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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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ITALIAN SUPERSTITION

ALL NEW BORN BABIES MUST IMMEDIATELY BE GIVEN A HORN-SHAPED
PIECE OF CORAL TO FASTEN TO THEIR UNDERSHIRTS. THIS WILL PROTECT
THEM FROM EVIL SPIRITS.

Submitter comment: LEARNED AS A YOUNG WOMAN LIVING IN ITALY.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; YONKERS

James Callow Keyword(s): AMULET

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Devil Demon
BELIEF -- Birth
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure

Date learned: 12-29-1963

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PATRON SAINT

ST. JOSEPH IS THE PATRON SAINT OF THE MALTESE AND WEARING HIS
MEDAL BRINGS GOOD LUCK.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): AMULET TALISMAN

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Religious hero
BELIEF -- Emblem
BELIEF -- Good luck P881.1

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CHARMS

A COMMON CHARM IS A TINY PIECE OF THE BLARNEY STONE FITTED INTO
A RING OR SMALL SILVER CASTLE.

James Callow comment: COLLECTOR'S SPELLING CORRECTED

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

James Callow Keyword(s): AMULET TALISMAN ; IRELAND

Subject headings: Charm / Enchantment / Conjuration

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HEX CHARM

THE GERMANS HAVE A CHARM WHICH IS A CIRCLE WITH POINTS. IT REMOVES A
CURSE IF IT IS WORN EVERY DAY FOR A MONTH.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

James Callow Keyword(s): AMULET TALISMAN

Subject headings: Charm / Enchantment / Conjuration
BELIEF -- Measure of time Month
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Circle and other round forms
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Angular forms
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: CA1963-1975

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MEXICAN GOOD LUCK

THE MEXICANS HAVE A CHARM WHICH IS A CLOSED FIST WITH A BRACELET.
THIS IS PROTECTION FROM THE EVIL EYE.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

James Callow Keyword(s): AMULET TALISMAN

Subject headings: Charm / Enchantment / Conjuration
BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Curse
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: CA1963-1975

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ST. CHRISTOPHER

A ST. CHRISTOPHER MEDAL IS WORN FOR PEDESTRIAN PROTECTION.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

James Callow Keyword(s): AMULET TALISMAN

Subject headings: Charm / Enchantment / Conjuration
BELIEF -- Religious hero

Date learned: CA1963-1975

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BABIES

WHEN A BABY IS BORN, PIN A MEDAL TO THE CRIB FOR PROTECTION.

Where learned: HOME ; SCHOOL ; MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

James Callow Keyword(s): AMULET TALISMAN

Subject headings: Charm / Enchantment / Conjuration
BELIEF -- Birth

Date learned: CA1963-1975

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CUSTOM HOLY SATURDAY:

IN THE AFTERNOON, A PILE OF THORNS, LIKE THOSE USED IN CHRIST'S
CROWN, IS SET ON FIRE. WHEN THE FIRE HAS BURNED ABOUT HALF DOWN,
EACH PERSON TAKES A PIECE OF BURNED THORN AND KEEPS IT IN THEIR
( HIS ) HOME FOR A YEAR.

Where learned: HOME

Keyword(s): AMULET

Subject headings: 663 Holy Saturday
Favorites
BELIEF -- Number

Date learned: 11-27-1967

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TELLING FORTUNES-PROTECTION AT SEA

THE SEVENTH DAUGHTER OF SEVEN DAUGHTERS, BORN WITH A VEIL, CAN TELL
FORTUNES.
THIS VEIL IS THEN GIVEN TO A SEA CAPTAIN, SO THAT HE WILL NOT PERISH
AT SEA
(IRISH)

Submitter comment: MRS. DUNMIRE SAID THAT THIS HAPPENED TO HER MOTHER, AND THAT SHE
REALLY DID
HAVE THE POWER TO READ FORTUNES.

