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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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BIRTH BELIEF

TAKE A PENCIL WITH AN ERASER ON IT AND STICK THE POINT ON A
THREADED NEEDLE. NOW HOLD THE THREAD, SUSPENDING THE PENCIL OVER THE
PULSE POINT OF A GIRL. THE PENCIL SHOULD START MOVING IN A CIRCULAR
OR LINEAR MOTION. IF CIRCULAR, HER FIRST CHILD WILL BE A GIRL.
IN A LINEAR PATH, A BOY.
CONTINUE PERFORMING UNTIL MOTION STOPS, THIS WILL TELL YOU HOW
MANY CHILDREN SHE WILL HAVE.

Submitter comment: ANOTHER ONE ALIKE IN THE ARCHIVE.

Where learned: DETROIT

Keyword(s): ANAPEL ANEPEL

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Birth

Date learned: 04-00-1968

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DANGLE A THREADED NEEDLE OVER A PREGNANT WOMAN'S ABDOMEN TO
PREDICT THE SEX OF THE CHILD.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT LEARNED THIS WHEN SHE WAS YOUNG.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; GROSSE POINTE

James Callow Keyword(s): ANAPEL

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Birth
BELIEF -- Use of Object

Date learned: 02-00-1972

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BIRTH; DETERMINING SEX OF UNBORN CHILD

I REMEMBER ONE THING THAT WAS REALLY PRETTY SILLY, THAT ALL THE
GIRLS DID WHEN THEY WERE PREGNANT TO SUPPOSEDLY TELL IF THE
BABY WAS TO BE A BOY OR A GIRL. WE'D THREAD A NEEDLE AND LET
IT SWING ON ITS OWN INTO MAKING A CIRCLE OR AN OVAL SHAPE IN
THE SWINGS. SUPPOSEDLY SOME SPIRIT OR THE CHILD ITSELF WAS
DIRECTING THE SWING OF THE NEEDLE, AND IF THE NEEDLE MADE A
CIRCLE, THE BABY WAS SUPPOSED TO BE A GIRL AND AN OVAL WAS
AN INDICATION OF A BOY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BIRMINGHAM

James Callow Keyword(s): ANAPEL

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

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In order to the determine the sex of an unborn child
tie a needle to a thread and hold it over the stomach
of the woman. If you are very still, the needle will
begin to swing. If it goes in a circular motion, the
child will be a girl. If it goes in a straight line,
then it will be a boy.

Submitter comment: Elaine says that her father never misses with this
technique, and that he has used it to determine the
sex of chicks while still in the egg. The only time
that they thought he might not be accurate in his
prediction was when his daughter-in-law was pregnant,
and the needle swung both ways. Later the daughter-in-
law gave birth to twins -- a boy and a girl. Elaine
believes that not everyone is capable of using this
method; that you must have a special talent for it.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

Keyword(s): pendulum, forecasting, anapel

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Use of Object
BELIEF -- Use of object for determining number of children or sex of unborn

Date learned: 00001940S

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TO DETERMINE THE SEX OF A PREGNANT WOMAN'S BABY, TAKE
A NEEDLE AND THREAD IT WITH A LONG PIECE OF THREAD.
HOLD IT BY THE END OF THE THREAD SO THAT THE NEEDLE CAN
SWING FREELY. HOLD IT OVER THE PREGNANT WOMAN'S BELLY.
IF THE NEEDLE SWINGS IN A BACK AND FORTH DIRECTION THEN
THE BABY IS A BOY. IF THE NEEDLE SWINGS IN A CIRCULAR
MOTION, THEN THE BABY IS A GIRL.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ANAPEL

James Callow Keyword(s): SEX DETERMINATION

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

Date learned: 00001930ca

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Take a necklace a hang it over a lady's arm. If it swing in a
circle it will be some time before she has a baby. If it swing
horizontal she will have a little girl. If it swings vertical she
will have a little boy.

Where learned: DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): ANAPEL

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

Date learned: 00001960S

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Determining Fetus Sex

To determine the sex of a baby before it is born a needle is
threaded, approximately 12 inches long. The pregnant female lies
on her back and a friend, relative, etc. holds the thread where it
has been tied. The needle is pointed at the center of the female's
abdomen. If the motion of the needle and thread is circular it is
a girl; if the motion is rocking back and forth it is a boy.

Submitter comment: This particular belief goes back to my great-grandmother's time
(in Poland) and was relayed to me by my mother. Many older Polish
women contend it works.

