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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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LADY

IN ANGLO-SAXON TIMES, THE PEOPLE WERE POOR, THE FAMILIES WERE VERY
LARGE, AND THE WORK LOAD WAS HEAVY, SO WHILE THE CHILDREN WERE
STILL IN THEIR PINAFORES, THEY WERE ALLOTTED VARIOUS CHORES. THE
BOYS, OF COURSE, WORKED IN THE FIELDS, PLOWING AND SEEDING AND
SEPARATING THE WHEAT FROM THE CHAFF, WHILE THE HOUSEWORK WAS LEFT
TO THE GIRLS. THEY WERE TAUGHT TO KNIT AND PURL. SOME DID THE
MILKING, OTHERS THE SPINNING, BUT THE MOST IMPORTANT TASK WAS LEFT
TO THE HOUSEWIFE HERSELF, THAT OF BAKING THE DAILY BREAD SO THAT
THE FAMILY COULD BE FED. SHE WAS CALLED THE BREAD KNEADER OR,
IN ANGLO-SAXON, THE LAE-DIGE. CENTURIES LATER, SHE WAS CALLED
"LADY."

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ROCHESTER

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Plant husbandry Farming
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Explanation of a name
Food Drink -- Plant food Cereal
BELIEF -- Home

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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KIBITZER

ANY CARD PLAYER WILL TELL YOU A KIBITZER IS THE LOWEST FORM OF
HUMANITY; HE'S CONTINUALLY PEEKING INTO YOUR HAND, SMIRKING AND
GIVING UNNECESSARY ADVICE. KIBITZERS AREN'T NICE. THE NAME
KIBITZER COMES FROM THE WORD KIBITZ, GERMAN FOR LAPWING OR PLOVER.
THIS CREATURE JABBERS INCESSANTLY, BUT CANNOT SING.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ROCHESTER

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Human Being
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Bird
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Explanation of a name
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Game Pastime

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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CAR FOR SALE

IT WAS A CADILLAC IN THE UPPER PENINSULA SIX OR SEVEN YEARS AGO.
SOMEONE HAD GONE HUNTING AND GOT LOST IN THE WOODS LOOKING FOR
FRIENDS. HE WAS 50-ISH. IT WAS A NEW CAR--A '53 OR '54 CADILLAC.
HE WANDERED AND GOT COLD AND FELL ASLEEP AND WAS ASFIXIATED AND
WAS IN THE CAR FOR ABOUT 8 MONTHS TO A YEAR. IT WAS A BRAND NEW
CAR AT THE TIME. IT HAPPENED DURING DEER SEASON--ABOUT NOVEMBER--
AND THE CAR WAS FOUND IN APRIL OR MAY.
THEY TOOK OUT THE UPHOLSTERY AND TOOK A TORCH TO THE METAL TO KILL
THE SMELL. THE CAR WAS OFFERED FOR $500. SOMEONE ASKED ME IF I
WOULD BUY IT BUT I NEVER HEARD ANY MORE FROM HIM. THEY COULDN'T
ERADICATE THE SMELL FROM THE METAL.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ROCHESTER

Subject headings: ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Means of transportation Vehicle propelled by mechanical or other force on land
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

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FAIRY BELIEF

IN IRELAND,
THE FAIRIES WERE BAD TOO. THEY WOULD COME BY THE NIGHT AND MILK THE
COWS AND HAVE A PICNIC AND WHEN YOU CHURNED THE MILK YOU WOULD HAVE
NO BUTTER. THE ONLY WAY YOU COULD SHOOT THEM WAS TO PUT A SILVER
COIN IN THE GUN, ALONG WITH THE AMMUNITION. AT TWELVE MIDNIGHT,
THEY COULD TAKE YOU FOR A VERY LONG WALK AND KEEP YOU WALKING UNTIL
THE COCKS WOULD CROW AT 4 A.M. BUT YOU COULD FOOL THEM IF YOU
TURNED YOUR COAT INSIDE OUT AND BLESSED YOURSELF WITH THE SIGN OF
THE CROSS.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; ROCHESTER

