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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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IT IS FORBIDDEN FOR A PREGNANT WOMAN TO KEEP LOOKING AT A
MONSTER, IF SHE DOES SO SHE WILL GIVE BIRTH TO A MONSTER.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT SAID IT WITH ASSURANCE.

Where learned: NIGERIA ; KADUNA

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Birth

Date learned: 00-00-1975

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PROSPERITY ATTRACTS FRIENDS, POVERTY DRIVES THEM AWAY.

Where learned: NIGERIA ; KADUNA

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

Date learned: 00-00-1976

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IF A WOMAN USED TO GIVE BIRTH TO ABIKU (A CHILD THAT DIES)
SHE CAN BE FREED OF THIS ORDEAL BY CONSULTING AN HERBALIST.
IF SHE HAS ANOTHER CHILD, SHE WILL TAKE HER TO AN HERBALIST WHO
WILL PERFORM A KIND OF RITUAL FOR THE BABY WHICH WILL INVOLVE
MAKING SOME MARKS ON THE FACE OF THE CHILD WITH BLADE, THEN HE WILL
PUT SOME BLACK MAGIC POWDER ON THE FRESH MARKS HE HAS JUST CUT.
THE MARKS ON THE CHILD'S FACE WILL DRY UP AFTER TWO DAYS, THUS THE
CHILD WILL NOT BE AN "ABIKU". THERE IS USUALLY ONE ONE-INCH
MARK ON EACH CHEEK BONE AT ITS HIGHEST POINT.

Where learned: NIGERIA ; KADUNA

Subject headings: Favorites
BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Birth
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness
BELIEF -- Method of Curing

Date learned: 00-00-1974

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WHEN TWO PEOPLE WHO ARE FRIENDS ARE WALKING SIDE BY SIDE ON THE
ROAD IT IS FORBIDDEN FOR ANOTHER PERSON TO PASS BETWEEN THEM.
IF ANOTHER FELLOW PASSES BETWEEN THEM, THE COMMONSENSE OF THE TWO
FRIENDS WILL MOVE IN TO THE HEAD OF THE PERSON THAT PASSES
WHILE THE TWO FRIENDS WILL BECOME IDIOTS.

Where learned: NIGERIA ; KADUNA

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION ; TRANSFER

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Comet
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 00-00-1972

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WHEN A FELLOW IS GOING SOMEWHERE AND HE KNOCKS HIS LEFT LEG
AGAINST A STONE, THAT IS A BAD OMEN. THAT SIMPLY TELLS THE
FELLOW THAT DANGER WILL BEFALL HIM WHERE HE IS GOING. THUS IT
IS ADVISABLE FOR SUCH A PERSON TO GO BACK HOME IF POSSIBLE.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT SAID IT WITH ASSURANCE.

Where learned: NIGERIA ; KABBA

James Callow Keyword(s): RIGHT LEFT

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

Date learned: 00-00-1974

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FOOD

AWO-CHEESE FOOD USED AS CHEESE IS USED IN AMERICA. MADE
FROM DAIRY PRODUCTS.

Where learned: NIGERIA

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

Date learned: 01-10-0198

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CRIBBAGE

A GAME PLAYED LIKE CHESS. THE BOARD HAS HOLES IN IT WITH
PEGS IN THE HOLES. THE PLAYERS HAVE TO REMOVE ALL
PEGS BEFORE THEY ARE REMOVED BY THE OPPONENT. MOVES ARE
MADE IN THE SAME MANNER AS MOVES IN CHESS.

Where learned: NIGERIA

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Special Object or Implement

Date learned: 01-10-0198

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GARI

GREENS FROM A PLANT ROOT PREPARED LIKE FARINA.

Where learned: NIGERIA

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Plant food

Date learned: 01-10-0198

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FOOD

HOT PEPPERS ARE USED TO CURE ILLNESS, SUCH AS COLDS,
UPSET STOMACH AND SORE THROATS. IT IS NOT COOKED.

Where learned: NIGERIA

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Animal

Date learned: 01-10-0198

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CHILDREN-DAY

THIS DAY IS CELEBRATED ON MAY 27, OF EVERY YEAR. ALL
STUDENTS ARE DISMISSED FROM SCHOOL. THEY PARTAKE IN THE
ACTIVITIES FOR THAT DAY. ON THIS DAY CHILDREN EVERYWHERE
COME TOGETHER IN THE STREETS OF NIGERIA AND PARADE.
THEY DANCE, SING, MARCH, PLAY VARIOUS GAMES AND EAT FOOD
PREPARED BY THE DIFFERENT FAMILIES FREE OF CHARGE.

Submitter comment: THIS INFOMANT WAS VERY LEARY OF MY INTERVIEW. HE COULD
NOT UNDERSTAND WHY I WANT TO INTERVIEW HIM. IT WAS ALSO
HARD FOR ME TO INTERPRET WHAT HE WAS SAYING AT TIMES.