James Callow comment: For needles in sex determination see Puckett, Ohio, no. 860.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HAMTRAMCK

James Callow Keyword(s): ANAPEL

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Birth

Date learned: 01-29-1992

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EXPECTANT MOTHERS

HERE ARE SOME BELIEFS ON THIS SUBJECT: IF YOU CARRY A BABY LOW,
IT IS A GIRL. IF YOU CARRY A BABY HIGH, IT IS A BOY.
DANGLE A PIN FROM A STRING, IF IT SWINGS IN A CIRCLE, ITS A GIRL;
IF IT SWINGS IN A STRAIGHT LINE, IT IS A BOY.
IF A PREGNANT WOMAN CRAVES SOMETHING, THE BABY, WHEN BORN, WILL
CRAVE IT ALSO.
IF YOU ARE SCARED OR AFRAID OF SOMETHING, THE BABY WILL BE MARKED.
IF YOU EAT STRAWBERRIES WHEN PREGNANT, YOUR BABY WILL HAVE A
STRAWBERRY MARK ON HIS FACE.

Submitter comment: IT SEEMS THERE ARE ALOT OF THESE KIND OF FACTS TO KEEP PREGNANT WOMEN
AWARE OF WHAT THEY EAT AND DO.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): ANAPEL

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses Head, physiognomy, face
BELIEF -- Birth

Date learned: 02-00-1974

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IF YOU ATTACH A NEEDLE WITH A SHORT THREAT ATTACHED TO IT
INTO THE ERASER OF A SHORT PENCIL AND HANG THE APPARATUS
OVER THE PALM SIDE OF THE WRIST, THE PENCIL WILL TELL
YOU WHETHER YOU WILL HAVE BOYS OR GIRLS AND HOW MANY. THE
PENCIL WILL MOVE PARALLEL TO THE ARM IF IT IS A GIRL,
AND HORIZONTAL FOR A BOY. WHEN HE APPARATUS COMES TO A
HALT FOR SEVERAL MINUTES OR BEGINS TO CIRCLE, THAT IS
ALL THE CHILDREN YOU WILL HAVE. DOES NOT WORK ON
PREGNANT WOMEN.

Where learned: KANSAS CITY

James Callow Keyword(s): ANAPEL

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

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TO DETERMINE PRE-NATALLY THE SEX OF A CHILD, HOLD A
RING ON THE END OF A STRING ABOVE THE PREGNANT WOMAN'S
NAVEL. IF THE RING SWINGS IN A CIRCLE, THE CHILD WILL
BE A BOY. IF IT SWINGS BACK AND FORTH, THE CHILD WILL
BE A GIRL.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Keyword(s): ; BELIEF ; Boy ; gender ; Girl ; PREDICTION ; PREGNANCY ; RING

James Callow Keyword(s): ANAPEL

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Birth
BELIEF -- Use of object for determining number of children or sex of unborn P863.4

Date learned: 10-23-1973

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TO FIND OUT HOW MANY CHILDREN YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE THREAD
A NEED(LE), THEN STICK THE POINT OF THE NEEDLE THRU THE
ERASER OF A PENCIL 'TIL IT TOUCHES THE LEAD. THEN, HOLDING
THE WHOLE THING BY THE STRING, DROP THE NEEDLE OVER YOUR
WRIST. BE SURE THAT YOU DON'T HAVE ANY JEWELRY ON THAT
HAND OR ARM. WHEN THE NEEDLE DROPS, IT WILL CIRCLE AROUND
THE WRIST. FOR EVERYTIME IT STOPS GOING IN THE CIRCLE TO
SWING UP AND DOWN YOU WILL HAVE A BOY. FOR EVERYTIME IT
STOPS TO GO SIDEWAYS YOU WILL HAVE A GIRL. EACH TIME IT
STOPS, ADD UP THE TOTAL AND YOU'LL KNOW HOW MANY CHILDREN
YOU'LL HAVE AND WHICH ARE GIRLS AND WHICH ARE BOYS.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

James Callow Keyword(s): ANAPEL

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Birth
BELIEF -- Measure of quantity or weight
BELIEF -- Number Counting beliefs

Date learned: 00-00-1972

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Belief: Children

Determining Sex of Unborn Child:

A pin on a thread, if held motionless over the wrist of an expectant mother, can determine sex of child by the motion which it takes up after it is perfectly still. If pin or needle takes up a circular motion than first child weill be a girl. If needle takes up back and forth motion then a boy. If pin stops and then moves again, this can be used to predict the future sex and number of children.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [P860] crossed out. Replaced with current classification

Where learned: HOME ; NEW YORK ; ROCHESTER

Keyword(s): ANAPEL ; BELIEF ; Biology ; BIRTH ; CHILDREN ; CUSTOM ; Forecasting ; gender ; Ordain ; Pendulum ; Predictions ; SEX

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth

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showing 12 items

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