RE:SEARCH logo
University of Detroit Mercy Libraries / Instructional Design Studio
UDM HOME BLACKBOARD MY UDMERCY
RESEARCH HOME / FIND / SPECIAL COLLECTIONS / THE JAMES T. CALLOW FOLKLORE ARCHIVE /
James Callow Folklore Archive

Collection Home

About Dr. James T. Callow

Dr. James T. Callow publications

Collectors

Browse by

Subject heading

Keyword

Location

Questions or comments on this site? Please email davidsor@udmercy.edu.

The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

search for

Content filter is on

Your search for POLAND returned 68 results.

prev | items
| next

MRS. SOSNOWSKI HEARD THIS FROM HER MOTHER. IN POLAND ABOUT
1907, EACH NIGHT PEOPLE WENT OUT INTO THE PASTURE TO LOOK
AT THE BEAUTIFUL SUNSET. HER MOTHER SAID IT WAS THE STRANGEST
THING BECAUSE THE CLOUDS WOULD MAKE A COMPLETE FORMATION
OF A FLAG WITH A POLE. THE SUNSET MADE THE RED BACKGROUND
AND WITH THE WHITE CLOUDS FORMED THE POLISH EAGLE ON THE
FLAG. THEY ALL BELIEVED THIS WAS A SIGN THAT THERE WOULD
BE A WAR. TEN YEARS LATER WORLD WAR I BROKE OUT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; POLAND

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- War

Date learned: 00-00-1907

View just this record

POLISH FUNERAL

IN POLAND NO EMBALMING TAKES PLACE. THE DECEASED IS LAID OUT
FOR 3 DAYS IN THEIR OWN HOME.
CANDLES ARE SET AT THE HEAD AND FOOT OF THE DECEASED.
FLOWERS ARE THEN ARRANGED AROUND THE CASKET, WHICH
IS SET ON A SMALL PLATFORM USED BY THE VILLAGE. THE CASKET IS
MADE OF VARNISHED WOOD, AND IS
USUALLY DECORATED BY FOLK ART COMMON
TO THAT REGION. THIS IS SOMETIMES DONE WITH STEEL
PINS TO OUTLINE THE
DESIGN OR IS PAINTED ON TOP OF THE CASKET. ON THE FOURTH DAY,
THE BURIAL TAKES PLACE. A PROCESSION FROM THE HOUSE TO THE
CHURCH FORMS WITH THE ALTAR BOYS
GOING FIRST. THE OUTSIDE BOYS CARRY
LIGHTED CANDLES, WHILE THE BOY IN THE MIDDLE CARRIES THE CRUCIFIX.
THEN THE PRIEST FOLLOWS, LEADING HYMMS FOR THE REPOSE OF THE SOUL.
A HORSE DRAWN CARRIAGE FOLLOWS, CARRYIMG THE BODY OF THE DECEASED.
THE FLOWERS FROM THE HOUSE ARE PUT AROUND THE CASKET, AND THE REST
ARE PUT ON TOP OF THE CARRIAGE. MEMBERS OF THE FAMILY FOLLOW IN
ORDER OF RELATEDNESS TO THE DECEASED. EXAMPLE=HUSBAND AND KIDS
FIRST. A MASS IS SAID AT THE CHURCH FOR THE REPOSE OF THE SOUL.
ALL TRADITIONAL SONGS OF THE PARTICULAR REGION ARE SUNG. AT THE
END OF MASS, THE SAME PROCESSION IS FORMED IN EXACTLY THE SAME
ORDER AS BEFORE. AGAIN THE PRIEST LEADS THE MOURNERS IN LOCAL
HYMMS. THE CARRIAGE FOLLOWS WITH
THE MOURNERS BEHIND THE CARRIAGE.
AT THE CEMETERY, THE GRAVE HAS
ALREADY BEEN DUG, WITH THE PLANKS PLACED
ACROSS THE HOLE. THE PRIEST
SAYS THE RITUAL AND BLESSES THE
GROUND. THEN THE CASKET IS NAILED SHUT,
AND IS LOWERED INTO THE GRAVE.
THE RELATIVE CLOSEST TO THE DECEASED THEN THROWS THE FIRST HANDFUL
OF DIRT. THEN EVERYONE, IN FAMILY ORDER, THROWS A HANDFUL OF
DIRT. EVERYONE LEAVES IN ORDER TO GIVE THE IMMEDIATE FAMILY A
CHANCE TO PAY THEIR FINAL RESPECTS.

