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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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AUTOGRAPH

I WISH YOU LUCK. I WISH YOU JOY.
I WISH YOU FIRST A BABY BOY.
AND WHEN YOU SET YOUR HAIR IN PINS,
I WISH YOU THEN A PAIR OF TWINS.
AND WHEN YOUR HAIR BEGINS TO CURL,
I WISH YOU THEN A BABY GIRL.

Submitter comment: FROM AUTOGRAPH BOOK KEPT IN DETROIT, 1967.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Autograph Verse
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth

Date learned: 11-00-1973

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CHRIST JOKE

DO YOU KNOW HOW CHRIST RECEIVED HIS NAME? WELL, WAY BACK WHEN,
THESE THREE GUYS CAME TO VISIT THE BABE WHO, AS YOU KNOW, WAS
BORN IN THIS OLD CAVE. NOW THIS CAVE WAS VERY, VERY LOW AND ONE
OF THESE THREE GUYS WAS EXTREMELY TALL. AFTER KNEELING FOR A
LONG TIME BEFORE THE BABE, THE TALL ONE, FORGETTING THE KIND OF
PLACE HE WAS IN, ROSE QUICKLY AND BANGED HIS HEAD. "JESUS
CHRIST!" SHOUTS HE. AND MARY TURNS TO JOSEPH, UPON HEARING THIS,
AND SAYS, "GEE, JOSEPH, THAT WOULD BE A BETTER NAME THAN
ARCHIBALD."

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WYANDOTTE

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Religious hero
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Baptism Naming rite

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BIRTH-- DETERMINING THE SEX OF UNBORN CHILD

IF AN EXPECTANT MOTHER LOSES ALL HER BEAUTY WHILE PREGNANT SHE IS
GOING TO HAVE A GIRL BECAUSE SHE IS GIVING ALL HER BEAUTY TO HER
UNBORN DAUGHTER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): PREGNANCY

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth

Date learned: 00001930S

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WHO BECOMES A VAMPIRE

A PERSON WILL BE A VAMPIRE IF HE IS BORN ON HALLOWEEN
OR CONCEIVED ON WOLFPURGIS NIGHT, THE NIGHT BEFORE MAY 1.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: ENGLAND ; WORCESTER

Keyword(s): SUPERNATURAL ; SUPERSTITION ; Undead ; Vampire

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- April 30
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F103
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth

Date learned: 04-00-1972

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HOW TO DETERMINE SEX OF UNBORN CHILD

IF AN EXPECTING MOTHER WANTS TO KNOW WHAT SEX HER CHILD WELL BE SHE
SHOULD HAVE HER FUTURE MID-WIFE AID HER IN THE FOLLOWING TEST. IF
THE WOMAN IS FIVE TO NINE MONTHS EXPECTANT SHE SHOULD REST ON THE
FLOOR ON HER BACK WITH BOTH ARMS STRAIGHT AT THEIR SIDES, HER LEGS
AND FEET TOGETHER AND RELAX ALL THOUGHTS OF DOUBT ABOUT THE TEST
WORKING OR NOT. THE MID-WIFE IS TO WASH HER HANDS IN A MIXTURE OF
VINEGAR AND SALT AND HOLD A LONG CHAIN BELONGING TO THE EXPECTANT
WOMAN'S MOTHER; THE CHAIN SHOULD HAVE A HEAVY OBJECT ON ITS END, SUCH
AS A CAMEO OR THE LIKING. THE MID-WIFE IS TO HOLD THE CHAIN AND
OBJECT OVER THE WOMAN'S STOMACH AND ASK, "WHAT'S IT GONNA BE LORD,
THE LIKINGS OF ME OR THEE, LORD?" AT THAT POINT THE HANGING OBJECT
SHOULD REST ON THE WOMAN'S STOMACH AND IT SHOULD BE SLOWLY RAISED AND
AGAIN RESTED, RAISED, RESTED AND SO ON. IF THE OBJECT ON THE CHAIN
SWINGS CLOCKWISE AS IT'S RAISED AND LOWERED ONTO THE UNBORN CHILD, IT
WILL BE A MALE. BUT IN THE EVENT THAT THE OBJECT SWINGS
COUNTER-CLOCKWISE, THE UNBORN CHILD WILL BE A FEMALE. THE OBJECT'S
MOVEMENT WILL BE ONLY SLIGHT. THIS TEST SHOULD BE DONE AT LEAST FIVE
TIMES AND IF THE TEST "PROVES" THE CHILD TO BE A MALE AT LEAST THREE
OUT OF THE FIVE TRYS, THE MOTHER SHOULD EXPECT A SON AND LIKEWISE, IF
THE OBJECT SWINGS TO THE LEFT OR COUNTER-CLOCKWISE AT LEAST THREE OF
THE FIVE TRIES, THE MOTHER
WILL HAVE A DAUGHTER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN

James Callow Keyword(s): NUMBERS ; SYMBOL

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth
BELIEF -- Use of Object

Date learned: 00-00-1935

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CUSTOMS

CIGARS: IF YOU ARE EITHER NEWLY PROMOTED OR A NEW FATHER, YOU
DISTRIBUTE CIGARS TO ALL OFFICERS.

Where learned: NOT INCLUDED

Keyword(s): MILITARY ; PROMOTION, NEW FATHER

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Work Commerce Business
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth
BELIEF -- Number

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CALF'S MILK PUDDING

A SCANDINAVIAN TRADITION CELEBRATES THE BIRTH OF A NEW CALF BY TAKING
ITS MOTHER'S FIRST MILK AND MAKING A SPECIAL PUDDING THAT COULD
ONLY BE MADE WITH THIS MILK.

