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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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EL SALVADOR LEGEND

THERE IS A LEGEND IN EL SALVADOR ABOUT A MAN MIDGET. IT IS
CONNECTED WITH THE COWBOYS THERE. THIS MIDGET APPEARS ONLY AT
NIGHT. HE EATS ASHES. HE WEARS A HAT SO BIG THAT NO ONE HAS
EVER SEEN HIS FACE. HE EATS THE ASHES LEFT BY COWBOYS WHO BANK
THEIR FIRES. NO ONE SEES HIM, BUT THE ASHES ARE ALWAYS GONE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ANN ARBOR

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Abnormal in size

Date learned: 02-04-1968

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JEWISH NARRATIVE: CEMETERY

FOUR MEN WERE BOASTING ABOUT THEIR BRAVERY. THEY FINALLY DECIDED
THAT A FAIR TEST WOULD BE A SOLO TRIP THROUGH THE CEMETERY. TO
PROVE THAT THEY HAD TRAVERSED THE ENTIRE ROUTE THEY WERE TO POUND
STAKES INTO THE GROUND PERIODICALLY. THREE OF THE MEN ENTERED THE
CEMETERY AND MET ON THE OTHER SIDE PROUND OF THEIR ACCOMPLISHMENT.
THE FOURTH NEVER RETURNED.
THE NEXT DAY THE THREE WENT IN SEARCH OF HIM AND FOUND HIM DEAD OF
A HEART ATTACK. HE HAD POUNDED A STAKE INTO THE GROUND AND HAD
INADVERTANTLY PINNED THE TAIL OF HIS COAT TO THE GROUND.
APPARENTLY AS HE GOT UP TO COMPLETE HIS JOURNEY, HE WAS
IMMOBILIZED FROM BEHIND BY THE STAKE AND HE SUFFERED A HEART
ATTACK FROM HIS PANIC.

Submitter comment:

THE INFORMANT RELATED THIS STORY AS ONE THAT EVERY JEWISH BOY
LEARNS ABOUT FALSE BRAVERY AND RESPECT FOR THE DEAD.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ANN ARBOR

Keyword(s): Aphorism ; CEMETERY ; Fable ; Jewish ; Tale

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Human Being
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

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SUPERSTITION

IT IS BELIEVED IN EL SALVADOR THAT THE DEVIL TAKES THE FORM OF A
DOG OR A FOX AND WEARS A CAPE. HE LIVES IN OLD HOUSES, AND WARM
CHIMNEY CORNERS OR WHEREVER IT IS DARK. HE PESTERS PEOPLE, MOVES
THINGS, LOSES AND MISPLACES THINGS. HE IS INVISIBLE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ANN ARBOR

James Callow Keyword(s): ANIMALS

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Devil Demon

Date learned: 02-04-1968

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CARROT BELIEF

IF YOU EAT CARROTS, YOUR EYES WILL SPARKLE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ANN ARBOR

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Plant food Vegetable
Food Drink -- Special Form and PurposeObject of Bodily Consumption
BELIEF -- Body part Senses Eyes, evil eye
BELIEF -- Plant

Date learned: 03-10-1970

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JEWISH BELIEF

JEWS CANNOT EAT PORK BECAUSE IT IS UNCLEAN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ANN ARBOR

James Callow Keyword(s): SEMITISM

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time Eating For menu, see N222.
BELIEF -- P439

Date learned: 02-28-1971

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HOUSEHOLD SUPERSTITON

IN MEXICO, WHEN PASSING SALT TO SOMEONE AT THE TABLE, PUT IT
ON THE TABLE, IF YOU HAND IT TO THE ASKER, YOU WILL FIGHT

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ANN ARBOR

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Home
BELIEF -- Mineral
BELIEF -- Home
BELIEF -- P86O
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 02-04-1968

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TO BECOME A WEREWOLF

TAKE AN IRON COOKING POT INTO WHICH MUST BE DUMPED WATER, PARSLEY,
OPIUM, AND SAFFRON. YOU DO NOT EAT IT, IT IS TO ATTACK THE DEVIL.
RUB YOUR BODY WITH FAT OF A FRESHLY KILLED CAT AND PUT ON A
WOLF'S SKIN.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ANN ARBOR