Where learned: HOME ; TOLD AT

Keyword(s): AMULET

Subject headings: 686 Seven / Sevenths / Several
Prophet / Seer / Soothsayer
Favorites
BELIEF -- Birth
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Emblem

Date learned: 01-00-1970

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LYRICAL VERSE

OH, I DON'T CARE IF IT RAINS OR FREEZES,
LONG AS I HAVE MY PLASTIC JESUS,
RIDING ON THE DASHBOARD OF MY CAR;
THUNDER ROAR AND LIGHTNING CRASH,
I WON'T FEAR; HE'S ON THE DASH,
TAKE HIM WITH YOU WHEN YOU TRAVEL FAR.

OH, I CAN DRIVE FROM COAST TO COAST,
LONG AS I HAVE MY HOLY GHOST,
RIDING ON THE DASHBOARD OF MY CAR;
GOIN' NINETY I AIN'T WARY,
CAUSE I GOT MY VIRGIN MARY,
GUARANTEEIN' I WON'T GO TO HELL.

OH, I DON'T CARE IF IT'S DARK AND SCARY,
LONG AS I HAVE MY VIRGIN MARY,
RIDING ON THE DASHBOARD OF MY CAR.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; TOLD AT ; SAILING CLUB PARTY

Keyword(s): BIBLICAL ; FEMININE RHYME ; IMPERFECT RHYME: FREEZES JESUS ; RELIGION ; RHYME: AABCCB ; SLANG FOR DASHBOARD CLIPPING ; STATUES USED AS AMULETS IN AUTOMOBILES ; TRAVEL

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

Date learned: 10-23-1971

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DROWNING

SCAPULAR - PROTECTION AGAINST DROWNING

Where learned: HOME

Keyword(s): AMULET ; PREVENTION ; RELIGIOUS BELIEF

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

Date learned: 10-25-1968

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SUPERSTITION

WHEN I WAS YOUNGER I USED TO HAVE A GOOD-LUCK DOLL CALLED A WISH-NIK.
IT WAS SMALL, NEITHER MALE NOR FEMALE, WITH A TROLL'S FACE, AND IT
HAD LONG, BRIGHTLY COLORED HAIR. TO MAKE A WISH, YOU RUBBED ITS BELLY
OR STROKED ITS HAIR, WHILE THINKING OF WHAT YOU WANTED TO HAPPEN.
THE ORIGINAL WISH-NIKS HAD HORSESHOES STAMPED ON THE BOTTOM OF THEIR
FEET. WHEN THEY BECAME MORE COMMERCIALIZED, THEY STOPPED DOING THAT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; COLLECTORS HOME

James Callow Keyword(s): AMULET

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure
BELIEF -- Good luck

Date learned: 03-00-1979

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GOOD LUCK OMEN

THE FIGURE OF AN ELEPHANT WITH HIS TRUNK UP IN THE AIR SHOULD BE
PLACED WITH HIS BACK FACING THE ROOM FOR GOOD LUCK.

Where learned: PUERTO RICO

James Callow Keyword(s): AMULET TALISMAN STATUE ; POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Good luck P881.1
BELIEF -- Good luck P881.31

Date learned: 00-00-1979

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POSTCARD FOR LUCK

GOOD LUCK
I PATIENTLY TUMBLED OVER
THE POSTCARDS OLD AND NEW,
TO FIND THIS FOUR LEAF CLOVER
TO SEND FOR LUCK TO YOU.
THE FIRST LEAF STANDS FOR PATIENCE
THE SECOND FOR PLUCK
THE THIRD FOR PERSEVERANCE
THAT'S WHY THE FOURTH BRINGS LUCK.

Submitter comment: THE VERSE IS PRINTED ON THE FRONT CARD, WITH A PICTURE OF A
CLOVER.

