Folk Beliefs

Wake your body, but don’t forget to wake your soul – Mexican Superstition

Piece: 

If you take your kids with you to the ranch, let’s say when you go work the field, and they fall asleep on the floor, because they are tired or because you are working. And you know how in the field the dirt is loose, and you know, when kids are young they are innocent, they are innocent until they become adults. So when they are kids, their soul is still really innocent too, because they don’t know anything yet. If you tell them that a certain bad spirit is nearby they won’t know what to make of it. So if your kid happens to fall asleep on the ground, the beliefs of the old times are that you have to grab a twig, or a branch and start hitting them. You have to yell their name and hit them at the same time. You do this so that their spirit can return back to their body when they wake up. You’ll know you accomplished this because they wake up crying. The same goes for when you fall somewhere, you know when you fall and you get spooked? It’s like your soul stays in the place where you fell. So when this happens, after someone has fallen, they will go grab a branch and start hitting themselves in order to wake their soul again.

Background Information: The informant was my aunt. She grew up in a small village in Mexico where superstitions and legends are very prominent.

Context: This is a very commonly known superstition amongst farmers in Mexico. Most villagers would take their kids with them to work because they had no babysitters to watch them while they were farming the fields.

Personal Analysis: As I was listening to this superstition, I was reminded of my younger sister. When she was younger, she would always wake up crying. My family and I never understood why, but after hearing this superstition I was introduced to a possible explanation.

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