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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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KRAKOWIAK (POLISH DANCE)

LIKE THE AMERICAN SQUARE DANCE.

Where learned: CHILDHOOD ; NOT GIVEN ; HOME ; PENNSYLVANIA ; MICHIGAN ; LETTER ; OHIO ; NEW JERSEY ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; AUTOGRAPH BOOK ; GROSSE POINTE ; HARPER WOODS ; GROSSE POINTE WOODS ; WARREN ; JAPAN ; RUSSIA ; GRAND RAPIDS ; SHIPLE HALL ; GARDEN CITY ; ROYAL OAK ; TOLEDO ; TRENTON ; FARMINGTON ; KALAMAZOO ; CANADA ; ONTARIO ; MARYGROVE COLLEGE ; DETROIT ; MAIL ; INDIANA ; DETROIT, ASSUMED ; TOLD AT HOME ; FERNDALE ; SOUTHFIELD ; TENNESSEE ; MACKENZIE HIGH SCHOOL ; HAMTRAMCK ; DEARBORN ; MINNESOTA ; ILLINOIS ; NEW YORK ; FLORIDA ; KOREA ; WISCONSIN ; NEW HAMPSHIRE ; STUDENT UNION ; READING ; AUSTRALIA ; Sylvania ; Sterling Heights ; MICHIGAN, ASSUMED ; GROSSE POINTE PARK ; OAK PARK ; SOUTHGATE ; STURGEON LAKE ; REDFORD ; TOORAK ; VICTORIA ; ROSEVILLE ; LINCOLN PARK ; TRAVERSE CITY ; HUNTINGTON WOODS ; PONTIAC ; TROY ; PORT CHESTER ; SOUTH AMERICA ; BROOKVILLE ; MONTREAL ; SEOUL ; NORTH OLMSTED ; EASTOWN THEATER ; ERIE ; University of Notre Dame ; FRANKLINVILLE ; TORONTO ; TOLD AT ; TOLD BY ; TOLD IN ; SCRANTON ; MONROE ; GLENVIEW ; MOSCOW ; GULLEY ; FINLAND ; HARBOR BEACH ; HOUGHTON LAKE ; Hudson Lake ; INDIANAPOLIS ; JONESBORO ; KANSASVILLE ; LEXINGTON ; MASSILLON ; MAUCH CHUNK ; MELVINDALE ; MILFORD ; NEW ROCHELLE ; NIAGARA FALLS ; PANAMA CITY ; PATAGONIA ; ARGENTINA ; RESIDENCE HALL ; SAINT CLAIR SHORES ; TOLD AT HONORS HOUSE ; AMERICAN HISTORY CLASS

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

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WHAT'S YOUR NAME? MARY JANE.
WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
DOWN THE DRAIN.
WHAT DO YOU EAT?
PIG'S FEET.
WHAT DO YOU DRINK?
BLACK INK.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT'S YOUNG NIECE RECITED THIS FOR HIM
MANY TIMES.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; TROY

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Good humor Jest
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Children

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AGRILCULTURE BELIEF

CORN SHOULD BE KNEE HIGH ON THE 4TH OF JULY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; TROY

James Callow Keyword(s): INTERNAL RHYME

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- July 4 Independence Day
BELIEF -- Plant husbandry Farming

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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HOLY SATURDAY RELIGIOUS CUSTOM

ON HOLY SATURDAY MORNING OF EASTERTIDE, MOST POLISH-AMERICANS HAVE
THE TRADITIONAL CUSTOM OF TAKING FOOD FOR THEIR EASTER DINNER IN A
LARGE BASKET TO THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN THEIR NEIGHBORHOOD FOR A
BLESSING BY THEIR PRIEST. THE BASKET IS USUALLY OF THE WICKER
TYPE AND CONTAINS SUCH ITEMS AS HAM, HARD BOILED EGGS, BUTTER, SMALL
LOAVES OF BREAD, AND KIELBASA (THE SPECIAL SAUSAGE MADE BY
POLISH-AMERICANS THEMSELVES). THE TOP OF EACH BASKET IS USUALLY
COVERED WITH A SMALL CLOTH OR TOWEL, AND WHEN THE PRIEST COMES DOWN
THE MAIN AISLE OF THE CHURCH, THE PEOPLE REMOVE THESE TOWELS SO THAT
SOME HOLY WATER IS SPRINKLED ON THEIR FOOD. THEN THE TOWEL IS
REPLACED AND TUCKED OVER THE FOOD AFTER THE BLESSING WITH HOLY WATER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; TROY

