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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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EYO FESTIVAL

DURING THE EYO FESTIVAL IN LAGOS NO ONE IS PERMITTED TO WEAR SHOES.
PEOPLE DRESSED IN WHITE COSTUMES WITH BLACK COWBOY LOOKING HATS RUN
THROUGH THE STREET ALL DAY CARRYING BROOMS SIMILAR TO WHISK BROOMS
AND IF THEY SEE ANYONE WEARING SHOES THEY WILL HIT YOU WITH THESE
BROOMS.
THEY ALSO STOP CARS.
THEY WILL HIT YOU UNTIL YOU GIVE THEM A GIFT OF MONEY OR SOMETHING
ELSE

Submitter comment: I JUST HAPPENED TO BE IN LAGOS ON THE DAY OF THIS FESTIVAL
AND I SAW ALL THESE KIDS RUNNING AROUND CHASING PEOPLE AND I GOT
SCARED.
MY BOYFRIEND ENEV TOLD ME WE HAD BETTER HEAD BACK TO EBUTE-METTA.
HE WAS NOT SCARED, BUT HE DID SO FOR MY SAKE.
THESE PEOPLE WILL HIT YOU ALL OVER YOUR BODY.

Where learned: NIGERIA ; LAGOS

Subject headings: Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Custom
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Typical Elements of a Festive Pattern

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NEW YEAR'S DAY IN LAGOS, NIGERIA

IN PREPARING FOR THE NEW YEAR ON DECEMBER 31 EVERYONE DRINKS A LOT A
GOES TO BED VERY LATE, BUT THIS ISN'T THE BIG EVENT.
AT 6:00 A.M. ON JANUARY 1 WE ALL AWOKE TO THE SOUND OF A CANNON
GOING OFF.
IN ABOUT 20 MINUTES EVERYONE IN THE VILLAGE MUST BE IN THE VILLAGE
SQUARE.
THE VOODOO MAN IS ABOUT TO ARRIVE.
HE IS DRESSED IN ANIMAL SKINS AND MATERIALS WITH A ANIMAL HEAD AND
HORNS.
NOTHING ON HIM IS VISIBLE.
HIS MAIN OBJECT AT THIS TIME IS TO CHASE EVERYONE AND IF HE
CATCHES YOU HE WILL HIT YOU WITH A SWITCH.
HE CARRIES BIG KNIVES THAT HE SWINGS BACK AND FORTH AND HE THROWS
THEM THROUGH THE AIR.
HE SEARCHES HOUSE FOR HOUSE TO MAKE SURE EVERYONE IS PFESENT.
IF YOU ARE SCARED TO COME OUT HE WILL COME IN AND BRING YOU OUT.
THROUGHOUT THE DAY EVERYONE FORMS ONTO GROUPS AND GOES ABOUT
SINGING AND DANCING AND DRINKING.
TOWARDS THE END OF THE DAY HE GOES FROM HOUSE TO HOUSE
TO RECIEVE GIFTS OF MONEY AND HE BLESSES THE HOUSE AND ANY
SMALL KIDS.
IF YOU GET NEAR THE WATER HE WILL NOT COME AFTER YOU.

Submitter comment: THE SIGHT OF THE VOODOO MAN WAS TOO MUCH FOR ME.
I TRIED TO HIDE IN MY ROOM AND LOCK THE DOOR, BUT HE CAME WITH HIS
FOLLOWERS AND GOT ME.
WORD HAD SPREAD FROM DAY ONE THAT AN AMERICAN HAD COME TO THE
VILLAGE.
I DID EVENTUALLY JOIN IN AND FOLLOW THE CROWD.

