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BELIEF

PUTTING A FLAX SEED INTO ONE'S EYE WILL MAKE ANY OTHER
FOREIGN OBJECT GO OUT OF THE EYE.

Where learned: MISSISSIPPI ; BRUCE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Method of Curing

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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BELIEF

EATING FISH AND DRINKING MILK WITH THE MEAL WILL MAKE A
PERSON SICK.

Where learned: MISSISSIPPI ; BRUCE

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

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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There was a custom in our home that in order to have a safe
and happy New Year the dinner to begin the year with had to
include black eyed peas.

Where learned: MISSISSIPPI ; Aberdeen

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's

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When you are finished brushing or combing your hair you should
immediately remove it from the brush or comb and either burn or
flush it down the toilet. This prevents any one who wants to do
harm to you by taking your hair to a Voodoo person and having that
person cast a spell on you or have you fixed with a spell so that
you will come down with some untraceable illness.

Where learned: MISSISSIPPI ; Aberdeen

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

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My sister kept complaining that she was afraid to sleep in her
room at night because she was seeing a ghost in it if she was to
wake up during the middle of the night. My mother went and found a
horseshoe and nailed it up above my sister's door frame with the
intention that if the ghost would try and come into her room again
it would hit its head on the horseshoe and go away.

Where learned: MISSISSIPPI ; Aberdeen

Subject headings: Favorites
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter

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SOME FOLKS USED TO PULL GRASS FROM THE EDGE OF THEIR
YARD AND CALL THIS "FEVER GRASS." THEY'D BOIL THE ROOTS
AND SERVE THEM AS TEA; THE TEA ACTED AS A LAXATIVE.

Submitter comment: THE LAXATIVE ONLY WORKED IF THE ROOTS THAT WERE USED
TO MAKE IT WERE FROM THE CORNER OF THE YARD.

Where learned: MISSISSIPPI ; PICKENS

Keyword(s): "NATURAL" REMEDY

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Plant

Date learned: 10-14-1984

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WHEN I WAS A KID AND DIDN'T HAVE MONEY TO BUY GLUE, I
USED HONEY INSTEAD.

Where learned: MISSISSIPPI ; PICKENS

Subject headings: ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Art Craft

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IN THE 1930s AND 1940s RURAL BLACKS USED GOOSE GREASE TO
LOOSEN A COLD.

Submitter comment: GOOSE GREASE HAS A TERRIBLE SMELL.

Where learned: MISSISSIPPI ; PICKENS

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Animal

Date learned: 00001930S ; 00001940S

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Whenever there was particular loud thunderstorm with plenty of
lightning I was always told that it was the devil beating his wife
for something she had done which in turn the downpour of rain that
came along with the thunder was the angels crying in sympathy for
the devil's wife.

Where learned: MISSISSIPPI ; Aberdeen

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Angel
BELIEF -- Devil Demon
BELIEF -- Lightning Thunder

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There was never a fear of ghosts since they would only come
back to warn you if another family member was in peril and to make
sure you either called or wrote to make sure everyone was okay. It
was the only thing that the ghost could do was to stand there but
if you were afraid and ran the ghost would float until it caught
up with you and ride your back to where you were going, then
disappear.

Where learned: MISSISSIPPI ; Aberdeen

Subject headings: Favorites
BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

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There was a belief that my mother told me that if a person had
done something and wanted to get away with it, all the person had
to do was to put some red peppers in their shoes by whoever was
the local voodoo person and that it would make it impossible for
anyone to trace or find that particular person.

Where learned: MISSISSIPPI ; Aberdeen

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

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HOW THE SNAKE GOT ITS RATTLE

EVERY DAY THE OL' SNAKE FOUND HIS SELF GETTIN' STEPPED ON, RAN OVER,
KICKED AROUND OR SOMETHING WHEN HE TRIED TO CROSS THE PATH DOWN BY
MASON CREEK. HE WAS GETTIN' MIGHTY TRIED OF IT: SO HE TOLD THE LORD
SAY, "LORD, I'M GETTIN' MIGHTY TRIED OF FOLKS STEPPING ON,
RUNNING OVER AND KICKING ME AROUND - JUS' AIN'T FAIR. I LIVE DOWN
HERE TOO; I GOT JUS' MUCH RIGHTS AS EVERYBODY ELSE DOWN HERE;
PEOPLE DON'T PAY NO ATTENTION TO ME, LORD: THE SNAKE COMPLAINTED.
"COULD BE THAT THEY JUST DON'T KNOW WHEN YOU'RE ABOUT. CAN'T
BLAME 'EM, CAUSE YOU IS WAY-LOW-DOWN, YA SEE", THE LORD ASKED THE
SNAKE. THE SNAKE SAID, "YOU KNOW, YOU MIGHT BE RIGHT." "I KNOW,
HERE, TAKE THIS HERE SHAKER, EVERYTIME YOU SEE SOMEBODY COMING YO'
WAY YOU JUS' SHAKE IT. YA' HEAR ME NOW?", THE LORD ASKED THE SNAKE.

