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Superstition

Posted By Claire Birnbaum On April 13, 2011 @ 4:57 am In Folk Beliefs,general | Comments Disabled

“If a woman cuts her hair on a full moon, then it will grow back very quickly”

Joe is a friend of mine who works in my dad’s office. He is 20-years-old and was born and continues to live in Los Angeles. His mom, who was raised in the Tongan Islands, raised him with many superstitions, which he still follows today. Joe knows many superstitions, most of which I have never heard before. This one, about haircuts on full moons only applies to women. Joe and I had discussed that this is probably because the moon and all lunar activity are closely associated with women. Joe shared this superstition with me at my dad’s office and consequently other employees overheard our conversation. Not one other employee had heard of anything like this superstition, and neither had I. Joe takes these generational superstitions very seriously. Joe and his siblings were taught by his mother, who was taught by her mother, and so on. He wasn’t sure how many generations back this tradition went, but he was sure it was ancient.

Joe chose to share this superstition because it was something that  he grew-up with, his grandmother, mother, aunts, and sisters all based their hair cuts on the moon’s cycle. Though it doesn’t apply to him, this superstition has affected him his whole life.

This superstition is significant because it shows a long tradition of women being associated and affected by the moon. Joe explained that in the Tongan Islands, there are dances and songs dedicated to the moon usually performed by women. Sometimes the moon is negatively associated with madness, which is where we get the word “lunatic” from, but in this case, this superstition simply shows a correlation between the moon’s cycle and women. As the stages in the moon change, the length of hair changes.


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URL to article: http://folklore.usc.edu/?p=4901