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James Callow Folklore Archive

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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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Superstition

The fisherman have two kinds of folk belief: magic and empirical. Magic have no rational explanation-porpoises bring good luck. Empirical can be explained or have a rational line of thought - Circle around moon means bad weather. There is a rational connection between moon, ring, and bad weather.

Beneath the instrumental function of beliefs (to explain something) there is a phycological [sic] function (to ease the dangers of their hazardous occupation.)

Black suitcase is a very bad taboo object. Going out (in boat) on Friday - bad luck. The word alligator - bad luck. Throw change overboard - good luck.

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Where learned: The Function of Magic Among Texas Coastal Fisherman ; Journal of American Folklore

Keyword(s): Alligator ; BELIEF ; Boat ; Change ; Empirical ; Fisherman ; Friday ; LUCK ; MAGIC ; MONEY ; MOON ; Ocean ; Porpoise ; Sail ; Sailor ; SEA ; Ship ; Suitcase ; SUPERSTITION ; WEATHER

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Still water Large body.
BELIEF -- Bad luck

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Belief

The pishtace are nocturnal murderers of Indians. The pishtaco murder Indians in order to obtain human fat to be sold as lubricants for machinery and to be used in pharmacuticals.

The legend derives from 16th and 17th centurey Spanish practices of using human body fats as treatment for wounds and diseases. the people who tell this tale are poor Indians and the pishtaco are usually wealthy industrial men in the area. The tale helps draw lines of social class.

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Where learned: Journal of American Folklore ; The Pishtaco: Institutionalized Fear in Highland Peru

Keyword(s): BODY ; Cultural ; Culture ; Fat ; FEAR ; HORROR ; INDIAN ; INDUSTRY ; Kill ; Lubrication ; Machinery ; MEDICINE ; MURDER ; Native American ; Peru ; Peruvian ; Pharmaceutical ; Pishtaco ; Poor ; Social Class ; Wealthy

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

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Custom; Agriculture

Letter dated 1852 relates the events of a negro corn-shucking. Slaves invite their friends from neighboring plantations and they make a party out of shucking a tremendous amount of corn.

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Where learned: Journal of American Folklore ; A Negros Corn Shucking

Keyword(s): CORN ; CUSTOM ; Gathering ; HARVEST ; NEGRO ; PARTY ; Plantation ; Shuck ; Slavery ; Slaves ; South

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Autumn Fall Harvest Thanksgiving

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Society

The author, Lee Hardin, argues the case that Greenwich Village in New York was the first of America's Bohemian communities, that the west coast bohemian villages were offspring of Greenwich Village.

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Where learned: Journal of American Folklore ; Folk Music Revival

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; Bohemian ; Greenwich Village ; NEW YORK ; Social Class ; Social Group ; West Coast

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

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Language

In this genre the fanciful name of the author in combination with the supposed title of the book produces a verbal irony, the import of which is most often obscene or scatalogical.

The Tiger's Revenge - Claude Balls

Hole in the Mattress - Mr. Completely

Hawaiian Romance - Komona Wanna Laiya

Russian Pastime - Ivben Jackinoff

Seventeenth Century England had something like title-author jokes. They were fake book lists with authors who were real people whom the crown was harrassing supposedly speaking on long winded topics.

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Where learned: Journal of American Folklore ; Title Author Jokes Now and Long Ago

Keyword(s): Author ; BOOK ; Fictional ; HUMOR ; OBSCENE ; PLAY ON WORDS ; PUN ; SCATOLOGICAL ; Title

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Ill humor Ridicule Mockery
Filter - Mature Content

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Religion

An extremely grim account of religious confraternities in New Mexico and Colorado which practice self-flagellation and other penitent practices, especially on Good Friday.

The article explores the history behind and classifies different types of Muerte (death images) which are pulled on carts by penitents.

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Where learned: Journal of American Folklore ; The Origin of the Penitence Death Cart

Keyword(s): Colorado ; CUSTOM ; DEATH ; Flagellation ; Images ; Inflicted ; Muerte ; New Mexico ; REGIONAL ; RELIGION ; Self

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Custom

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