Keyword(s): FOOD CUSTOM ; SWIECZONKA

Subject headings: 663 Holy Saturday
BELIEF -- Prayer

Date learned: 10-03-1969

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PLANTING CUSTOM

SOW SEEDS IN TRAYS IN HOT BEDS ON VALENTINE'S DAY, FEBRUARY 14TH.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; TROY

Keyword(s): PLANTING

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- February 14 Valentine's Day

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PROVERBIAL APOTHEGM MAXIM

WER DEN PFENNIG NICHT EHRT, IST DER THALER NICHT WERT.
HE WHO HONORS NOT THE PENNY IS NOT WORTHY OF THE DOLLAR.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; TROY

Keyword(s): CONTRAST ; METONYMY ; THRIFT

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

Date learned: 11-13-1971

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CHRISTMAS BELIEF

TWO CANDLES ARE LIT AND PLACED ON THE TABLE DURING THE CHRISTMAS EVE
MEAL. AT THE CONCLUSION OF THE MEAL BOTH THE FATHER AND THE MOTHER
WOULD BLOW OUT A CANDLE AND THEN WOULD WATCH THE SMOKE. IF THE SMOKE
WENT UP YOU WOULD LIVE ANOTHER YEAR. IF THE SMOKE WENT OUT THE DOOR
YOU WOULDN'T.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; TROY

Keyword(s): DEATH ; PREDICTION

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve Predictions
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Lights and candles

Date learned: 10-24-1970

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POLISH-AMERICAN XMAS CUSTOM

ON CHRISTMAS EVE, POLISH-AMERICANS HAVE THE TRADITIONAL CUSTOM
OF BREAKING BREAD-LIKE WAFERS CALLED "OPLATKI" AND EACH PERSON
TAKES A PIECE OF THE WAFER AND GOES UP TO ANOTHER PERSON. AS ONE
PERSON WISHES THE OTHER GOOD HEALTH, HAPPINESS, AND GOOD LUCK,
THE PERSON DOING THE WISHING BREAKS OFF A PIECE OF THE OTHER'S
WAFER FOR EACH WISH THAT HE MAKES. EVERY
PERSON PRESENT ON CHRISTMAS EVE IN THE HOME MUST GO UP TO ALL
THE OTHERS PRESENT AND WISH THEM ALL WELL. THIS CUSTOM ARISES OUT
OF STRONG FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS AND EXPRESSES THE GOOD WILL THAT ONE
PERSON IN THE FAMILY HAS IN HIS HEART FOR ALL THE OTHER MEMBERS
OF THE FAMILY ON THE JOYOUS OCCASION OF CHRISTMAS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; TROY

Keyword(s): FOOD CUSTOM

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve Oplatki

Date learned: 10-03-1969

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CHRISTMAS BELIEF

EVERY CHRISTMAS MORNING A PAN OF WATER IS PLACED UNDER THE SINK. A
CHRISTMAS TREE BRANCH, A PENNY, A NICKEL, A DIME, A QUARTER AND A
FIFTY CENT PIECE IS PLACED IN THE WATER. THIS WATER IS THEN USED TO
WASH IN. WHEN YOU WASH IN THE WATER YOU SHOULD NOT HAVE TO SPEND
MONEY FOR HEALTH.

