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James Callow Folklore Archive

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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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WHEN MY MOTHER, LAURA BASSETT BOOKER, WAS A CHILD IN
CONWAY, ARKANSAS, HER PARENTS EMPLOYED AS A GENERAL
HANDYMAN AND YARD WORKER, AN OLD NEGRO MAN, WHO WAS A
"SILVER WITCH" OR "SILVERDOUSER." IF SILVER MONEY WAS
HIDDEN IN THE GROUND, HE COULD FIND IT BY USING A
FORKED BRANCH WITH A CLEFT END INTO WHICH A SMALL PIECE
OF SILVER, SUCH AS A DIME, WOULD BE INSERTED.
SKEPTICAL OF HIS POWERS, MY MOTHER AND HER BROTHER CLINE
DECIDED TO TEST HIM BY HIDING MONEY IN A TREE. THE
"SILVER WITCH" WAS LED BY HIS DIVINING ROD TO BENEATH
THE TREE, BUT WAS UNABLE TO LOCATE THE MONEY. WHEN THE
CHILDREN REVEALED THEIR TRICK, THE OLD MAN BECAME VERY
ANGRY AND REFUSED TO TRY TO FIND ANY MORE MONEY FOR THEM.

Where learned: DORM ; NASHVILLE ; TENNESSEE, ASSUMED ; Arkansas ; CONWAY

Subject headings: Prophet / Seer / Soothsayer
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Witch Shaman

Date learned: 05-12-1969

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