Keyword(s): DEVIL ; Legend ; MYTH ; SUPERNATURAL ; Werewolf

James Callow Keyword(s): TRANSFORMATION

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Plant food Vegetable
Food Drink -- Flavoring Spice
BELIEF -- Devil Demon
BELIEF -- Mammal

Date learned: 10-00-1969

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SPIRITS,

THIS IS AN INDIAN BELIEF, GOOD SPIRITS WANDER AROUND
ETERNALLY SOMETIMES, DOING GOOD WORKS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ANN ARBOR

Subject headings: Spirit / Mind / Body
BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
BELIEF -- Magic of Speech, Sign, Color

Date learned: 02-04-1968

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SPIRIT TABLE

AN INDIAN BELIEF- WE HAVE A TABLE THAT ATTRACTS DEAD SOULS, THERE ARE
MARKINGS ON IT WHICH SPIRITS USE TO COMMUNICATE WITH A MEDIUM.
HANDS ARE PLACED ON THE TABLE. A MEDIUM ISN'T NECESSARY, BUT
INFORMANT WAS AFRAID HIMSELF. SPIRITS ARE LIKE THE 5 ELEMENTS, FIRE
EARTH WATER WIND AND LIGHT-- LIKE VARIOUS GASES ALL WANDERING
AROUND ETERNALLY, LIKE THE ELEMENTS, IT IS POSSIBLE TO BRING
SOULS TO CAPTURE SOULS.

Submitter comment: SKETCH ON CARD IN ARCHIVE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ANN ARBOR

James Callow Keyword(s): NUMBEES

Subject headings: 686 Fifths
BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
BELIEF -- Custom
BELIEF -- Word Letter
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure
BELIEF -- Use of Object
SPEECH -- Extra Corporal Means of Communication

Date learned: 02-04-1968

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MAGIC

IN MEXICO IT IS POSSIBLE TO TALK WITH THE DEAD IF YOU USE A
OUIJA TABLE. IT IS EASIER FOR SOME PEOPLE TO DO THIS THAN OTHERS.
YOU PLACE YOUR HANDS ON THE TABLE AND THE SPIRITS OF THE DEAD WILL
COMMUNICATE WITH YOU, AND VERY OFTEN ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS.
THEY ALSO MAY TELL OF FUTURE EVENTS. THEY DO THIS BY MOVING
YOUR HANDS ON THE TABLE IN SUCH A WAY THAT THE ANSWER OR INFORMATION
IS SPELLED OUT FOR YOU. PEOPLE WHO ARE LONELY USE THESE TABLES.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ANN ARBOR

James Callow Keyword(s): NUMBER

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
BELIEF -- Custom
BELIEF -- Word Letter
SPEECH -- Extra Corporal Means of Communication

Date learned: 02-04-1968

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SPIRITS

ALL SOULS WANDER IN INDIA AFTER DEATH, INCLUDING ANIMAL SOULS.
THEY WANDER IF THEY HAD AN UNHAPPY LIFE, OR IF THEY WERE UNSATISFIED
BEFORE THEY DIED. THEY KEEP SEARCHING FOR PEACE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ANN ARBOR

Subject headings: Spirit / Mind / Body
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Magic of Speech, Sign, Color

Date learned: 02-04-1968

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SPIRIT MEDIUMS

THIS IS A BELIEF IN INDIA, THERE ARE FAIR, AND EVIL MEDIUMS. A
MEDIUM CAN INVADE THE BODY OF A MAN NOT YET REALLY DEAD, AND
PULL THE SPIRIT RIGHT OUT, AND THEN THE MEDIUM CONTROLS IT.
I HAVE SEEN THE CASKETS BREAK OPEN UNEXPLAINABLY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ANN ARBOR

James Callow Keyword(s): BELIEF

Subject headings: Spirit / Mind / Body
BELIEF -- Witch Shaman

Date learned: 02-04-1968

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TO CAUSE ILLNESS IN WITCHES

TO MAKE A WITCH SICK YOU NEED TO DO THESE THINGS:
GET THREE NAILS FROM A COFFIN AND STICK THEM INTO A SAUCE
OF BUTTER AND WINTERGREEN
SAY THE WITCHES NAME AS YOU PLACE
THE SAUCE IN A HIDDEN SPOT WHERE NEITHER SUNLIGHT NOR MOONLIGHT
WILL PENETRATE. YOUR WITCH WILL BE SICK FOR SIX MONTHS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ANN ARBOR