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Fairy Elf Goblin Gnome
BELIEF -- Mineral
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Cross and its various modifications
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 03-11-1972

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FAIRY BELIEF

PALLICKS FARTH WAS A HALF MILE FROM MY HOME, A DRUMBLIN OR
RIDGE OF DIRT 8010 FEET HIGH, SHAPED LIKE A BIG BOWL. EVERY NIGHT
AFTER SUNDOWN THE LEPRECHAUNS WOULD COME AND DANCE UNTIL THE COCKS
WOULD CROW IN THE MORNING AND BY SOME MYSTERIOUS POWER,
THEY WOULD PULL UP A BOWLEN, THAT IS WHAT WE CALL THE GOLDEN ROD.
THEY COULD TURN IT INTO A HORSE AND RIDE OFF UNTIL THE NEXT EVENING.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; ROCHESTER

James Callow Keyword(s): TRANSFORMATION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Fairy Elf Goblin Gnome

Date learned: 03-11-1972

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BELIEF

IF YOU SPILL SALT, BE SURE TO PICK SOME OF IT UP BETWEEN THUMB
AND FIRST FINGER AND THROW IT ACROSS THE RIGHT SHOULDER. IT GOES
IN THE DEVIL'S EYES. HE WILL NOT TEMPT YOU TO DO ANYTHING WRONG.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; ROCHESTER

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Devil Demon
BELIEF -- Mineral

Date learned: 03-11-1972

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BLESSED MOTHER BELIEF

A WHISTLING WOMAN YOUNG OR OLD IS INSULTING THE BLESSED MOTHER.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; ROCHESTER

James Callow Keyword(s): VANITY

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Religious hero
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal

Date learned: 03-11-1972

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IF YOU HEAR A HEN CROW LIKE A ROOSTER, BE SURE TO KILL HER THE
SAME DAY.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; ROCHESTER

Keyword(s): HEN ROOSTER CROWING

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mammal
BELIEF -- Bird
BELIEF -- Animal Husbandry Farming Ranching

Date learned: 03-11-1972

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BLESSED MOTHER BELIEF

A WHISTLING WOMAN YOUNG OR OLD IS INSULTING THE BLESSED
MOTHER OF GOD.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: NEW YORK ; ROCHESTER

Keyword(s): Feminine ; INSULT ; Ladylike ; Whistle ; Whistling

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Belief C860.432
BELIEF -- Religious hero
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal

Date learned: 03-11-1972

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GOOD LUCK: OBJECTS ( CLASSIFIER'S TITLE )

SHOW A DIME TO A NEW MOON AND IT WILL BRING YOU GOOD LUCK.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT, WHILE WALKING TO THE STORE, IN MARYLAND, LEARNED THIS
FROM A COLORED WOMAN IN 1954.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ROCHESTER

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Good luck P881.1

Date learned: 00-00-1954

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CHRISTMAS CUSTOM

INFORMANT'S FAMILY OPENS THE GIFTS AT 12 O'CLOCK MIDNIGHT,
FOLLOWED BY A CUSTOMARY MEAL OF HOT PASTROMI ON DARK RYE BREAD.

Where learned: TOLD AT HOME ; NEW YORK ; ROCHESTER

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve Single dishes
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Gifts, gift giving at Christmas

Date learned: 01-00-1971

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PROVERB

IDLE HANDS MAKE WORK FOR THE DEVIL.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ROCHESTER

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: DATE NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR

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( IRISH PROVERB )

IN ALL THINGS TWO.

Submitter comment: THIS IS AN OLD IRISH SAYING. INFORMANT GOT THIS FROM HER FRIEND WHO'
( WHOSE ) GRANDMOTHER SAID IT. THE GRANDMOTHER WAS MARY DELAHAUTE WH
YATES ( YEATS ) WROTE HIS LOVE POEMS TO.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ROCHESTER

Keyword(s): ELLIPSIS ; OBSERVATION PREDICTION

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

Date learned: DATE NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR

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NEVER WALK UNDER A LADDER THAT IS STANDING AGAINST
A BUILDING.

