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FOLK CUSTOM

ALTHOUGH THE PUERTO RICO PEASANT (JIBARO) WALKS INTO THE SEA
DURING FESTICAL (AT MIDNITE ON THE SAINT'S DAY), HE WILL NOT
GO IN ANY OTHER TIME. HE CANNOT SWIM. THIS IS A PURPOSEFUL
OMISSION. IN THE PAST, MANY OF THEM MADE A GOOD PART OF THEIR
LIVING FISHING IN WATERS WHICH WERE OCCASIONALLY KNOWN TO BE
SHARK-INFESTED. THE THEORY WAS THAT IF YOU COULDN'T SWIM,
YOU WOULD DROWN QUICKLY IF YOU FELL IN. THEN YOU WOULDN'T
FEEL IT WHEN THE SHARK GOT YOU.

Where learned: PUERTO RICO ; HATO REY

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Custom

Date learned: 00-00-1961

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