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James Callow Folklore Archive

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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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RIDDLE

Q: A TRAVELER IS WALKING DOWN A ROAD WHEN HE COMES TO A FORK. NOT
KNOWING WHICH ROUTE TO TAKE HE DECIDES TO ASK FOR DIRECTIONS.
THERE IS A MAN AT EACH PATH. ONE ALWAYS TELLS THE TRUTH WHILE THE
OTHER ALWAYS LIES. IF OUR TRAVELER CAN ASK ONLY ONE MAN ONLY ONE
QUESTION WHAT IS HIS QUESTION AND WHO WILL HE ASK?
A: IT DOES NOT MATTER WHO HE ASKS IF HE SAYS - IF I ASK THE OTHER
MAN WHICH WAY I SHOULD GO, WHAT WILL HE TELL ME?
LEARNED FROM HIS FATHER.

Where learned: DETROIT ; J L HUDSONS ; DEPARTMENT STORE

Keyword(s): ACTIONS (Q) ; AN ACTION (A) ; PARTICULAR AREA (Q) ; PERSONS (Q)

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 10-02-1967

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SUPERSTITION

LEFT EYE JUMPING MEANS SOMEONE WANTS TO SEE YOU.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT GIVES A VERY SIMPLISTIC EXPLANATION FOR THE BELIEF.
SINCE THE PURPOSE OF THE EYE IS VISION, HE EXPLAINS A
JUMPING EYE AS IN NEED OF VISION. HOWEVER, THE NEED IS SEEN
IN SOMEONE ELSE. SOMEONE WANTS TO SEE YOU.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; DEPARTMENT STORE

Subject headings: Observation

Date learned: 02-20-1979

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SUPERSTITION

STEPPING OVER THE BROOM HANDLE MEANS YOU'LL SOON BE MARRIED.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT STATES THAT ONCE, AS A CHILD, SHE STEPPED OVER A BROOM
THAT WAS LYING ON THE FLOOR, AND REMEMBERS HER MOTHER STATING
THE BELIEF THAT SHE WOULD SOON BE MARRIED.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; DEPARTMENT STORE

Subject headings: Observation
Favorites
BELIEF -- Marriage

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SUPERSTITION

IF YOUR LEFT FOOT ITCHES YOU'LL SOON WALK ON GRAVEYARD DUST. IF YOUR
RIGHT FOOT ITCHES YOU'LL SOON WALK IN A STRANGE LAND.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT STATES THAT THIS BELIEF WAS WIDESPREAD IN
YAZOO CITY, MISSISSIPPI WHEN SHE WAS A CHILD, ABOUT 40 YEARS
AGO.

Where learned: DETROIT ; DEPARTMENT STORE

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 00-00-1939

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SUPERSTITION

A BIRD IN THE HOUSE IS A SIGN OF BAD LUCK, MORE SPECIFICALLY,
A SIGN OF DEATH.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT STATES THAT SHE REMEMBERS HEARING THIS BELIEF FROM
HER GRANDMOTHER WHEN SHE WAS ALIVE, BUT OFFERS NO EXPLANATION
FOR THE BELIEF.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; DEPARTMENT STORE

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Bird
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 02-13-1979

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SUPERSTITION

BLACK-EYED PEAS COOKED ON NEW YEARS DAY BRINGS GOOD LUCK THROUGHOUT
THE YEAR.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT CONTINUES TO PRACTICE THE ACT WHICH SHE FIRST
BEGAN IN YAZOO CITY, MISSISSIPPI, EVEN THOUGH SHE DISMISSES
THE BELIEF AS NONSENSE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; DEPARTMENT STORE

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F 57 F 57.2
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
Food Drink -- Typical menus for the various meals For meal hours, see F574.84. Special or festive meals