Where learned: NIGERIA

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- May 27

Date learned: 01-10-0198

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IF A MAN HAS NEVER INDULGED IN A SEXUAL ACT BEFORE AND HAS NOT
COMMITED ANY SINS, HE CAN HAVE A SUPERNATURAL POWER. SUCH PEOPLE
CAN HEAR THE BIRDS AND ANIMALS WHILE TALKING.

Where learned: NIGERIA

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Supernatural Being
BELIEF -- Witch Shaman
BELIEF -- Animal

Date learned: 00-00-1969

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THERE IS A TRIBE IN THE NORTHERN PART OF NIGERIA CALLED FULANI.
IF A YOUNG MAN FROM THIS TRIBE WANTS TO MARRY, A CERTAIN RITUAL
WILL BE PERFORMED FOR HIM WHICH THE WHOLE VILLAGE WILL WITNESS.
THE YOUNG MAN WHO WANTS TO MARRY WILL PULL OFF HIS CLOTHES EXCEPT
HIS SHORT PANTS, AND HE WILL BE GIVEN SEVERAL LASHES OF CANE AT THE
BACK. IF HE CRIES, HE WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO MARRY, BECAUSE IT IS
ASSUMED THAT HE IS NOT MATURED TO MARRY. BUT IF HE DOES NOT CRY
THE ELDERS OF THE VILLAGE WILL GLADLY GIVE HIM THE BRIDE TO WED.

Where learned: NIGERIA

James Callow Keyword(s): SWITCHING WHIPPING

Subject headings: Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage

Date learned: 00-00-1965

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TAPE OF MISCELLANOUS INFORMATION

INVENTORY OF TAPE;NIGERIAN FUNERALS,NAMING CEREMONY, WEDDINGS,
CARE OF TEETH, PARTIES FOR I6-AND 2!-YEAR-OLDS,CONFIRMATION
EATING CUSTOMS, BEHAVIOR AND ATTITUDES OF NIGERIANS BACK FROM ABROAD,
CELEBRATION OF APRIL FOOLS BEFORE NOON

Where learned: NIGERIA ; POSSIBLY SOMETHING ABOUT IRELAND

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Baptism Naming rite
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Maturity
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time Eating For menu, see N222.
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Private birthday or anniversary
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness
SPEECH -- Gesture

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DURING THE CHILDHOOD OF JESUS SOMETHING HAPPENED THAT IS VERY
INTERESTING. ONE DAY HE WENT TO HIS FRIENDS' HOUSE TO GREET THEM
AS HE NORMALLY DID. AS HE WAS ON HIS WAY TO HIS FRIENDS' HOUSE,
THE FRIENDS WERE SEVEN IN NUMBER AND WERE OF THE SAME PARENTS.
THEIR MOTHER SAW JESUS COMING, SHE RAN IN AND INFORMED HER
CHILDREN THAT JESUS WAS COMING BUT SHE DID NOT WANT JESUS TO
SEE THEM THAT DAY, THUS, SHE TOLD THE CHILDREN TO QUICKLY
HIDE UNDER THEIR BEDS. THEY HAVE JUST FINISHED DOING THIS
THEN JESUS CAME. JESUS KNOCKED THE DOOR, AND THE MOTHER OF
THOSE CHILDREN OPENED THE DOOR. "WHERE ARE MY FRIENDS?" JESUS
INQUIRED, "THEY HAVE GONE SOMEWHERE" ANSWERED THE WOMAN.
THUS, JESUS DECIDED TO LEAVE. AS HE WAS GOING OUT HE HEARD SOME
MOVEMENT UNDER THE BEDS, AND HE INQUIRED FROM THE WOMAN WHAT
WERE MOVING, THE WOMAN SAID THAT THEY WERE PIGS. JESUS SAID "BYE"
AND HE WENT OUT. AS JESUS LEFT, THE WOMAN COMMANDED HER
CHILDREN TO COME OUT. SURPRISINGLY, PIGS WERE COMING OUT, THE PIGS
WERE SEVEN IN NUMBER. SHE COULD NOT BELIEVE HER EYES THAT HER
CHILDREN HAVE TURNED TO PIGS. SHE RAISED AN ALARM, HER HUSBAND
AND THEIR NEIGHBORS RUSHED OUT. THE PEOPLE FOUND PIGS ALL OVER
THE PLACE, AND THEY ASKED HER WHAT HAPPENED, THUS,
THE WHOLE STORY TO THEM. THEREFORE, THEY DECIDED TO GO AND LOOK
FOR JESUS. LUCKILY, THEY FOUND HIM AFTER SOME TIMES. THE MOTHER
OF THE CHILDREN AND THE OTHER PEOPLE APOLOGIZED TO JESUS FOR HAVING
BEEN TOLD LIES BY THE MOTHER OF THE CHILDREN THAT HIS FRIENDS
HAD GONE SOMEWHERE WHEN THEY DID NOT GO ANYWHERE, AND MOREOVER
THAT SHE TOLD JESUS THAT IT WERE PIGS THAT WERE UNDER THE BEDS
WHEN IT WERE REALLY HIS FRIENDS. AFTER THEY TOLD JESUS THIS,
HE COMMANDED THAT HIS FRIENDS BE CHANGED BACK TO HUMAN BEINGS.
HE TOLD THOSE PEOPLE TO GO BACK HOME THAT THEY WOULD FOUND
HUMAN BEINGS AND NOT PIGS. WHEN THE PEOPLE GOT HOME THEY FOUND
THAT THOSE PIGS HAVE CHANGED TO CHILDREN.