Submitter comment: VARIOUS ASPECTS OF THIS FUNERAL CHANGE FROM REGION TO REGION.
ATTENDED FUNERAL AS SUCH MYSELF WHILE IN POLAND

Where learned: POLAND ; CHELMNO

James Callow Keyword(s): NUMBER ; SYMBOL

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 07-00-1971

View just this record

A GAMBLER'S LESSON

FAR AWAY BY A RIVER, THERE WAS A LITTLE WHITE HOUSE IN WHICH THERE LIVED A FAMILY.
A FATHER, MOTHER, A BOY AND A GIRL. THEY HAD ONE PROBLEM, THEIR FATHER LIKED TO GAMBLE
AND DRINK. ALL OF A SUDDEN, THEIR MOTHER GOT VERY SICK. THEY DIDN'T HAVE THE MONEY TO SEND
HER TO THE HOSPITAL BECAUSE THE FATHER GAMBLED EVERYTHING HE EARNED. THE MOTHER DIED. THE
GIRL WAS HELPING WITH EVERYTHING AROUND THE HOUSE AND THE BOY WAS TRYING TO EARN MONEY FOR
THE LIVING OF THE FAMILY. ONE DAY THE BOY WAS DRAFTED INTO THE ARMY. HE WAS ALWAYS WONDERING
HOW HIS SISTER WAS MANAGING AT HOME AND WAS ALWAYS VERY SAD. HIS ARMY BUDDY WAS ASKING HIM WHY
HE WAS SO SAD. HE TRIED TO HIDE THE ANSWER FROM HIM, BUT FINALLY TOLD HIM THAT HE HAD A BEAUTIFUL
SISTER WHO COULD NOT MANAGE THE HOME BECAUSE OF THE FATHER'S GAMBLING. HIS FRIEND PROMISED TO
HELP HIM DURING HIS NEXT FURLOUGH. HE WENT TO A THEATRE AND BOUGHT HIMSELF A DEVIL OUTFIT. WHEN
FURLOUGH TIME CAME, HE PUT THE OUTFIT ON, AND ON TOP OF IT, THE BEST SUIT THA HE COULD FIND.
WHEN THEY REACHED THE BOY'S HOME, THEY COULDN'T FIND THE BOY'S FATHER. THE SISTER TOLD HIM THAT
THEIR FATHER WAS A FEW MILES AWAY AT AN INN. THE BOY'S FRIEND WENT TO THE INN AND ASKED FOR THE MAN.
THE INNKEEPER TOLD HIM THAT HE WAS PLAYING CARDS IN THE CORNER. HE WENT OVER TO THE CORNER AND GREETED
THE GAMBLERS, ASKING PERMISSION TO JOIN THEM. THEY ACCEPTED HIM. HE WAS A VERY GOOD CARD PLAYER AND
STARTED TO WIN FROM THE BEGINNING. A FEW HOURS LATER, ONLY THE GIRL'S FATHER WAS LEFT IN THE GAME.
ALL THE OTHERS HAD STOPPED PLAYING BECAUSE THEY HAD LOST EVERYTHING THAT THEY HAD. THE GIRL'S FATHER
WAS LOSING ALSO. BY ELEVEN O'CLOCK, HE ASKED FOR ONE FREE HAND OF CARDS. HE HAD LOST EVERYTHING. THE
BOY GAVE IT TO HIM. IT ALSO WAS A LOSING HAND. THE MAN WANTED TO QUIT AND TOLD THE BOY THAT HE HAD NO
MONEY TO GAMBLE. THE BOY TOOK HIS GLOVES OFF. RED, LONG FINGERNAILS WERE STICKING OUT FROM HIS DEVIL'S
OUTFIT, AND WHEN HE REMOVED HIS HAT, LITTLE HORNS WERE STICKING OUT FROM HIS HAIR. HE SAID, "NOW WE ARE
GOING TO PLAY FOR YOUR SOUL. I WOULD LIKE TO WIN YOUR SOUL." THE MAN JUMPED UP AND STARTED TO RUN TOWARDS
HIS HOME. THE YOUNG MAN WAS PURSUING HIM. THERE WAS A CHURCH BY THE ROAD. THE MA RAN INTO IT. THE MAN TOOK
THE SEAT CLOSEST TO THE ALTAR. THE BOY, OUTSIDE THE CHURCH, WHISTLED HIS WAY TO HIS FRIEND'S HOME. THE MAN
WAITED TILL THE PRIEST CAME IN AND ASKED FOR CONFESSION. THE BOY RETURNED ALL THE WINNINGS TO HIS FRIEND AND
ASKED TO MARRY HIS SISTER. FROM THAT DAY ON, THEY WERE A VERY HAPPY FAMILY. THEIR FATHER DID NOT DRINK OR GAMBLE ANYMORE.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT LEARNED THIS STORY AT AN EVENING OF FAMILY STORY TELLING I LUKOWA, POLAND.
HE LAUGHED QUITE A BIT WHEN DESCRIBING THE DEVIL AN THE EFFECT IT HAD ON THE GAMBLING FATHER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; POLAND ; LUKOWA

James Callow Keyword(s): SOLDIER DISGUISED AS DEVIL REFORMS COMPULSIVE GAMBLER

Subject headings: Favorites
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Ordinary Tale
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Magic