James Callow Keyword(s): ANIMAL PRODUCT ; PLANT NERB

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Animal product Butter
BELIEF -- Witch Shaman

Date learned: 10-00-1969

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MAGIC

IN CHINA A WOMAN CALLED OOPOH IS CONSIDERED A MAGICAL WOMAN.
SHE CAN PREDICT THE FUTURE, WORK SPELLS AND PERFORM MAGIC.
IF A MAN DIES AWAY FROM HOME, HIS SPIRIT IS BROUGHT HOME BY THE
WIZARD (OOPOH), AND HIS FAMILY CAN SEE THAT IT IS INTERRED.
THE BODY IS NOT TRANSFERRED, JUST THE SPIRIT, AND ONLY
THE SPIRIT OF A GOOD MAN CAN BE BROUGHT HOME FOR BURIAL.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ANN ARBOR

Subject headings: Charm / Enchantment / Conjuration
Prediction / Divination
Spirit / Mind / Body
BELIEF -- Witch Shaman

Date learned: 02-04-1968

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BLASON POPULAIRE

REGARDING THE COMELINESS OF THE COEDS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
IT IS COMMON BELIEF THAT NINE OUT OF TEN GIRLS ARE BEAUTIFUL
AND THE TENTH GOES TO MICHIGAN

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ANN ARBOR

James Callow Keyword(s): EDUCATION ; IRONY ; OBSERVATION

Subject headings: 686 First / Once / One / Newness
686 Ninths / Nine
PROVERB -- Blason Populaire

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JAPANESE CUSTOM

ON JANUARY 2ND, LONG LINES OF CITIZENS GATHER AT THE IMPERIAL
PALACE OF DOUBLE BRIDGE ( NIJUBASHI ) AND GIVE CHEERS ( BANZAI )
THREE TIMES. BANZAI MEANS LONG LIFE, AND WE CHEER THREE TIMES
BECAUSE THREE IS A LUCKY NUMBER.

Submitter comment: WISH EMPEROR LUCK FOR THE COMING YEAR.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ANN ARBOR

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- 39815
BELIEF -- Number

Date learned: 02-04-1968

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CUSTOM

ON JAN. 5TH, IT IS A CUSTOM IN MEXICO TO SERVE A CIRCULAR CAKE--

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ANN ARBOR

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 5
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- February 2 Candlemas Groundhog Day

Date learned: 02-04-1968

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CUSTOM--MARRIAGE

ON JUNE 13TH, ST. ANTHONY'S DAY IN MEXICO, GIRLS COLLECT 13
QUINTOS (ABOUT 5 CENTS) FROM 13 BOYS. THEN THEY BUY CANDLES FOR
ST. ANTHONY AND EXPECT TO MARRY BEFORE THE NEXT JUNE 13TH.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ANN ARBOR

Keyword(s): BEGGING

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- June 13
BELIEF -- Religious hero
BELIEF -- Marriage
BELIEF -- Number

Date learned: 02-04-1968

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RITUAL FOR THE DEAD

ON NOVEMBER 2ND, THERE IS ONLY WORK FOR HALF DAY. ALL THE PEOPLE
IN MEXICO GO TO CEMETERIES TO HONOR THEIR OWN DEAD.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ANN ARBOR

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- November 2 All SoulsDay of the Dead
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 02-04-1968

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DOORKNOB

IF YOU HANG ANYTHING ON DOOR KNOBS BAD LUCK WILL COME TO THE PERSON
INSIDE THE ROOM.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT'S ROOMMATES TOLD HIM THIS WHEN HE WENT TO HANG SOMETHING
ON A DOORKNOB. THEY BELIEVE IT TO BE BAD LUCK AT UNIVERSITY OF
MICHIGAN IN 1970'S.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ANN ARBOR

Subject headings: Observation

Date learned: 03-18-1971

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