Where learned: OHIO ; VERSE ON POSTCARD ; PAINESVILLE

Keyword(s): CHARM ; RHYME: ABABCDED

James Callow Keyword(s): AMULET ; SYMBOL

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
686 Seconds / Twice / Two
686 Thirds / Thrice / Three / Triple
686 Fourths / Quarters
BELIEF -- Plant
BELIEF -- Good luck P881.11

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SUPERSTITION

MY GRANDFATHER SAID THAT IT WAS A BELIEF OF HIS OWN GRANDPARENTS
THAT A ROSARY IN THE ROOM WOULD WARD OFF EVIL SPIRITS. HE SAID THE
PRACTICE WAS HIGHLY DESIRABLE AND THAT HE, TOO,
WISHED TO CONTINUE IT,
INSISTING THAT A DISPLAYED ROSARY WOULD WARD OFF EVIL AND THAT WE
WOULD BE MIRACUOLOUSLY PROTECTED FROM HARM OR DANGER.
HE ENCOURAGED US TO DO THE SAME IN OUR HOMES AND IN OUR AUTOMOBILES.

Where learned: DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): AMULET

Subject headings: Charm / Enchantment / Conjuration
BELIEF -- Devil Demon
BELIEF -- Magic of Speech, Sign, Color

Date learned: 00-00-1979

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RELIGIOUS LEGEND

LONG AGO, THERE WAS THIS LITTLE GIRL WHO ALWAYS WORE HER SCAPULAR.
THIS ONE DAY, SHE WAS WALKING HOME FROM SCHOOL; BUT, INSTEAD OF
RETURNING HOME SHE STOPPED TO PLAY WITH HER FRIENDS. ALL THE
OTHER CHILDREN WERE HIDING, WHILE SHE WAS CLIMBING UP THIS
VERY TALL TREE. SUDDENLY, SHE SLIPPED AND LOST HER BALANCE.
HOWEVER, SHE WAS SAVED BECAUSE HER SCAPULAR REMAINED FIXED AROUND
THE BRANCH OF THE TREE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): AMULET

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Religious hero

Date learned: 09-20-1969

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JAPANESE SEA-HORSE

PREGNANT JAPANESE WOMEN WILL WEAR A DRIED SEA HORSE.
IT IS A CHARM FOR SAFE CHILD BIRTH.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): GOOD LUCK CHARM ; SUPERSTITION

James Callow Keyword(s): AMULET

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth
BELIEF -- Animal

Date learned: 11-00-1968

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FOLKLORE OF GOOD LUCK

IN JAPAN, BAMBOO IS HUNG IN DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE HOUSE TO GIVE ITS
STRENGTH TO WARD OFF SICKNESS AND TO BE ABLE TO KEEP WORKING.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

Keyword(s): Holistic ; Japan ; LUCK ; PLANT ; SYMBOL

James Callow Keyword(s): AMULET

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Plant
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness
BELIEF -- Good luck

Date learned: CA00001935

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MY FATHER BROUGHT BACK A QUITE UNUSUAL GIFT FROM HIS
BUSINESS TRIP-- AN OSTRICH'S TOENAIL KEY CHAIN. THIS
KEYCHAIN IS POLISHED QUITE NICELY, IT IS SAID TO BRING
GOOD LUCK TO THOSE WHO HAVE IT.

Submitter comment: THEY SAY THAT AN OSTRICH'S TOENAIL CAN KILL SOMEONE
IF THEY ARE STUCK BY THE OSTRICH'S FOOT.
PURCHASED AT BUSH GARDENS, FLORIDA

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; GROSSE POINTE WOODS

Keyword(s): ART ; GOOD LUCK CHARM ; SUPERSTITION

James Callow Keyword(s): AMULET

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Good luck

Date learned: 02-00-1978

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WEAR A BULB OF GARLIC AROUND YOUR NECK TO WARD OFF EVIL SPIRITS.

Submitter comment: LEARNED AT A SUMMER ETHNIC CAMP
A LIST OF ITEMS COMPILED BY THE CAMP DIRECTOR BUT LOST BY
THE INFORMANT

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): AMULET

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Devil Demon
BELIEF -- Plant

Date learned: 07-00-1975

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