Date learned: 00-00-1934

View just this record

WHERE THE DEVIL CAN'T DO THE WORK, HE SENDS A WOMAN

THERE WAS A HAPPY, RELIGIOUS FAMILY WITH TWO CHILDREN.
EVEN THOUGH THEY WERE LIVING IN POVERTY, THEY WERE A
LOVING FAMILY. THE DEVIL COULDN'T SEE WHY THEY HAD
SO MUCH HAPPINESS AND WANTED TO DESTROY IT.
HE SENT HIS HELPER TO THIS FAMILY AS A SERVANT TO
OBSERVE THEM TO SEE IF THEY COULD DO ANYTHING WRONG.
HE WAS TO LET THE DEVIL KNOW ABOUT IT, AS HE WAS
WAITING. HIS HELPER HAD A SOFT HEART. HE WAS HELPING
THE MANY BY PLOWING THE FIELDS, CUTTING THE WOOD, AND
WATCHING THE CHILDREN WHO LOVED HIM VERY MUCH. HE WAS
WORKING FOR THEM ABOUT A YEAR AND COULDN'T FIND ANYTHING
TO SAY AGAINST THEM, BECAUSE THEY ALWAYS LIVED A VERY
PEACEFUL LIFE.
NOT SO FAR FROM THEM THERE WAS A MEAN WOMAN. SHE WAS
UNABLE TO GET ALONG WITH HER NEIGHBORS. THE MAIN
DEVIL, LUCIFER, WENT THERE AND PROMISED HER NEW SHOES
IF SHE COULD MAKE SOME MISUNDERSTANDING IN THE PEACEFUL
FAMILY WHERE HIS HELPER WAS LIVING. SHE AGREED.
WHEN SHE CAME TO THE FAMILY, THE WIFE WAS BY HERSELF
AT HOME. SHE HAD A SMALL CONVERSATION WITH HER AND
CONVINCED HER THAT HER HUSBAND WOULD DIE SOON. THERE
WAS ONLY ONE WAY TO PREVENT IT. WHEN HER HUSBAND CAME
HOME IN THE EVENING, SHE WOULD HAVE TO TAKE A LONG
KNIFE AND WHEN HE WOULD FALL ASLEEP, SHE WOULD HAVE TO
CUT ONE GREY HAIR SO HE WOULD LIVE LONG.
AFTER TALKING TO THE WIFE THE WICKED WOMAN WENT TO
THE FIELD WHERE THE MAN WAS PLOWING THE FIELD. SHE
TOLD HIM THAT HIS WIFE WAS CHEATING ON HIM AND HAD A
LOVER AND THAT SHE WOULD VISIT HIM OFTEN. THE HUSBAND
COULDN'T BELIEVE IT AND CHASED HER AWAY. SHE TOLD HIM:
"WAIT, SHE WILL KILL YOU TODAY!"
HE DIDN'T WANT TO BELIEVE THIS, BUT DOUBT CAME TO HIS
HEART. AFTER SUPPER HE WENT TO BED AND PRETENDED TO BE
SLEEPING. WHEN HIS WIFE CAME TOWARDS HIM WITH A LONG
KNIFE HE WOKE UP AND JUMPED OUT OF BED AND STARTED A
BIG QUARREL.
WHEN LUCIFER CAME TO THE MEAN WOMAN TO DELIVER THE
BOOTS, HE HANDED THEM TO HER ON A LONG STICK BECAUSE
HE HIMSELF WAS AFRAID OF HER. FROM THAT TIME, THERE WAS
A SAYING IN THE POLISH LANGUAGE--"WHERE DEVIL CAN'T
MAKE IT, HE SENDS A WOMAN AND SHE WILL DO IT." "GDZIE
DIABEL NIE MOZE TAM BABE POSALE."

Submitter comment: POLISH, HANDWRITTEN TEXT IS ATTACHED TO TYPEWRITTEN
ENGLISH TEXT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HAMTRAMCK ; POLAND ; LEZAJSK

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Tale

Date learned: 00-00-1955

View just this record

LEGEND OF JESUS

A LONG TIME AGO WHEN JESUS WAS WALKING IN THIS WORLD, HE DECIDED TO TAKE ST.
PETER TO DISTANT COUNTRIES. THEY WERE WALKING AND IT BECAME NIGHT. STOPPING AT ONE
PLACE, THEY ASKED IF THEY COULD SLEEP OVER NIGHT THERE. A DOUBLE BED WAS IN THE
ROOM NEAR THE WALL. JESUS SLEPT BY THE WALL AND PETER BY THE EDGE. THE VERY SAME
NIGHT, TWO BUMS CAME TO THE HOUSE. THERE WAS NO ROOM FOR THEM TO SLEEP AND WITH
DISGUST THEY DECIDED TO SLEEP ON THE FLOOR. THEY LOADED THEIR ANGER ON ST. PETER
BY BEATING HIM UP. HE COULD HARDLY BREATHE. THE SECOND NIGHT ST. PETER SAID TO
JESUS: "YOU SLEEP ON THE EDGE AND I WILL SLEEP BY THE WALL." THE SAME TWO BUMS
CAME IN AND WANTED TO BEAT JESUS UP THE SAME WAY. ONE OF THE BUMS SAID: "LEAVE
THIS ONE AT THE EDGE, HE GOT IT YESTERDAY," AND AGAIN THEY STARTED TO FIGHT WITH
ST. PETER. POOR ST. PETER WAS BEATEN TWICE.