Submitter comment: DOROTHY BANAS RELATED THE CUSTOM BUT WHEN QUESTIONED ON THE REASON
FOR THE CUSTOM SHE WAS UNABLE TO REPLY. EMIL MAZUR IMMEDIATELY
INSERTED HIS BELIEF.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; TROY ; TOLD AT

Keyword(s): CONTAGIOUS MAGIC

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve Predictions

Date learned: 10-24-1970

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ARMY ESKIMO RHYME

"I DON'T KNOW, BUT I'VE BEEN TOLD, ESKIMO GIRLS ARE
MIGHTY COLD"... U. S. SERVICEMEN IN ALASKA DURING THE FIFTIES
DEVELOPED THIS LITTLE RHYME TO EXPLAIN HOW THINGS WERE
IN FAIRBANKS, ALASKA.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; TROY

Subject headings: 730 Lyrical Verse
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- War cries
PROVERB -- Blason Populaire

Date learned: 04-00-1979

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PREGNANT WIVES

IN THE UKRAINE, DURING WW 1, MANY MEN LEFT THEIR WIVES AND
WENT TO AMERICA. THE WIVES WOULD BE SENT FOR WHEN THEY
COULD BE SUPPORTED. OCCASIONALLY, ONE OF THESE WIVES WOULD
GET PREGNANT. WHEN THE HUSBAND, WHOM MAY HAVE BEEN GONE
FOR SEVERAL YEARS, OFTEN FOUND HE ALSO HAD A FAMILY, THE
WOMEN DEVELOPED A STORY TO EXPLAIN THIS HAPPENING. THEY SAID
THAT AS A STORM TOOK PLACE, THE WIND BLEW UP UNDER HER DRESS
AND THEY BECAME PREGNANT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; TROY

James Callow Keyword(s): WORLD WAR ONE

Subject headings: Favorites
BELIEF -- Birth

Date learned: 04-00-1979

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ENGAGEMENT

IN SOUTHERN GREEK TOWNS WHERE FISHING IS A WAY OF LIFE,
WHEN A MAN WISHES TO MARRY, HE PRESENTS THE GIRL'S FATHER
WITH A FISH. THE FISH IS THE GREEK EQUILVALENT OF AN
ENGAGEMENT RING. IT IS SYMBOLIC OF HIS ABILITY TO SUPPORT HER
AND HER FAMILY, IF NECESSARY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; TROY

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage Symbols of engagement
BELIEF -- Fish

Date learned: 04-00-1979

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PYSANKY

UKRANIAN WOMEN DEVELOPED A LANGUAGE OF THEIR OWN REGION
BY SYMBOLICALLY DECORATING EGGS. DIFFERENT PICTURES
MEANT DIFFERENT THINGS. THEY USED THESE EGGS AS GIFTS,
GREETINGS, AND RELIGIOUS OBJECTS. EXAMPLES: A REINDEER= PROSPERITY,
A HORSE=WEALTH, FISH=CHRIST, HENS AND ROOSTERS=
FERTILITY, AND A SUN=GOOD FORTUNE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; TROY

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F 64 F 64.2

Date learned: 04-00-1979

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COAL BOAGIES

IN PENNSYLVANIAN TOWNS, COAL MINING WAS THE PROMINENT EMPLOYMENT
MENT. MANY MEN DIED IN THE COAL MINES. THE CHILDREN OF
THESE PEOPLE WERE KEPT AWAY FROM THE MINES BY THREATS
OF THE "COAL BOAGIES" (GHOSTS OF MEN WHO DIED). IT WAS
SAID THAT IF ONE FOUND YOU, YOU WOULD BE DRAGGED IN THE
MINE AND NEVER SEEN AGAIN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; TROY

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter

Date learned: 04-00-1979

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PROVERBIAL METAPHOR

GIVE A MAN A FISH AND HE EATS FOR ONE DAY. TEACH A MAN HOW TO FISH AND HE EATS FOR A LIFETIME.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; TROY

Keyword(s): ANTITHESIS

Subject headings: Favorites
PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 00-00-1971

