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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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FOOD TABOO

IF A PERSON WERE PREGNANT THEN SHE WASN'T SUPPOSED TO EAT MUSTARD GREENS OR DRINK BUTTERMILK.

Submitter comment:

WHEN I ASKED INFORMANT WHY THIS IS THE CASE--SHE REPLIED BECAUSE SHE THOUGHT MUSTARD GREENS AND BUTTERMILK CAUSE GAS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; informant's home

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Birth
BELIEF -- Measure of time Eating For menu, see N222.

Date learned: 01-00-1971

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NEW YEAR'S CUSTOM

AT NEW YEAR'S, LITHUANIAN AMERICANS HAVE THE CUSTOM OF
COVERING THEIR ENTIRE TABLE WITH FOOD, SO THAT NOT ONE SPOT OF
THE TABLE CLOTH IS SHOWING.

Submitter comment:

THIS IS SUPPOSED TO ENSURE THAT THEY WILL HAVE ENOUGH FOOD
FOR THE ENTIRE YEAR TO COME.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; informant's home

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Fixed DateFor specific dates, use the following system: F640.0101
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20
Food Drink -- Service Table furnishing and decoration
BELIEF -- Measure of time Year

Date learned: 01-30-1971

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EASTER CUSTOM

ON EASTER MONDAY IN CZECHOSLOVAKIA, THE BOYS VISIT THE GIRLS IN THEIR
NEIGHBORHOOD. THEY CARRY A BUCKET OF WATER AND WET THE GIRLS' PALMS.
THEY THEN EXCHANGE THE EASTER GREETING: "CHRIST HAS RISEN" AND
"INDEED HE HAS." NEXT THE GIRLS RUN AWAY BECAUSE THE BOYS TRY TO
SPILL WATER ON THEIR FACE. THE BOYS CHASE THE GIRLS ALL DAY. ON
EASTER TUESDAY, THE GIRLS DO THE SAME TO THE BOYS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; informant's home

Keyword(s): DYNGUS DAY ; REVENGE ; WATER

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Easter Monday Dyngus

Date learned: 02-25-1970

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NEW YEAR

IF YOU OWE SOMEONE MONEY ONE YEAR AND YOU CARRY THE DEBT
OVER TO THE NEW YEAR, YOU WILL EXPERIENCE SOME TYPE OF FINANCIAL
DIFFICULTIES THE REST OF THE NEW YEAR.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WESTLAND ; informant's home

Subject headings: 870
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Fixed DateFor specific dates, use the following system: F640.0101
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20
BELIEF -- Measure of time Year
BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.42

Date learned: 02-08-1970

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PREGNANCY SUPERSTITION

WHEN A WOMAN IS PREGNANT AND SEES SOMETHING HORRIBLE SHE SLAPS
HER HAND ON ANY PART OF THE BODY AND IT WILL LEAVE A BIRTHMARK
OF THE THING SHE SAW.

Data entry tech comment:

There are three others similar to this in archive.
Informant and collector share same surname.

 

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; informant's home

Keyword(s): HOMEOPATHIC MAGIC

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses Specific distinguishing characteristic Dimple, wart, mole, scar, freckle, birthmark, strawberry mark, bruise, spot (on any part of body)
BELIEF -- Birth

Date learned: 11-22-1969

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CHRISTMAS DAY IN POLAND

CHRISTMAS DAY IN POLAND FINDS THE TABLES LADEN WITH FOOD. THEIR
FAVORITE KIELBASA, HAM AND BEEF CAN BE SEEN. ALSO, THE BEST IN
POLISH WINES, THEIR FAVORITE BAKED GOODS ARE SHARED WITH FAMILY
AND FRIENDS. NEIGHBORS VISIT ONE ANOTHER AND SING KOLENDY OUTSIDE
THEIR DOORS, A CUSTOM EVERYONE THOROUGHLY ENJOYS--SO THE DAY GOES--A HAPPY TIME FOR ALL.

Data entry tech comment:

Informant and collector share same surname.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; informant's home ; St. Clair Shores ; 25940 MADISON CT., S.

Subject headings: 122 Christmas
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Songs, caroling

Date learned: DATE NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR.

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WEATHER BELIEF

THUNDER IS CAUSED WHEN GOD IS MOVING FURNITURE IN THE SKY.

Where learned: informant's home

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Creator
BELIEF -- Lightning Thunder
BELIEF -- Weather sign or control P890.7

Date learned: 02-02-1970

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OPAL SUPERSTITION

AN OPAL AS A GIFT IS BAD LUCK.

Submitter comment:

TOLD AT HER (ROMA HAYES) HOME.

Where learned: informant's home

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mineral
BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.1

Date learned: 02-15-1970

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SALT

AN IRISH SUPERSTITION: WHEN EATING AT A TABLE AND SOMEONE ASKS FOR THE SALT, YOU MUST FIRST SET IT DOWN NEXT TO THE PERSON AND LET HIM PICK IT UP. IF YOU SHOULD PASS IT TO HIM, IT IS SAID THAT THE TWO WILL GET INTO A FIGHT.

Data entry tech comment:

Informant and collector share the same surname.

 

Where learned: informant's home

James Callow Keyword(s): ADVICE: NEGATIVE ; ADVICE: POSITIVE ; ADVICE: POSITIVE

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Flavoring
BELIEF -- Mineral
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Measure of time Eating For menu, see N222.

Date learned: 10-05-1972

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GARLIC BELIEF

GARLIC BUILDS UP THE BLOOD.

Data entry tech comment:

Informant and collector share the same surname.