Submitter comment: POLISH, HANDWRITTEN TEXT IS ATTACHED TO TYPEWRITTEN
ENGLISH TEXT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HAMTRAMCK ; POLAND ; LEZAJSK

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Tale

Date learned: 00-00-1955

View just this record

THE MEAN KNIGHT WHO WAS TRANSFORMED INTO A BEAR

THERE WAS A WHITE CASTLE ON A HIGH HILL IN WHICH A KNIGHT AND HIS MOTHER LIVED.
HE WAS VERY DISTINGUISHED BUT HAD A MEAN HEART. HE WAS ALWAYS WALKING SAD AND THINKING.
ONE TIME HE DEMANDED FROM HIS MOTHER THAT SHE PLANT BLUE ROSES AROUND THE CASTLE.
SPRING CAME AND WHITE ROSES STARTED TO BLOOM AROUND THE CASTLE. THEY WERE VERY PRETTY
SO THE MOTHER CALLED HER SON TO SEE THEM. WHEN THE SON CAME, HE BECAME VERY UPSET ABOUT
THE COLOR AND TOOK OUT HIS SWORD AND STARTED TO CUT DOWN ALL THE ROSES. THE POOR MOTHER
TRIED TO SAVE THEM WITH HER HAND AND TEARS CAME TO HER EYES. ONE OF THEM DROPPED ON A FLOWER
AND THE FLOWER TURNED BLUE. WIPING HER TEARS THE MOTHER SAID TO HER SON, "HERE YOU HAVE A BLUE ROSE."
ALL OF A SUDDEN AN AWFUL STORM CAME AND THE TIRED KNIGHT FELL ON THE GROUND UNCONSCIOUS. WHEN HE REGAINED
CONSCIOUSNESS, THERE WAS NO CASTLE AND HE HAD TURNED INTO A BEAR. FROM THAT TIME HE MADE HIS HOME
IN THE FOREST SO HUMAN EYES COULDN'T SEE HIM. HE BUILT HIMSELF A LOG CABIN AROUND WHICH HE PLANTED
BLUE ROSES. ONE TIME A STRONG WIND CAME AND BLEW A PETAL TO A POOR FARMER BY THE FOREST WHO HAD TWO
DAUGHTERS, HELEN AND MARY. THEY WERE QUITE ATTRACTIVE. THE YOUNGER, GIRL, HELEN, PICKED UP THE FLOWER
PETAL AND WAS SURPRISED ABOUT ITS BEAUTY SO SHE HID IT FOR HERSELF. THE PETALS NEVER WILTED AND
ALWAYS SMELLED NICE. SHE WAS YEARNING ABOUT THE BLUE ROSES UNTIL SHE BECAME ALMOST ILL AND SHE WAS
PRESSURING HER FATHER TO FIND HER SOME. HER DAD WENT LOOKING FOR THEM AND AFTER A LONG JOURNEY HE
FOUND THE BEAR'S HOUSE SURROUNDED WITH THE BLUE ROSES. HE STARTED TO PICK THEM UP AND AT THAT MOMENT
THE BEAR CAME OUT OF THE HOUSE. HE BECAME FRIGHTENED BUT REMEMBERING THE SICKNESS OF HIS DAUGHTER,
HE STARTED TO BEG THE BEAR FOR THE BLUE ROSES. THE BEAR ANSWERED HIM IN A HUMAN VOICE. "I WILL GIVE
YOU THE ROSES BUT WHEN YOU TAKE THEM HOME AND WHEN YOUR DAUGHTER GETS WELL SHE HAS TO COME TO ME FOR
THIRTY THIRTY DAYS." SEEING THE BLUE ROSES, HELEN REGAINED HER HEALTH AND WITH A LITTLE HORROR,
DECIDED TO GO TO THE BEAR'S HOUSE. SHE STAYED THERE FOR THIRTY DAYS AND HELPED THE BEAR TAKE CARE
OF THE ROSES. AFTER THE THIRTY DAYS SHE CAME BACK HOME AND SHE NOTICED THAT HER BLUE ROSES STARTED
TO WILT. SHE WENT BACK TO THE BEAR'S HOUSE AND SHE FOUND THAT THE BEAR WAS VERY ILL. SHE WAS SORRY
FOR HIM AND HER EYES STARTED TO FILL WITH TEARS. ONE OF THEM DROPPED ON A BLUE ROSE AND THE ROSE
BECAME WHITE. ALL OF A SUDDEN THE BEAR'S HOUSE DISAPPEARED AND IN ITS PLACE WAS THE WHITE CASTLE
AROUND WHICH WERE WHITE ROSES. ON THE PORCH THERE WAS A HANDSOME KNIGHT AND HIS MOTHER. WITH A SMILE
ON HIS LIPS, THE KNIGHT CAME TO HELEN AND TOLD HER, "YOUR GOOD HEART AND TRUTHFUL TEARS GAVE ME BACK
MY STATURE." HE ASKED HER FOR HER HAND IN MARRIAGE AND THERE WAS A BIG WEDDING AND THEY LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER.