Where learned: NIGERIA ; LAGOS

Subject headings: Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 31 New Year's Eve

Date learned: 10-00-1979

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COSTUMES IN LAGOS, NIGERIA

GOING TO THE MARKET IN LAGOS IS MUCH LIKE GOING TO THE
EASTERN MARKET. A FOREIGNER CAN BE RECOGNIZED BY MANY MEANS, BUT
NOTHING GIVES HER AWAY MORE THAN HER DRESS CODE.
NIGERIAN WOMEN DO NOT WEAR PANTS MORE THAN TWICE A YEAR. THEY WEAR
WRAPS OF VARIOUS COLORS, DESIGNS AND SIZES. THESE PIECES OF
MATERIAL ARE WRAPPED ABOUT THE WAIST, SOME LONGER THAN OTHERS AND
SOMETIMES AS MANY AS THREE. SOMETIMES THE MATERIAL IS TAKEN TO A
DRESS MAKER TO BE SEWN INTO A SIMPLE JUMPER. THE FINER THE
MATERIAL, THE RICHER THE PERSON. THE BLOUSES THEY WEAR WITH
THESE ARE OF EYELIT MATERIAL

Where learned: NIGERIA ; LAGOS

Subject headings: ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Dress

Date learned: 10-00-1979

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NAMES OF TWINS

IN NIGERIA, TWINS HAVE SPECIAL NAMES. THE FIRST CHILD THAT COMES OUT
DURING BIRTH BETWEEN THE TWINS IS CALLED TAIWO. THE LAST TO COME
OUT IS CALLED KEHINDE. IF AFTER SOMETIMES THE MOTHER IS PREGNANT AND
HAS ANOTHER CHILD AFTER THE TWINS HE/SHE WILL BE CALLED IDOWU. IF SHE
HAS ANOTHER CHILD AGAIN HE/SHE WILL BE CALLED ALABA.

Where learned: NIGERIA ; LAGOS

Subject headings: Person / Nickname

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IF SOMETHING IS STOLEN, AND THERE ARE MANY SUSPECTS, YOU CAN KNOW
THE REAL PERSON THAT STOLE THE ITEM BY DOING THIS SIMPLE TEST.
OPEN THE BIBLE TO JOB CHAPTER SEVENTEEN, PLACE A KEY IN THAT
SECTION, AND USE A ROPE TO TIE THE KEY AND THE BIBLE TOGETHER.
LET EACH OF THE SUSPECT SWEAR SAYING THUS, "IF I TAKE THE LOST ITEM
LET ME BE MENTALLY SICK IMMEDIATELY". IF THE PERSON WHO STOLE THE
ITEM SAYS THIS, HE WILL BECOME MENTALLY SICK WITH IMMEDIATE
EFFECT.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT LOOKED SERIOUS WHILE NARRATING THE ITEM.

Where learned: NIGERIA ; LAGOS

James Callow Keyword(s): DETECTION OF THIEF ; THEFT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Curse
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness
BELIEF -- Use of Object

Date learned: 02-00-1967

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YOU KNOW ONLY WHOM YOU LOVE, BUT YOU DON'T KNOW WHO LOVES YOU.

Where learned: NIGERIA ; LAGOS

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

Date learned: 00-00-1976

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WHEN A BLIND LEADS A BLIND, BOTH OF THEM WILL FALL INSIDE A PIT.

Where learned: NIGERIA ; LAGOS

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Blason Populaire

Date learned: 00-00-1977

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A FRIEND IN NEED IS CLOSER THAN A BROTHER.

