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James Callow Folklore Archive

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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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GOOD LUCK OMEN (NEGRO)

WHEN MOVING, MOVE IN A BROOM FIRST.

Where learned: Grandmother ; Arkansas ; TOLD BY

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.

Date learned: 10-00-1969

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VOODOO PEOPLE CAN MAKE YOU DO THINGS YOU DON'T WANT TO DO.

Where learned: Arkansas ; PINE BLUFF

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Magic of Speech, Sign, Color

Date learned: 01161984CA

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AUTOGRAPH BOOK VERSE

IF IN HEAVEN WE DON'T MEET,
HAND IN HAND WE'll BEAR THE HEAT.
IF IT GETS INTENSELY HOT,
COCA-COLA HITS THE SPOT!

Where learned: Arkansas ; LITTLE ROCK

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Autograph Verse Wisecracks, gags, silly stories, insults

Date learned: 00-00-1976

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COLORED EGGS

THIS GAME WAS PLAYED ON A SWING SET. THE PLAYERS NUMBERED
ANYWHERE FROM 4 TO MORE. ONE PERSON WAS THE WOLF--THE
REST OF THE PLAYERS WERE EASTER BUNNIES. THERE WAS A
MOTHER BUNNY AND HER BABIES. EACH OF THE BUNNIES SAT
ON THE SWINGS. THE BUNNIES WOULD EACH HAVE AN
EASTER EGG AND WOULD SECRETLY DECIDE A COLOR FOR IT . THE
WOLF WOULD TRY TO GUESS THE COLORS OF THE EASTER EGGS.
IF HE GUESSED RIGHT, HE WOULD CHASE THE LITTLE BUNNY
WHOSE COLOR HE HAD GUESSED UNTIL HE CAUGHT THE BUNNY
OR THE BUNNY REACHED THE SAFETY OF THE SWING SET. IF
HE DID NOT CATCH THE BUNNY HE WOULD PLAY WOLF UNTIL HE DID.
IF THE BUNNY WAS CAUGHT, HE WOULD PLAY WOLF AND THE WOLF
WOULD PLAY THE BUNNY.

Submitter comment: THIS GAME WAS PLAYED IN ARKANSAS AROUND EASTER TIME.

Where learned: Arkansas ; LITTLE ROCK

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Guessing
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Special Object or Implement
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Easter eggs

Date learned: 00-00-1974

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On the first day of May, go to the well with a mirror.
Hold the mirror up over your head and look in. You would
either see your future husband or a coffin.

Where learned: Arkansas ; LITTLE ROCK

Subject headings: Observation
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- May 1 May Day

Date learned: 00-00-1920

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Right eye jumping, you will be glad about something.
Left eye jumps, you will be sorry or crying about something.

Where learned: Arkansas ; LITTLE ROCK

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Body part Senses

Date learned: 00-00-1920

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See a shooting star in the sky, someone is going to die.

Where learned: Arkansas ; LITTLE ROCK

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Star
BELIEF -- Comet
BELIEF -- Marriage

Date learned: 00-00-1920

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If you wash your hair in the first May rainwater, it will grow.

Where learned: Arkansas ; LITTLE ROCK

Subject headings: Observation
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- May
BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Cloud Fog Mist Rain Hail Ice Snow Frost Dew
BELIEF -- Mineral

Date learned: 00-00-1920

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On Easter Sunday morning, the old folks would say the sun would
shout.

Where learned: Arkansas ; LITTLE ROCK

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Easter Sunday
BELIEF -- Sun

Date learned: 00-00-1920

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Old folks would wear rabbit's foot around their neck for good
luck.

Where learned: Arkansas ; LITTLE ROCK

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mammal
BELIEF -- Good luck

Date learned: 00-00-1920

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Old folks would say when you comb your hair, any excess should
be thrown in running water (stream, brook, etc.) This would
make your hair grow. but if you throw it on the ground, the
birds would get it and use it to build their nest which would
cause you to have a ear ache.

Where learned: Arkansas ; LITTLE ROCK

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Bird
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Running water
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 00-00-1920

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Never put your purse on the floor; if you do you'll always be
broke.

Submitter comment: Ruth says she learned this from her mother, Mary Edmonson, who
was born in Arkansas in 1899.

Where learned: Arkansas ; LITTLE ROCK

Keyword(s): POSITION

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

Date learned: 00001940S

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Placing baking soda in a watermelon will cause stomach cramps
and diarrhea.

Submitter comment: This informant's neighbor had a watermelon patch. Other
people were stealing watermelons from him. He cut a small hole
on the underside of the watermelon while it was still on the vine
laying on the ground, poured in baking soda, so those stealing
the watermelon would "pay" for stealing from his patch.

James Callow comment: Cf. Puckett, Ohio, no. 27498: "Watermelon and soda bicarb
taken together will kill you."

Where learned: Camben ; Arkansas

Subject headings: Favorites
BELIEF -- Outlaw Criminal Bandit Pirate
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 00-00-1944

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Do not eat fish and watermelon together, do not drink corn
liquor and eat bananas, do not eat fish and milk together.

James Callow comment: "If you eat bananas after drinking beer or whiskey, it will
kill you (... student, Negro, Cleveland, 1959)"; "if you eat
bananas after drinking whiskey, you will die in agony" (...
barber, Negro, Cleveland, 1956)" -- Puckett, Ohio, nos. 27489,
27490.

Where learned: Camben ; Arkansas

James Callow Keyword(s): Incompatible foods

Subject headings: Favorites
Food Drink -- Kind of Food and Its Preparation
BELIEF -- Fish
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 00-00-1945

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Home remedy

Place peachtree leaves in a cloth bag and place the bag up
against the body where fever is located to draw the fever out.

James Callow comment: Cf. Puckett, Ohio, no. 9518: "To cure fever, bind peach
leaves tightly to the forehead."

Where learned: Camben ; Arkansas

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Plant
BELIEF -- Plant

Date learned: 00-00-1945

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Child Rearing

If a child is slow to walk (over one year old), stand the child
behind any door in your home and sweep his/her feet with a straw
broom.

Submitter comment: This really works!!! I tried it with my son, within three days
he was walking.

Where learned: Arkansas ; PINE BLUFF

Subject headings: Favorites
BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank

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Gossiping

If someone is gossiping about you (sullying your good name),
put a penny in your shoe for a week and "walk" that person out of
your life.

Where learned: Arkansas ; PINE BLUFF

Subject headings: Favorites
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Dress
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour
BELIEF -- Measure of quality Monetary systemMoneyWealth

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Brooms

It is bad luck to walk over a broom. If you do, you should
step backwards over the broom to undo the damage.

Where learned: Arkansas ; PINE BLUFF

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bad luck
BELIEF -- Conversions

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Sex of Child

If a pregnant woman "carries" her child "high" or close to her
breasts, she is expecting a girl; if she carries the child "low" or
closer to her pelvis, she is expecting a girl.

Submitter comment: She's about 95% accurate by my experience.

Where learned: Arkansas ; PINE BLUFF

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Birth

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THERE WAS A LADY IN FORTH SMITH WHO LIVED AT 1313 13TH STREET,
AND HER HUSBAND STABBED HER WITH A BUTCHER KNIFE ON THE 13H
DAY OF THE MONTH. STRUCK HER SO HARD HE BROKE THE KNIFE OFF
IN HER RIB CAGE.
THIRTEEN WAS REALLY UNLUCKY FOR HER.

Where learned: Arkansas ; FORT SMITH

Subject headings: 686 Specific number by specific number being described
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

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