Submitter comment: POLISH, HANDWRITTEN TEXT IS ATTACHED TO TYPEWRITTEN ENGLISH TEXT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HAMTRAMCK ; POLAND ; LEZAJSK

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Tale

Date learned: 00-00-1955

View just this record

THE SORCERERS STONE OR THE SNAKE QUEEN

MANY YEARS AGO IN THE POLISH CARPATHIAN MOUNTAINS, THERE
LIVED A POOR MAN NAMED BACA. HE LIVED IN A HOUSE MADE
OUT OF CLAY AND HAD A SMALL FLOCK OF SHEEP AND TWO BEST
FRIENDS WHO WERE A CAT AND A DOG.
HE WAS RENTING A SMALL VALLEY FROM A LANDLORD. EVERY
YEAR THE POOR MAN HAD TO PAY FOR IT AND IT WAS VERY
HARD TO DO.
ONE TIME, BACA WAS WALKING THROUGH A FOREST AND HE
HEARD A QUIET VOICE. "MAN, SAVE ME." HE LOOKED BACKWARD
AND HE SAW A SNAKE IN A BURNING BUSH. BACA WAS AFRAID
OF IT, SO HE ONLY HANDLED IT BY USING HIS CANE. THE
SNAKE WAS SAFE AND STARTED TO TALK TO HIM IN A HUMAN
VOICE. "THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR SAVING MY LIFE." "WOULD
YOU WAIT FOR ME A LITTLE?"
AFTER A TIME THE SNAKE CAME WITH A VALUABLE GEM. IT WAS
SO SHINY THAT BACA HAD TO COVER HIS EYES. THE STONE HAD
THE POWER OF FORTUNE TELLING. FROM THAT TIME, BACA'S
HOUSE WAS WITH EVERYTHING.
WHEN SPRING CAME THE SERVANTS OF THE LAND OWNER CAME TO
COLLECT PAYMENT AND SAW ALL THE WEALTH IN THE HOUSE AND
WERE VERY AMAZED. A STORM WAS COMING AND THEY DECIDED
TO STAY THE NIGHT. THEY SAW THE VALUABLE FORTUNE TELLING
GEM THAT LIGHTED THE WHOLE HOUSE. THEY WERE VERY
INTERESTED IN IT AND STARTED TO ASK BACA WHERE HE GOT IT
FROM. HE TOLD THEM THE TRUTH ABOUT THE STONE AND ITS
POWER. THE SERVANTS WENT BACK AND TOLD THE LANDLORD
ABOUT THE STONE.
THE LANDLORD DECIDED TO VISIT THE HOUSE AND SEE FOR
HIMSELF. WHEN HE ENTERED BACA'S HOUSE HE TOLD HIM THAT
THE STONE BELONGED TO HIM. BACA BEGGED HIM TO LEAVE
THE STONE, BUT THE LANDLORD TOOK THE STONE WITH HIM.
THROUGH ALL THE COMMOTION THE CAT AND DOG WERE
LISTENING. IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE LANDLORD LEFT THEY
WENT AFTER HIM TO HIS CASTLE. THE LANDLORD HID THE
MAGIC STONE IN HIS WALLET AND WENT TO BED WITH IT.
WHEN THE LANDLORD FELL FAST ASLEEP THE CAT AND DOG
ENTERED HIS BEDROOM VERY QUIETLY AND TOOK THE WALLET
WITH THE STONE.
AFTER A LONG JOURNEY, THEY CAME TO BACA'S HOUSE.
THERE TOGETHER WITH BACA THEY DECIDED TO LEAVE THE
VALLEY OF THE LANDLORD. THEY WENT FAR AWAY, PAST THE
HILLS AND FORESTS AND MADE THEIR HOME FAR AWAY FROM
OTHER PEOPLE. THEY HAD ALL THE WEALTH THEY NEEDED AND
LIVED VERY HAPPILY EVERY AFTER.