 

Where learned: informant's home

James Callow Keyword(s): PLANT

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

Date learned: 09-20-1969

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PLANT LORE

IF YOU STEAL A ROSE THAT HAS THREE LEAVES GROWING ON ONE STEM BELOW THE FLOWER, YOU CAN PLANT IT AND IT WILL GROW.

Submitter comment:

ROSE CUTTINGS ARE HARD TO TRANSPLANT.

Where learned: informant's home

Subject headings: 686 686.1
BELIEF -- Plant
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal

Date learned: 10-11-1970

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A NATURAL TRANSITION

AT ABOUT TEN YEARS, I BEGAN A COLLECTION OF THE WHITE BALLS OF FUZZ WHICH COME OFF THE TREES IN OUR OLD NEIGHBORHOOD. WHEN MY FRIEND HEARD OF THE COLLECTION, HE TOLD ME TO RID MYSELF OF IT BEFORE THE LITTLE BALLS EVOLVED INTO HUGE SPIDERS. I RUSHED HOME AS QUICKLY AS POSIBLE AND SCATTERED THEM FAR FROM MY HOUSE.

Submitter comment:

Informant learned this in childhood.

 

Where learned: informant's home

James Callow Keyword(s): ANIMAL ; ARACHNID

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Insect
BELIEF -- Plant

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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WEATHER BELIEF

LIGHTNING NEVER STRIKES TWICE IN THE SAME PLACE.

Where learned: informant's home

Subject headings: 686 686.1.2
BELIEF -- Lightning Thunder
BELIEF -- Weather sign or control P890.7

Date learned: 10-03-1968

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CHRISTMAS

DURING THE CHRISTMAS EVE DINNER STRAW IS PUT UNDER THE TABLE
CLOTH FOR HEALTH AND PROSPERITY. THIS IS ANOTHER POLISH CUSTOM.

Data entry tech comment:

Informant is collector's mother.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; informant's home

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve Christmas
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Straw

Date learned: 03-19-1970

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Food - Fixed Date

EAT ANYTHING THAT ROOTS (DIGS THEIR WAY INTO THE GROUND) LIKE
PIGS, ON NEW YEAR'S EVE, OR AS THE FIRST MEAL OF THE NEW YEAR.
NEVER EAT ANYTHING THAT SWIMS OR FLIES OR YOUR MONEY WILL DO THE
SAME. EAT NO FOWL OF ANY KIND.

Data entry tech comment:

Informant is grandmother of collector.

Where learned: informant's home

Keyword(s): HOMEOPATHIC MAGIC

Subject headings: Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F123
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 -- Bird
BELIEF -- Fish

Date learned: 11-10-1970

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Christmas Day in Poland

Christmas Day in Poland finds the tables laden with food. Their favorite kielbasa, ham, beef can be seen. Also, the best in Polish wines, their favorite baked goods are shared with family and friends, Neighbors visit one another and sing kolendy outside their doors, a custom everyone thoroughly enjoys--so the day goes--a happy time for all.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; informant's home ; St. Clair Shores

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F122

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CHRISTMAS CUSTOM

AT CHRISTMAS TIME, THE CHURCH ORGANIST OF ST. PETER & PAUL
SELLS A SMALL WAFER CALLED OPLATIKA. THEY ARE SQUARE
AND TASTE LIKE A COMMUNION TYPE HOST. AFTER MIDNIGHT MASS,
THE FAMILIES HAVE A DINNER AT WHICH EVERYONE IN THE FAMILY
BREAKS OFF A PIECE AND EATS IT.

Submitter comment:

[St. Peter & Paul is a] Roman Catholic [church.]

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; informant's home

Keyword(s): FOOD CUSTOM ; ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Oplatki
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Church

Date learned: 11-02-1969

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DONALD DUCK

DONALD DUCK WAS A ONE LEGGED, ONE LEGGED, ONE LEGGED DUCK.
DONALD DUCK WAS A TWO LEGGED, TWO LEGGED, TWO LEGGED DUCK.
DONALD DUCK WAS A THREE LEGGED,
THREE LEGGED, THREE LEGGED DUCK.
DONALD DUCK WAS A FOUR LEGGED, FOUR LEGGED, FOUR LEGGED DUCK.

Submitter comment:

Informant heard this on the school playground.


 

Data entry tech comment:

Informant and collector are the same person.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; informant's home

Keyword(s): ACTION RHYME ; CHARACTER ; PLAIN-JUMP

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Game Verse Game Verse

Date learned: DATE NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR.

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Rope-Jumping Rhyme

CINDERELLA DRESSED IN GREEN
WENT UPSTAIRS TO EAT ICE-CREAM.
CINDERELLA DRESSED IN LACE.
WENT UPSTAIRS TO POWDER HER FACE.

Data entry tech comment:

Informant and collector share the same surname and place of residence.

Where learned: informant's home

Keyword(s): CHARACTER ; PLAIN-JUMP

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Game Verse Game Verse

Date learned: 11-12-1968

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SAILOR AND THE SEA

A SAILOR WENT TO SEA SEA SEA
TO SEE WHAT HE COULD SEE SEE SEE.
BUT ALL THAT HE COULD SEE SEE SEE
WAS THE BOTTOM OF THE DEEP BLUE SEA SEA SEA.

Submitter comment:

(NEIGHBORHOOD ROPE SKIPPING RHYME)

Where learned: informant's home

Keyword(s): CHARACTER ; PLAIN JUMP

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Game Verse Game Verse

Date learned: 08-05-1964

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