Submitter comment: MY SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHER TOLD ME THE STORY WHEN I WAS SIX YEARS
OLD. THE STORY STAYED VERY CLEAR IN MY MEMORY, THAT I CAN NEVER
FORGET IT. ANY TIME THAT I HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO GATHER WITH
CHILDREN I USE TO TELL THEM THE STORY. I BELIEVE THAT THE
MESSAGE ONE CAN GET IN THE STORY IS THAT ONE SHOULD NOT TELL LIES.
MOREOVER TELLING LIES CAN BE DANGEROUS SOMETIMES, BECAUSE IF ONE
TELLS BAD LIES ABOUT ONESELF TO SOMEONE, IT IS LIKELY FOR THAT
PARTICULAR LIES TO COME TRUE. I HAVE REALLY GAINED A LOT FROM
THIS STORY, IT HAS HELPED ME A LOT IN MY LIFE.
HOPEFULLY, I HOPE IT WILL HELP THOSE CHILREN I HAVE TOLD .

Where learned: NIGERIA ; LAGOS

Subject headings: Favorites
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Religious hero

Date learned: 00-00-1960

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A FRIEND IN NEED IS CLOSER THAN A BROTHER.

Where learned: NIGERIA ; LAGOS

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Blason Populaire

Date learned: 00-00-1974

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WHEN A BLIND LEADS A BLIND, BOTH OF THEM WILL FALL INSIDE A PIT.

Where learned: NIGERIA ; LAGOS

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Blason Populaire

Date learned: 00-00-1977

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YOU KNOW ONLY WHOM YOU LOVE, BUT YOU DON'T KNOW WHO LOVES YOU.

Where learned: NIGERIA ; LAGOS

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

Date learned: 00-00-1976

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IF SOMETHING IS STOLEN, AND THERE ARE MANY SUSPECTS, YOU CAN KNOW
THE REAL PERSON THAT STOLE THE ITEM BY DOING THIS SIMPLE TEST.
OPEN THE BIBLE TO JOB CHAPTER SEVENTEEN, PLACE A KEY IN THAT
SECTION, AND USE A ROPE TO TIE THE KEY AND THE BIBLE TOGETHER.
LET EACH OF THE SUSPECT SWEAR SAYING THUS, "IF I TAKE THE LOST ITEM
LET ME BE MENTALLY SICK IMMEDIATELY". IF THE PERSON WHO STOLE THE
ITEM SAYS THIS, HE WILL BECOME MENTALLY SICK WITH IMMEDIATE
EFFECT.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT LOOKED SERIOUS WHILE NARRATING THE ITEM.

Where learned: NIGERIA ; LAGOS

James Callow Keyword(s): DETECTION OF THIEF ; THEFT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Curse
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness
BELIEF -- Use of Object

Date learned: 02-00-1967

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NAMES OF TWINS

IN NIGERIA, TWINS HAVE SPECIAL NAMES. THE FIRST CHILD THAT COMES OUT
DURING BIRTH BETWEEN THE TWINS IS CALLED TAIWO. THE LAST TO COME
OUT IS CALLED KEHINDE. IF AFTER SOMETIMES THE MOTHER IS PREGNANT AND
HAS ANOTHER CHILD AFTER THE TWINS HE/SHE WILL BE CALLED IDOWU. IF SHE
HAS ANOTHER CHILD AGAIN HE/SHE WILL BE CALLED ALABA.

Where learned: NIGERIA ; LAGOS

Subject headings: Person / Nickname

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COSTUMES IN LAGOS, NIGERIA

GOING TO THE MARKET IN LAGOS IS MUCH LIKE GOING TO THE
EASTERN MARKET. A FOREIGNER CAN BE RECOGNIZED BY MANY MEANS, BUT
NOTHING GIVES HER AWAY MORE THAN HER DRESS CODE.
NIGERIAN WOMEN DO NOT WEAR PANTS MORE THAN TWICE A YEAR. THEY WEAR
WRAPS OF VARIOUS COLORS, DESIGNS AND SIZES. THESE PIECES OF
MATERIAL ARE WRAPPED ABOUT THE WAIST, SOME LONGER THAN OTHERS AND
SOMETIMES AS MANY AS THREE. SOMETIMES THE MATERIAL IS TAKEN TO A
DRESS MAKER TO BE SEWN INTO A SIMPLE JUMPER. THE FINER THE
MATERIAL, THE RICHER THE PERSON. THE BLOUSES THEY WEAR WITH
THESE ARE OF EYELIT MATERIAL

Where learned: NIGERIA ; LAGOS

Subject headings: ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Dress

Date learned: 10-00-1979

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