Submitter comment: POLISH, HANDWRITTEN TEXT IS ATTACHED TO TYPEWRITTEN
ENGLISH TEXT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HAMTRAMCK ; POLAND ; LEZAJSK

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Tale

Date learned: 00-00-1955

View just this record

THE WOODEN DISHES

THIS STORY WAS TOLD TO ME BY MY FRENCH-POLISH
GRANDMOTHER (FRATERNAL) SEVERAL TIMES AND SHE SAID
THAT HER GRANDMOTHER TOLD IT TO HER. IT WAS A LESSON IN
RESPECT AND REVERENCE FOR OLD AGE. IT WENT LIKE THIS...
THERE WAS A CERTAIN FAMILY IN A FAIRLY LARGE VILLAGE
WHICH WAS DOING BETTER THAN THE AVERAGE VILLAGER. THIS
FAMILY CONSISTED OF A FATHER, MOTHER, AND TWO
CHILDREN, ONE BOY AND ONE GIRL. IT CAME TO PASS THAT THE
FATHER'S MOTHER DIED AND HIS FATHER WAS LEFT ALONE. AFTER
A FEW YEARS, THE WIDOWED FATHER BECAME TOO FEEBLE TO CARE
FOR ALL HIS NEEDS AND CAME TO LIVE WITH HIS SON AND
FAMILY. NOW, THE WIDOWER HAD A HARD TIME EATING AND
CARING FOR THE CHINA. SOMETIMES HE WOULD LIFT HIS PLATE
AND CLUMSILY DROP IT. THIS HELD TRUE FOR HIS CUP AND
SAUCER; MANY PIECES WERE BROKEN. NOW THE DAUGHTER-IN-LAW
BECAME VERY FRUSTRATED ABOUT THE LOSS OF HER GOOD CHINA AND
COMPLAINED TO HER HUSBAND ABOUT THE SITUATION SEVERAL TIMES.
AT LAST, THEY DECIDED TO GIVE THE ELDER WOODEN
DISHES, ALTHOUGH NOT LIKE THE REST, WHICH COULD NOT BE
BROKEN. SO FOR SOME TIME, THE ELDER WAS SERVED HIS FOOD
ON DISHES OF WOOD WHILE THE REST OF THE FAMILY DINED UPON
FINE CHINA. ONE DAY, THE MOTHER AND FATHER OF THE FAMILY
SAW THEIR CHILDREN BUSY AT WORK. THEY WERE CURIOUS AS TO
WHAT PROJECT THE CHILDREN WERE ENGROSSED IN. WHEN THE
PARENTS INQUIRED ABOUT THE WORK THEY WERE DOING AND WHAT
IT WAS THEY WERE MAKING, THE CHILDREN REPLIED, "WHY ITS
A SET OF WOODEN DISHES FOR YOU AND MAMA WHEN YOU GET OLD!"

Where learned: POLAND

Subject headings: Favorites
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Romantic Realistic

Date learned: 09-00-1984

View just this record

"KASZA"

INGREDIENTS: ONE CUP BUCKWHEAT GRITS, ONE EGG, TWO CUPS
BOILING WATER, TWO TABLESPOONS BUTTER, ONE TEASPOON SALT.
MIX THE GRITS AND EGG TOGETHER WELL AND SLOWLY COOK THEM
AND CONTINUALLY STIR. PUT IN THE REST OF THE INGREDIENTS,
COVER, AND COOK OVER A LOW FLAME FOR FIFTEEN TO TWENTY
MINUTES. WHEN DONE, MAKE SURE THE GRITS ARE DRY.