Where learned: ROCHESTER ; NEW YORK, ASSUMED

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Daily Life

Date learned: 03-11-1972

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PENTECOST CUSTOM - BYZANTINE

EACH YEAR ON THE SATURDAY BEFORE PENTECOST SUNDAY, SMALL
BRANCHES WITH GREEN LEAVES WERE CHOPPED FROM BUSHES AND TREES.
THESE GREEN BRANCHES WERE FASTENED TO THE OUTSIDE OF HOMES
ESPECIALLY AROUND DOORWAYS. MANY YEARS AGO PEOPLE EVEN
DECORATED THE INSIDE OF CHURCHES WITH THESE GREEN BOUGHS.
THIS PRACTICE WAS DRAWN FROM THE NAME GREEN SUNDAY WHICH IS
ANOTHER NAME FOR PENTECOST.

Submitter comment: PENTECOST IS THE ONLY TIME WHEN THE PRIEST MAY WEAR GREEN
VESTMENTS IN THE BYZANTINE RITE.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; ROCHESTER

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Pentecost
BELIEF -- Sign Color

Date learned: 00001950S

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UKRAINIAN WEDDING RECEPTION EVENT

FOLLOWING THE MEAL AT THE RECEPTION, A RELATIVE OF THE
BRIDE, USUALLY AN AUNT OR HER GODMOTHER, SITS WITH A PLATE
ON HER LAP. THE GUESTS WISHING TO DANCE WITH THE BRIDE, TRY
TO BREAK THE PLATE BY THROWING A COIN AT IT. IF THEY BREAK
THE PLATE THEY CAN DANCE WITH THE BRIDE. IF THE PLATE DOES
NOT BREAK, THEY CAN TRY AGAIN. EACH BROKEN PLATE MEANS
GOOD LUCK FOR THE BRIDE.

Submitter comment: THIS CEREMONY TOOK PLACE WHEN MY MOTHER WAS MARRIED IN
ROCHESTER, NEW YORK IN 1939.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; ROCHESTER

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage
BELIEF -- Good luck Eating utensils
BELIEF -- Good luck Crucial moment of life

Date learned: 00001950S

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UKRAINIAN WEDDING BREAD - KOROVAI

IN PLACE OF THE WEDDING CAKE AT THE RECEPTION, A LARGE
CIRCULAR BREAD IS BAKED AND PLACED ON THE BRIDAL TABLE.
THE TOP OF THE BREAD IS FANCILY BRAIDED. BIRDS MADE FROM
THE SAME SWEET BREAD DOUGH ARE ATTACHED TO THE TOP AND
SIDES OF THE BREAD. THIS SPECIAL BREAD CALLED KOROVAI IS
DISTRIBUTED TO THE GUESTS. SOME OF THE GUESTS WHO RECEIVE
A BIRD, KEEP THEM AS A REMEMBRANCE OF A SPECIAL DAY.
EVEN THOUGH THE WEDDING BREAD IS STILL BEING MADE, IT DOES
NOT ALWAYS REPLACE THE WEDDING CAKE ANY MORE.

Submitter comment: MY SISTER WAS MAID OF HONOR AT A DETROIT WEDDING IN 1976.
THE BRIDE'S MOTHER HAD BAKED THE WEDDING BREAD AND MY
SISTER STILL HAS A BIRD FROM THAT WEDDING BREAD.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; ROCHESTER

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage Reception
Food Drink -- Typical menus for the various meals For meal hours, see F574.84. Special or festive meals

Date learned: 00001950S

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SIGN OF THE CROSS

MANY UKRAINIAN WOMEN OFTEN USE THE SIGN OF THE CROSS IN
CONNECTION WITH FOOD. THEY MAKE THE SIGN OVER THE LOAVES
OF BREAD BEFORE PUTTING THEM INTO THE OVEN FOR BAKING.
MANY WOMEN ALSO MAKE THE SIGN ON THE BOTTOM OF A LOAF OF
BREAD BEFORE BEGINNING TO SLICE IT. THE UKRAINIANS DEPENDED
ON BREAD AS A MAIN PART OF THEIR DAILY FOOD. SINCE UKRAINE
WAS THE BREADBASKET OF EUROPE, THEIR GRATITUDE AND THEIR
ACCEPTANCE OF THIS PLENTY WAS EXPRESSED THROUGH THIS SIMPLE
RELIGIOUS GESTURE OF ACKNOWLEDGING THE UNIVERSAL PROVIDER.