Submitter comment: I HAVE HEARD A SIMILAR STORY IN ALABAMA ABOUT THIS SNAKE'S RATTLE; I
NOTICED A LOCAL NAME - "MASON CREEK".

Where learned: MISSISSIPPI

James Callow Keyword(s): COMPOUND EPITHET: WAY-LOW-DOWN ; METATHESIS: TRIED FOR TIRED

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Characteristics of Animals

Date learned: 00-00-1940

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GRANDMA'S FOOT

WHEN FOOD THAT HAS BEEN COOKED TASTES GOOD, IT HAS BEEN KNOWN TO BE
SAID "GRANDMA MUSTA' PUT HER FOOT IN THIS..."

Submitter comment: I HAVE HEARD THE HOUSE-KEEPER AT THE BOYS' HOME WHERE I WORK SAY THIS
TO THE HOME'S COOK ABOUT SOME GREENS SHE HAD COOKED - THEY WERE GOOD:

Where learned: MISSISSIPPI

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Food
Food Drink -- Manner of preparation Kind of heatCooking equipment
SPEECH -- Formula

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DROPPING CANDY

WHEN A KID DROPS SOME CANDY OR FOOD ON THE FLOOR OR GROUND, BY
STUMPING HIS LEFT FOOT AND SAYING ALOUD, "GOD KISS IT,"
THE CANDY OR FOOD CAN BE EATEN WITHOUT FEAR OF DIRT OR GERMS MAKING
THEM ILL.

Submitter comment: I HAVE HEARD THE SAME BELIEF IN BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA (EXCLUDING THE
PART ABOUT STAMPING ONE'S FOOT); I HAVE ALSO RECENTLY HEARD
THIS BELIEF IN DETROIT.

Where learned: MISSISSIPPI

James Callow Keyword(s): DISINFECT

Subject headings: Favorites
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Speech Speech
Food Drink -- Food
BELIEF -- Prayer
SPEECH -- Formula
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 00-00-1965

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NEVER START A BIG PROJECT ON A FRIDAY AS IT CANNOT BE
FINISHED WITHOUT A LOT OF DIFFICULTY, IF AT ALL.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT BELIEVES IN THIS SUPERSTITION. IT WAS FIRST
LEARNED IN CLARKSDALE, MISSISSIPPI.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MISSISSIPPI ; DETROIT ; CLARKSDALE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour

Date learned: 02-00-1971

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JUMP ROPE GAME

ONE, TWO, THREE
HOLD THE ROPE UP HIGH OVER THE PERSON,S HEAD.
FOUR , FIVE, SIX
HOLD THE ROPE UP HIGH OVER THE PERSON,S HEAD.
SEVEN, EIGHT, NINE AN TEN.

Submitter comment: MARY, MARY SETTING AT THE TABLE. DON'T FORGET YOUR RED HOT PEAS.
THEN YOU THROW THE ROPE FAST AS YOU CAN, UNTIL THE PERSON JUMPING
GETS TIRED.
THIS WAS LEARNED DOWN SOUTH.

Where learned: MISSISSIPPI ; MERIDIAN

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

Date learned: 09-00-1960

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PUT A SILVER DOLLAR IN A BOWL
OF BLACK-EYED PEAS ON NEW YEAR'S
DAY. WHOEVER GETS THE SILVER PIECE WITH HIS PEAS WILL HAVE
GOOD LUCK ALL YEAR.

Where learned: MISSISSIPPI ; LEXINGTON

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Fate Destiny Luck Chance

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IF SOMEONE TAKES SOME OF YOUR HAIR, WRAP IT AROUND A DIME,AND
PUT IT IN A LOFT, YOU WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO LEAVE THAT PERSON.

Where learned: MISSISSIPPI

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Marriage
BELIEF -- Magic of Speech, Sign, Color

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IF YOUR DOG HOWLS CONTINUOUSLY AT NIGHT IT IS SAID THAT SOMEONE
IN THAT HOUSE WILL DIE.

Where learned: MISSISSIPPI

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

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IF A CAT MEOW OUTSIDE OF YOUR WINDOW ALL NIGHT THE FEMALE IN
THE HOUSE IS PREGNANT

Where learned: MISSISSIPPI

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Mammal
BELIEF -- Birth

Date learned: 04091984CA

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