Where learned: POLAND

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Plant food Vegetable

Date learned: 09-30-1984

View just this record

WHERE THE DEVIL CAN'T DO THE WORK, HE SENDS A WOMAN

THERE WAS A HAPPY, RELIGIOUS FAMILY WITH TWO CHILDREN.
EVEN THOUGH THEY WERE LIVING IN POVERTY, THEY WERE A
LOVING FAMILY. THE DEVIL COULDN'T SEE WHY THEY HAD
SO MUCH HAPPINESS AND WANTED TO DESTROY IT.
HE SENT HIS HELPER TO THIS FAMILY AS A SERVANT TO
OBSERVE THEM TO SEE IF THEY COULD DO ANYTHING WRONG.
HE WAS TO LET THE DEVIL KNOW ABOUT IT, AS HE WAS
WAITING. HIS HELPER HAD A SOFT HEART. HE WAS HELPING
THE MANY BY PLOWING THE FIELDS, CUTTING THE WOOD, AND
WATCHING THE CHILDREN WHO LOVED HIM VERY MUCH. HE WAS
WORKING FOR THEM ABOUT A YEAR AND COULDN'T FIND ANYTHING
TO SAY AGAINST THEM, BECAUSE THEY ALWAYS LIVED A VERY
PEACEFUL LIFE.
NOT SO FAR FROM THEM THERE WAS A MEAN WOMAN. SHE WAS
UNABLE TO GET ALONG WITH HER NEIGHBORS. THE MAIN
DEVIL, LUCIFER, WENT THERE AND PROMISED HER NEW SHOES
IF SHE COULD MAKE SOME MISUNDERSTANDING IN THE PEACEFUL
FAMILY WHERE HIS HELPER WAS LIVING. SHE AGREED.
WHEN SHE CAME TO THE FAMILY, THE WIFE WAS BY HERSELF
AT HOME. SHE HAD A SMALL CONVERSATION WITH HER AND
CONVINCED HER THAT HER HUSBAND WOULD DIE SOON. THERE
WAS ONLY ONE WAY TO PREVENT IT. WHEN HER HUSBAND CAME
HOME IN THE EVENING, SHE WOULD HAVE TO TAKE A LONG
KNIFE AND WHEN HE WOULD FALL ASLEEP, SHE WOULD HAVE TO
CUT ONE GREY HAIR SO HE WOULD LIVE LONG.
AFTER TALKING TO THE WIFE THE WICKED WOMAN WENT TO
THE FIELD WHERE THE MAN WAS PLOWING THE FIELD. SHE
TOLD HIM THAT HIS WIFE WAS CHEATING ON HIM AND HAD A
LOVER AND THAT SHE WOULD VISIT HIM OFTEN. THE HUSBAND
COULDN'T BELIEVE IT AND CHASED HER AWAY. SHE TOLD HIM:
"WAIT, SHE WILL KILL YOU TODAY!"
HE DIDN'T WANT TO BELIEVE THIS, BUT DOUBT CAME TO HIS
HEART. AFTER SUPPER HE WENT TO BED AND PRETENDED TO BE
SLEEPING. WHEN HIS WIFE CAME TOWARDS HIM WITH A LONG
KNIFE HE WOKE UP AND JUMPED OUT OF BED AND STARTED A
BIG QUARREL.
WHEN LUCIFER CAME TO THE MEAN WOMAN TO DELIVER THE
BOOTS, HE HANDED THEM TO HER ON A LONG STICK BECAUSE
HE HIMSELF WAS AFRAID OF HER. FROM THAT TIME, THERE WAS
A SAYING IN THE POLISH LANGUAGE--"WHERE DEVIL CAN'T
MAKE IT, HE SENDS A WOMAN AND SHE WILL DO IT." "GDZIE
DIABEL NIE MOZE TAM BABE POSALE."

Submitter comment: POLISH, HANDWRITTEN TEXT IS ATTACHED TO TYPEWRITTEN
ENGLISH TEXT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HAMTRAMCK ; POLAND ; LEZAJSK

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Tale

Date learned: 00-00-1955

View just this record

Beer Soup (Polish - Polewka z Piwa)

1 qt. beer
4 egg yolks
4 teaspoons sugar
croutons or cheese
Bring beer to boiling point. Beat egg yolks with
sugar until lemon colored. Slowly mix half cup of
the hot beer with yolks and then carefully add yolks
to boiling beer, stirring constantly. Do not boil
because the yolks will curdle. Serve with hot
croutons or your favorite cheese.

Submitter comment: Informant learned this recipe from his mother who
lived in Poland for many years.

Where learned: POLAND

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Mixed preparation in liquid

Date learned: 00-00-1900

View just this record

Festival of the Star

The Christmas Eve events in Poland are called the "Festival of
the Stars." This Festival begins when the young children see the
first star that evening. The mother has a white table cloth on
the table with small amounts of straw on it to symbolize the
Bethlehem stable in which Jesus was born. After the first star is
seen by the small children, the mother puts out the food. But
before anyone eats the dinner the family says a prayer of
Thanksgiving and the father passes out small wafers with religious
pictures stamped on them. These wafers have been blessed by the
priest. Those present at the dinner wish each other good health
and happiness and share the wafers with each of the others. One
at a time you go up to another member of the family, wish the
other family member good health and happiness and then break off a
small portion of their wafer and eat it. The special dinner
consists of borscht soup (beet soup) or duck soup, fish (it is a
pike fish with saffron and raisins in it), pierogi, sauerkraut,
mushrooms, nuts and kolatchi cookies (these are cookies made of a
sugar dough which is wrapped around a fruit jam in the middle).
One place setting is left vacant for either the Christ child or an
unexpected guest. This is significant of Mary and Joseph's search
for a place to stay when Mary was to give birth to Jesus. Since
there was no place for them to stay, not even in the inn, this
place guarantees a place for them. After supper, the Christmas
tree is lit, and Polish Christmas carols are sung. The star man
comes to the house and asks the children about religion and tests
their catechism knowledge. Three boys dressed as the Three Wise
Men carry a lit star into the room singing Polish Christmas carols
and bring presents to the children. The children do not believe
in Santa Claus; they receive their presents from the Three Wise
Men, only if they answer the religious questions posed by the star
man correctly. Sometimes men would also dress up to be a camel
and accompany the Three Wise Men in their entrance into the home.
At midnight, the families attend the midnight mass which they call
"Pasterka" or in English, "Shepherd's Mass." The church is
decorated with the manger scene throughout the Christmas season.
On January 6, "The Day of the Three Kings," the Christmas season
is over.