Where learned: NIGERIA ; LAGOS

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Blason Populaire

Date learned: 00-00-1974

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DURING THE CHILDHOOD OF JESUS SOMETHING HAPPENED THAT IS VERY
INTERESTING. ONE DAY HE WENT TO HIS FRIENDS' HOUSE TO GREET THEM
AS HE NORMALLY DID. AS HE WAS ON HIS WAY TO HIS FRIENDS' HOUSE,
THE FRIENDS WERE SEVEN IN NUMBER AND WERE OF THE SAME PARENTS.
THEIR MOTHER SAW JESUS COMING, SHE RAN IN AND INFORMED HER
CHILDREN THAT JESUS WAS COMING BUT SHE DID NOT WANT JESUS TO
SEE THEM THAT DAY, THUS, SHE TOLD THE CHILDREN TO QUICKLY
HIDE UNDER THEIR BEDS. THEY HAVE JUST FINISHED DOING THIS
THEN JESUS CAME. JESUS KNOCKED THE DOOR, AND THE MOTHER OF
THOSE CHILDREN OPENED THE DOOR. "WHERE ARE MY FRIENDS?" JESUS
INQUIRED, "THEY HAVE GONE SOMEWHERE" ANSWERED THE WOMAN.
THUS, JESUS DECIDED TO LEAVE. AS HE WAS GOING OUT HE HEARD SOME
MOVEMENT UNDER THE BEDS, AND HE INQUIRED FROM THE WOMAN WHAT
WERE MOVING, THE WOMAN SAID THAT THEY WERE PIGS. JESUS SAID "BYE"
AND HE WENT OUT. AS JESUS LEFT, THE WOMAN COMMANDED HER
CHILDREN TO COME OUT. SURPRISINGLY, PIGS WERE COMING OUT, THE PIGS
WERE SEVEN IN NUMBER. SHE COULD NOT BELIEVE HER EYES THAT HER
CHILDREN HAVE TURNED TO PIGS. SHE RAISED AN ALARM, HER HUSBAND
AND THEIR NEIGHBORS RUSHED OUT. THE PEOPLE FOUND PIGS ALL OVER
THE PLACE, AND THEY ASKED HER WHAT HAPPENED, THUS,
THE WHOLE STORY TO THEM. THEREFORE, THEY DECIDED TO GO AND LOOK
FOR JESUS. LUCKILY, THEY FOUND HIM AFTER SOME TIMES. THE MOTHER
OF THE CHILDREN AND THE OTHER PEOPLE APOLOGIZED TO JESUS FOR HAVING
BEEN TOLD LIES BY THE MOTHER OF THE CHILDREN THAT HIS FRIENDS
HAD GONE SOMEWHERE WHEN THEY DID NOT GO ANYWHERE, AND MOREOVER
THAT SHE TOLD JESUS THAT IT WERE PIGS THAT WERE UNDER THE BEDS
WHEN IT WERE REALLY HIS FRIENDS. AFTER THEY TOLD JESUS THIS,
HE COMMANDED THAT HIS FRIENDS BE CHANGED BACK TO HUMAN BEINGS.
HE TOLD THOSE PEOPLE TO GO BACK HOME THAT THEY WOULD FOUND
HUMAN BEINGS AND NOT PIGS. WHEN THE PEOPLE GOT HOME THEY FOUND
THAT THOSE PIGS HAVE CHANGED TO CHILDREN.

Submitter comment: MY SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHER TOLD ME THE STORY WHEN I WAS SIX YEARS
OLD. THE STORY STAYED VERY CLEAR IN MY MEMORY, THAT I CAN NEVER
FORGET IT. ANY TIME THAT I HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO GATHER WITH
CHILDREN I USE TO TELL THEM THE STORY. I BELIEVE THAT THE
MESSAGE ONE CAN GET IN THE STORY IS THAT ONE SHOULD NOT TELL LIES.
MOREOVER TELLING LIES CAN BE DANGEROUS SOMETIMES, BECAUSE IF ONE
TELLS BAD LIES ABOUT ONESELF TO SOMEONE, IT IS LIKELY FOR THAT
PARTICULAR LIES TO COME TRUE. I HAVE REALLY GAINED A LOT FROM
THIS STORY, IT HAS HELPED ME A LOT IN MY LIFE.
HOPEFULLY, I HOPE IT WILL HELP THOSE CHILREN I HAVE TOLD .

Where learned: NIGERIA ; LAGOS

Subject headings: Favorites
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Religious hero

Date learned: 00-00-1960

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showing 9 items

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