Submitter comment: I HAVE NEVER SEEN MY MOTHER SLICE A LOAF OF BREAD WITHOUT
MAKING A SIGN OF THE CROSS OVER THE BOTTOM OF THE LOAF.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; ROCHESTER

Subject headings: Favorites
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Cross and its various modifications
SPEECH -- Gesture
SPEECH -- Religious

Date learned: 00001950S

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UKRAINIAN BLESSING OF FRUIT

THE FEAST OF THE TRANSFIGURATION ON AUGUST 6 IS CELEBRATED
IN THE BYZANTINE CHURCH WITH THE BLESSING OF FRUIT WHICH IS
AN ACT OF THANKSGIVING FOR THE PLENTIFUL HARVEST. FOLLOWING
THE MASS, THE PRIEST READS SPECIAL PRAYERS ASKING FOR A
BLESSING ON THOSE WHO PARTAKE OF THE FRUIT. HE THEN SPRINKLES
THE FRUIT WITH HOLY WATER. THE CUSTOM OF BRINGING THE FRUIT
VARIES WITH THE PARISHES. IN SOME PARISHES, THE PARISH BUYS
BUSHELS OF FRUIT AND FOLLOWING THE BLESSING IT IS DISTRIBUTED
TO THE PARISHONERS. IN OTHER PARISHES, EACH FAMILY BRINGS
A BASKET OR DISH OF FRUIT WHICH IS TAKEN HOME FOLLOWING THE
BLESSING.

Submitter comment: THE BLESSED FRUIT IS THE FIRST FOOD EATEN WHEN THE FAMILY
RETURNS HOME.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; ROCHESTER

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- August 6
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Church
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Typical Elements of a Festive Pattern
BELIEF -- Prayer

Date learned: 00001950S

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UKRAINIAN WHEAT DISH-KUTIA

A VERY IMPORTANT PART OF THE CHRISTMAS EVE SUPPER IS THE
KUTIA. THE WHEAT FOR THE KUTIA IS SOAKED OVERNIGHT AND THE
NEXT DAY IT IS BOILED UNTIL SOFT. THE COOK ADDS OTHER
INGREDIENTS WHICH VARY ACCORDING TO THE REGIONS. SOME ADD
ONLY HONEY WHICH HAS BEEN DILUTED INTO A WATERY SYRUP. OTHERS
ADD DILUTED HONEY, POPPY SEED, AND CHOPPED NUTS. BESIDES THE
VARYING INGREDIENTS, THE PLACE IT OCCUPIES IN THE MEAL ALSO
VARIES. IN SOME UKRAINIAN HOMES, THE KUTIA IS THE FIRST FOOD
EATEN BEGINNING IN ORDER FROM THE OLDEST MEMBER OF THE FAMILY
TO THE YOUNGEST. USUALLY ONLY A SPOONFUL IS TAKEN FROM THE
BOWL IN THE MIDDLE OF THE TABLE. OTHER UKRAINIANS USE THE
KUTIA AT THE END OF THE MEAL AS A DESSERT. IT WOULD HAVE
POPPY SEED AND NUTS WHEN USED AS A DESSERT. OFTEN IT WOULD
BE EATEN WITH HOMEMADE BAKED GOODS SUCH AS HONEY CAKE CALLED
MEDEVNUK OR POPPY SEED ROLL CALLED MAKEVNUK.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; ROCHESTER

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve
Food Drink -- Typical menus for the various meals For meal hours, see F574.84. Special or festive meals
Food Drink -- Pastry Sweet Dessert
BELIEF -- Number Numbers used for ordering, organizing, or explaining a hierarchy: the oldest son should receive the inheritance.

Date learned: 00001950S

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