Date learned: 02-13-1979

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SUPERSTITION

WALKING WITH ONE SHOE ON AND ONE OFF RESULTS IN BAD LUCK.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT SEES THIS BELIEF AS VALID. SHE REASONS THAT HAVING ONE
ARCH SUPPORTED AND THE OTHER UNSUPPORTED RESULTS IN BAD FEET.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; DEPARTMENT STORE

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
686 Seconds / Twice / Two
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Dress HandsFeet
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness
BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 02-20-1979

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SUPERSTITION

LETTING UP AN UMBRELLA IN THE HOUSE RESULTS IN BAD LUCK.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT LACKS AN EXPLANATION FOR THE BELIEF, BUT HAS HEARD
THE BELIEF REPORTED BY A NUMBER OF PEOPLE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; DEPARTMENT STORE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 02-13-1979

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SUPERSTITION

CUT HAIR DURING A FULL MOON AND HAIR WONT GROW.

Submitter comment: THIS BELIEF WAS EXPLAINED THROUGH THE WAXING AND WANING OF THE
MOON. GROWTH IS THOUGHT TO OCCUR ONLY DURING THE WANING PERIOD
WHEN THE MOON IS PALE, AND NOT DURING THE WAXING PERIOD WHEN THE
MOON IS FULL.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; DEPARTMENT STORE

James Callow Keyword(s): NOT HOMEOPATHIC

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

Date learned: 02-20-1979

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SUPERSTITION

COVER ALL MIRRORS IN THE HOUSE WITH SHEETS DURING A STORM TO PREVENT
LIGHTENING FROM STRIKING THE HOUSE.

Submitter comment: THIS BELIEF WAS BELIEVED JUSTLY EXPLAINED BY THE FACT THAT LIGHTENING
IS ATTRACTED TO MIRRORS. THUS, ACCORDING TO THE INFORMANT,
COVERING THE MIRRORS IN A HOUSE WILL PREVENT THE ATTRACTION OF
LIGHTENING, AND THEREBY PREVENT LIGHTENING FROM STRIKING.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; DEPARTMENT STORE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Lightning Thunder

Date learned: 02-20-1979

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SUPERSTITION

DROPPED SILVERWARE MEANS SOMEONE WANTS TO COME OVER. IF IT IS A
FORK, IT IS A MAN WHO WANTS TO COME OVER. IF IT IS A SPOON,
IT IS A WOMAN.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT LACKED AN EXPLANATION BUT NOTES THAT AS A CHILD,
SHE CAN REMEMBER, IN FAIRY TALES, THE SPOON BEING SYMBOLIC OF
A FEMALE, AND A FORK BEING SYMBOLIC OF A MALE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; DEPARTMENT STORE

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank

Date learned: 02-20-1979

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SUPERSTITION

BREAK A MIRROR AND YOU'LL HAVE SEVEN YEARS OF BAD LUCK.

Submitter comment: ALTHOUGH THIS BELIEF HAS BEEN PREVALENT FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS,
INFORMANTS LACKED AN EXPLANATION FOR THE BELIEF BEYOND THE FACT
THAT THERE IS THE DANGER OF CUTS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; DEPARTMENT STORE

Subject headings: 686 Seven / Sevenths / Several
BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 02-20-1979

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SUPERSTITION

LOSE A PERSON'S PICTURE AND THEY'LL LOSE THEIR SOUL.

Submitter comment: AN IMAGE OF SOMEONE IS BELIEVED TO BE THE CAPTURING OF THE PERSON'S
SOUL. THEREFORE, THE LOSS OR DESTRUCTION OF THE PICTURE IS
VIEWED AS THE LOSS OR DESTRUCTION OF THE SOUL.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; DEPARTMENT STORE

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

Date learned: 02-13-1979

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IF AN EXPECTANT MOTHER EATS LOADS OF BANANAS, SHE'LL
HAVE A BOY.

Where learned: DEPARTMENT STORE ; HUDSONS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth

Date learned: 12-06-1967

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showing 14 items

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