Submitter comment: Many of the activities listed in this Polish Christmas were
practiced by both her mother and father when they lived in Poland.
The Polish Christmas dinner, Christmas Carols, and the tree
decorating are still practiced in the family. Also the family
attends the "Shepherd's Mass" each year.

Where learned: POLAND

Keyword(s): Festival of the Star

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- School

Date learned: 00-00-1950

View just this record

WHEN THERE WAS A DEATH IN THE FAMILY AND THE PERSON WAS
WAKED AT HOME, THE TOP OR COVER OF THE CASKET WAS
PLACED OUTSIDE ON THE FRONT LAWN OF THE HOUSE.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT REMEMBERS THIS CUSTOM TAKING PLACE IN POLAND.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; POLAND

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 03-10-1970

View just this record

IN POLAND, WHEN A YOUNG CHILD HAS DIED, A CASKET IS MADE
OF WOOD AND PAINTED WHITE WITH PICTURES OF ANGELS
PASTED ON IT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN ; POLAND ; DEARBORN MEDICAL CENTER

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 09-30-1968

View just this record

POLISH BURIAL CUSTOM

IN POLAND LITTLE CHILDREN ARE BURIED IN WHITE COFFINS
WITH ANGELS PAINTED ON THE SIDES.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; POLAND

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 01-22-1970

View just this record

CARNIVAL--AFTER CHRISTMAS

THE PERIOD OF TIME FROM CHRISTMAS TO ASH WEDNESDAY IS
KNOWN IN POLAND AS "KARNAWAT," OR CARNIVAL. IT IS
A TIME OF DANCES, BALLS AND FESTIVE OCCASIONS. FOR
THE WOMAN OF THE HOUSE, IT IS THE TIME TO MAKE SUCH
PASTRIES AS "PONCZKI," POLISH JELLY DONUTS, AND
"CHRUSCIKI," POLISH ANGEL WINGS. THIS CUSTOM IS
KNOWN FROM PRACTICE TILL THIS DAY IN MY FAMILY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN ; POLAND

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Dance
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time Winter
Food Drink -- Food

Date learned: 10-28-1967

View just this record

IN POLAND ON THE DAY OF A WEDDING THE BRIDE AND
GROOM MET AT THE BRIDE'S FATHER'S HOUSE. THEY
KNELT AT THE FEET OF THE FATHER AND THE FATHER
BLESSED THE UPCOMING MARRIAGE.

Submitter comment: THIS DIFFERS FROM THE AMERICAN CUSTOM WHICH SAYS
IT IS BAD LUCK TO SEE THE BRIDE BEFORE THE WEDDING.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; POLAND

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage Parents' blessing

Date learned: 00-00-1968

View just this record

AFTER MARRIAGE CEREMONY, WHEN THE BRIDE AND GROOM ARE
ABOUT TO ENTER THE PLACE WHERE THE WEDDING BREAKFAST
IS HELD, THEY ARE GIVEN BREAD AND SALT TO EAT.
MEANING: ALWAYS HAVE BREAD AS A SOURCE OF LIFE.
ABUNDANCE IN LIFE AS MANY AS THE GRAINS OF SALT.

Submitter comment: LEARNED IN POLAND.

Where learned: POLAND

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage Bread and salt

Date learned: 11-10-1967

View just this record

WHEN THE BRIDE IS ABOUT TO LEAVE THE WEDDING RECEPTION,
SHE TAKES OFF HER VEIL AND GIVES IT TO HER MAID-OF-
HONOR. THE BRIDE THEN PUTS ON A BABOOSHKA TO SIGNIFY
THAT SHE IS NOW A MARRIED WOMAN.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT SAID THIS WAS AN OLD POLISH CUSTOM OBSERVED
MANY YEARS AGO IN POLAND.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; POLAND ; SAINT CLAIR SHORES

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage Removing veil

Date learned: 02-20-1972

View just this record

POLISH CUSTOM

ON NEW YEAR'S DAY, THE POOR PEOPLE WOULD GO FROM HOUSE TO
HOUSE, TRYING TO COLLECT MONEY OR CLOTHING AND WISHING
THE PEOPLE GOOD LUCK FOR THE NEW YEAR. THEY WOULD ALSO
COLLECT BEANS AND WHEAT.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT'S FAMILY GAVE OUT BEANS AND WHEAT TO THESE
POOR PEOPLE IN POLAND DURING THE 1930S.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; POLAND

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
Food Drink -- Typical menus for the various meals For meal hours, see F574.84. Special or festive meals
BELIEF -- Good luck
BELIEF -- Good luck

Date learned: 11-22-1971 ; 00001930S

View just this record

prev | items
| next

University of Detroit Mercy
4001 W. McNichols Detroit , MI , 48221-3038
This site is endorsed by the University of Detroit Mercy (UDM) and supports the views, values, and mission of UDM. The University of Detroit Mercy web site provides links to other web sites, both public and private, for informational purposes. The inclusion of these links on UDM's site does not imply endorsement by the University. Please contact the Instructional Design Studio for any questions regarding this web site.