ; Fingers ; GESTURE ; Prevent ; SUPERSTITION ; Ward

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Curse
SPEECH -- Body parts involved S602.12

Date learned: 01-24-1972

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