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LEGEND

IN OWENS MARINA IN ST. CLAIR MICHIGAN, IT IS KNOWN THAT A DOG WHO
ONCE HAD HIS BODY COMPLETELY CHOPPED UP IN
A PROPELLER OF A MAFIA GANGSTER
WAS REINCARNATED INTO A SEA MONSTER.
THE STORY WARNED BOAT OWNERS WHO
WERE CARELESS WITH THEIR DOGS THAT IF
THEY DID NOT KEEP A CONSTANT EYE
ON THEIR BELOVED PETS WHILE ON THE BOAT, THE SEA MONSTER WOULD ATTAC
AND KILL NOT ONLY THEIR PETS, BUT ALSO THE WHOLE FAMILY. SOME EVEN
BELIEVED THAT THE BOAT ITSELF WOULD BE CONSUMED AND WOULD NEVER
BE FOUND AGAIN. FURTHERMORE, THE SEA MONSTER WOULD DO HIS DIRTY WOR
WITHOUT EVEN LEAVING A TRACE OF SUSPECT AND EVEN THE COAST GUARD WAS
KNOWN TO FEAR HIM.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; TROY

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Animal

Date learned: 00-00-1979

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FOLK TALE

IN MY HOME PARISH OF ST. LADISLAUS
CATHOLICS GET THEIR THROATS BLESSED
ON THE FEAST OF ST. BLASE, BISHOP
AND MARTYR. THE PRIEST TELLS THEM
TO BE SORRY FOR THEIR SINS AND TO ASK GOD'S HEALING AND SAVING POWER
TO MAKE ITSELF PRESENT IN THEIR LIVES.
SOME STUDENTS CARRIED THIS BELIEF
TOO FAR AND ONE POOR GIRL EVEN CLAIMED
IT CURED HER OF VENEREAL DISEASE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; TROY

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Religious hero
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Church
BELIEF -- Religious hero
BELIEF -- Remedy

Date learned: 00-00-1979

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CUSTOM

AT SUGDEN LAKE IN MICHIGAN, NOBODY TAKES THE FIRST SWIM OF
THE YEAR UNTIL ST. JOSEPH BLESSES THE WATER, OTHERWISE IT IS BELIEVE
YOU WILL HAVE GREAT FAILURE DURING THE SUMMER AND EITHER A MEMBER
OF YOUR FAMILY OR EVEN YOU YOURSELF COULD BE SERIOUSLY INJURED
IN THE WATER AND YOU WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO RECEIVE ANY SUITABLE
MEDICAL HELP IN TIME TO SAVE YOU FROM DEATH OR PARALYSIS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; TROY

Subject headings: Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- March 19 Feast of St. Joseph
BELIEF -- Religious hero
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 00-00-1979

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SUPERSTITION

ON HOLMES STREET IN HAMTRAMCK, MICHIGAN, IT IS BELIEVED BY A FAMILY
OF BAKERS THAT IF YOU FOUND A DEAD OVEN BIRD WHILE YOU WERE UNDER
THE AGE OF THIRTY, YOU WOULD DEFINITELY BECOME A BAKER IN LIFE.

Submitter comment: IT IS STRANGE FOR I FOUND AN OVEN BIRD AND I HAVE NO INTENTION OF
BECOMING A BAKER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; TROY

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Bird
PROVERB -- Blason Populaire

Date learned: 00-00-1979

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CUSTOM

IT IS BELIEVED BY POLISH FAMILIES IN AMERICA BUT ESPECIALLY
IN POLAND THAT ONE MUST PUT HAY UNDER ATROCIOUS DESIGNS OF THE
SILVERWARE IN ORDER TO CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS PROPERLY AND IN ORDER
TO HAVE A GOOD AND HAPPY NEW YEAR. IF ONE FAILED TO DO THIS, THEN
ONE WOULD HAVE SEVERAL YEARS OF EVIL SURROUNDING THE FAMILY AND
ONESELF AND THE DEVIL HIMSELF WOULD BE WAITING FOR THE OPPORTUNITY T
TAKE THE PERSON TO HELL.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; TROY

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve
BELIEF -- P 42
BELIEF -- Measure of time Year
BELIEF -- P887

Date learned: 00-00-1979

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