Where learned: LOCATION NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth
Food Drink -- Typical menus for the various meals For meal hours, see F574.84. Special or festive meals
Food Drink -- Animal product Milk product
Food Drink -- Pastry Sweet Dessert

Date learned: 11-17-1968

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BIRTH

IT IS CUSTOMARY TO PUT A PINK OR BLUE BOW ON THE OUTSIDE DOOR OF
THE HOME TO ANNOUNCE THE BIRTH OF A BABY IN THAT FAMILY.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT GAVE ME THIS ITEM WHILE VISITING AT MY HOME IN TAYLOR,
MICHIGAN. THE INFORMANT LEARNED IT FROM A NEIGHBOR WHERE SHE LIVES
IN MARBLEHEAD, MASS. AND RECENTLY PUT THE CUSTOM INTO PRACTICE.
MARBLEHEAD, MASS. IS A VERY SMALL NEW ENGLAND TOWN ON THE COAST
APPROXIMATELY 40 MINUTES FROM BOSTON. THIS CUSTOM HAS BEEN PRACTICED
SINCE APPROXIMATELY THE TURN OF THE CENTURY AND IS STILL DONE TODAY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; TAYLOR

Subject headings: Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth
SPEECH -- To Be Seen

Date learned: 11-00-1977

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POLISH GIRLS AT BIRTH ARE NOT GIVEN MIDDLE NAMES.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Person / Nickname
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth

Date learned: 12-00-1977

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EXPECTING MOTHERS

EXPECTANT MOTHERS GO TO CHURCH AND SAY A SERIES OF PRAYERS THAT THE
CHILD WILL HAVE A LONG AND PROSPEROUS LIFE

Submitter comment: INFORMANT WAS RELUCTANT TO SAY WHAT THE PRAYERS WERE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Church
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth

Date learned: 10-00-1977

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NEW BORN CHILDREN

A WOMAN SHOULD NOT BE LEFT ALONE FOR 40 DAYS AFTER SHE DELIVERS OR
AN EVIL SPIRIT WILL COME AND STEAL THE CHILD AND EXCHANGE IT WITH ONE
OF HIS OWN. IF THIS HAPPENS THE PARENTS TAKE THE EVIL CHILD TO
THE CHURCH AND PLACE IT ON THE STEPS FOR ONE HALF HOUR AND GO IN
SIDE TO PRAY. WHEN THEY RETURN THEY HAVE THEIR OWN CHILD BACK

Submitter comment: CHANGELING

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth
BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
BELIEF -- Church
BELIEF -- Number P686.1.40

Date learned: 10-00-1977

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BIRTH BELIEFS

BABIES ARE PICKED OUT OF A CABBAGE IN A GARDEN DURING A FULL MOON.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth
BELIEF -- Moon
BELIEF -- Plant

Date learned: 02-00-1977

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CELEBRATION OF A ROYAL BIRTH

IN THE NETHERLANDS, EVERYTIME THE QUEEN GIVES BIRTH,
THE CITIZENS GET BISQUICK WITH PINK DECORATIONS FOR A
GIRL. IF IT IS A BOY, THE WOULD GET BISQUICK WITH BLUE
DECORATIONS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; OAK PARK

James Callow Keyword(s): GIFTS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth

Date learned: 04-00-1979

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POLISH BAPTISMAL CUSTOM

IT IS CUSTOMARY AMONG SOME POLISH PEOPLE TO FASHION A BAPTISMAL
DRESS FOR A FIRST BORN CHILD FROM THE WEDDING VEIL OF THE MOTHER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Baptism Naming rite
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Dress

Date learned: 02-00-1979

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EXPECTANT MOTHERS - BELIEF

NAMING A BABY GIRL AFTER THE MOTHER - IT WILL BE HER LAST CHILD.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; REDFORD

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth
BELIEF -- Number Last events: the last person to the table...

Date learned: CA00001968

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EXPECTANT MOTHERS

WEDDING RING ON A STRING, HOLD STRING OVER MOTHER'S STOMACH.
IF IT SWINGS SIDE TO SIDE - IT WILL BE A BOY
IF IT SWINGS IN A CIRCLE - IT WILL BE A GIRL.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; REDFORD

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth
BELIEF -- Use of Object

Date learned: CA00001968

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PREGNANT WOMAN

PREGNANT WOMEN DOWN SOUTH EAT LAUNDRY STARCH FOR BIG BABIES.

Submitter comment: EFFECTS: IN ACTUALITY THE BABIES ARE BIG BUT THE STARCH DRAWS OUT
THE IRON FROM THE BABIES.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): PREDICTION

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 02-00-1970

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SUPERSTITION

WHEN JEWISH WOMEN ARE PREGNANT THEY DO NOT BUY A LAYETTE FOR FEAR IF
THEY DO, THEY WILL LOSE THE CHILD OR ELSE THE CHILD WILL BE BORN DEA

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT

Keyword(s): RELIGION

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Number Emptiness, nothingness, zero
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 03-09-1971

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BIRTH

PREDICTING THE DUE DATE FOR THE EXPECTED CHILD, AN INDIAN WOULD
COUNT NINE FULL MOONS TILL DUE DATE.
IN STEAD OF THE NORMAL WAY OF PREDICTING THE DUE DATE FOR THE
EXPECTED CHILD, AN INDIAN WOULD COUNT NINE FULL MOONS TILL DUE DATE.

Where learned: DETROIT ; MICHIGAN, ASSUMED

Keyword(s): MEDICINE MAN

Subject headings: 686 Ninths / Nine
Observation
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth
BELIEF -- Moon
BELIEF -- Number P686.3.9

Date learned: 11-18-1969

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