USC Digital Folklore Archives / Posts Tagged ‘america’
Tales /märchen

Little Boy at Little Rock

In Little Rock, Arkansas, there is a ghost story about a young boy who wanders very early in the morning through the streets and enters any home that he finds open. They say that the little boy is lost and looking for family members to be with. This story comes as a result of “ghost” encounters and “poltergeist” events happening at homes.You can get rid of the little boy “ghost” by placing small toys outside of your BACK door so the “ghost” is tricked into leaving the home.

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Eloisa is a Michoacan born lady who has lived in Arkansas since she has been a little girl. She used to be really religious, but after being opened up to human rights, and mostly women rights, she has taken a step back and tried to analyze everything to decide on what she can really identify as part of her.

Customs
Folk Beliefs
Gestures
Homeopathic
Material
Protection

Naciemento de JesusChristo

During Christmas time, the whole family gets together right before eating dinner. In this family ceremony, everybody gets a Jesus looking treat, usually something the mom of the family makes, and everybody then kisses Jesus on the forehead and then eats the head. It’s to symbolize Jesus and the Holy Spirit being in you. This always happens between the hours of 2am-3am after Christmas Eve. The time is important, because that is the time in which it connects to the “witch hour” where Evil is supposedly the strongest.

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Eloisa is a Michoacan born lady who has lived in Arkansas since she has been a little girl. She used to be really religious, but after being opened up to human rights, and mostly women rights, she has taken a step back and tried to analyze everything to decide on what she can really identify as part of her.

Digital
Legends
Narrative
Protection

New Form of Kidnapping (Ladies – be aware – worth a read)

“NEW FORM OF KIDNAPPING

Please take a minute to read this. This is very scary and could happen to
any of us.. Seems like every nice thing people do for one another can be
perverted.
A new twist on kidnapping from a very smart survivor:
About a month ago there was a woman standing by the mall entrance passing
out flyers to all the women going in. The woman had written the flyer
herself to tell about an experience she had, so that she might warn other
women.
The previous day, this woman had finished shopping, went out to her car and
discovered that she had a flat.
She got the jack out of the trunk and began to change the flat. A nice man
dressed in a business suit and carrying a briefcase walked up to her and
said, ‘I noticed you’re changing a flat tire. Would you like me to take care
of it for you?’
The woman was grateful for his offer and accepted his help. They chatted
amiably while the man changed the flat, and then put the flat tire and the
jack in the trunk, shut it and dusted his hands off.
The woman thanked him profusely, and as she was about to get in her car, the
man told her that he left his car around on the other side of the mall, and
asked if she would mind giving him a lift to his car.
< BR>She was a little surprised and she asked him why his car was on other
side.
He explained that he had seen an old friend in the mall that he hadn’t seen
for some time and they had a bite to eat, visited for a while, and he got
turned around in the mall and left through the wrong exit, and now he was
running late.

The woman hated to tell him ‘no’ because he had just rescued her from having
to change her flat tire all by herself, but she! felt un easy . (Trust that
gut feeling!)

Then she remembered seeing the man put his briefcase in her trunk before
shutting it and before he asked her for a ride to his car.

She told him that she’d be happy to drive him around to his car, But she
just remembered one last thing she needed to buy (Smart woman!!)

She said she would only be a few minutes; he could sit down in her car and
wait for her; she would be as quick as she could be

She hurried into the mall, and told a security guard what had happened, the
guard came out to her car with her, but the man had left. They opened the
trunk, took out his locked briefcase and took it down to the police station.

The police opened it (ostensibly to look for ID so they could return it to
the man). What they found was rope, duct tape, and knives. When the police
checked her ‘flat’ tire, there was nothing wrong with it; the air had simply
been let out.  It was obvious what the man’s intention was, and obvious that
he had carefully thought it out in advance. The woman was blessed to have
escaped harm.

How much worse it would have been if she had children with her and had them
wait in the car while the man fixed the tire, or if she had a baby strapped
into a car seat? Or if she’d gone against her judgment and given him a lift?

I’d like you to forward this to all the women you know. It may save a life.

A candle is not dimmed by lighting another candle. I was going to send this
to the ladies only; but guys, if you love your mothers, wives, sisters,
daughters, etc.., you may want to pass it on to them, as well.

Send this to any woman you know that may need to be reminded that The world
we live in has a lot of crazies in it. Better to be safe than sorry.

PLEASE BE SAFE AND NOT
SORRY”

 

This email was originally received by my real estate agent, she resent it to me with the message that I should be, “extra careful!” especially since I am a single woman living away from home.

What first threw me off about this narrative was that the woman remembers the man put his briefcase in the trunk of her car; however, when she is narrating what he put in the trunk, she doesn’t mention the briefcase. It was inattention to detail like this that made me look it up and as it turns out, it’s an urban legend that’s been around since at least 1998.

My real estate lady is older, and she sent it to me because as a single young woman living in a big city like Los Angeles by myself, she thought I was more at risk. I guess this goes along with the stories and legends you hear about how dangerous and gang-infested big cities are.

Customs
Folk Beliefs
Folk Dance
Game
Gestures
Kinesthetic
Protection
Rituals, festivals, holidays

Booty Shaking, Vomit Dance for Good Mojo

Before every competition, my high school theater group would circle up, and shake all of our bad mojo/energy into the center of the circle. It usually involved some brushing off, fake vomiting, booty-shaking, etc until our jitters were out of like two minutes had passed. Then we all visualized that nasty ball of nervous energy, lifted it up as a team, and and threw it far far away. It made us perform better.

This is a ritual the theater group would conduct. For superstitious reasons they would join in a type of bad mojo warding dance. Obviously this ritual provides comfort, marks the occasion of the competition, and provides a good placebo affect, but the biggest benefit is likely that the team members joining together to do an embarrassing dance provided the club with a strong feeling of community.

Folk speech
Proverbs

You can take the girl out of the city, but you can’t take the city out of the girl.

“You can take the girl out of the city, but you can’t take the city out of the girl.”

 

My informant first heard this saying as an eighth grader in middle school that is located in Downey, CA.  She had gone on a three-week trip to New York.  It was her second trip there.  The first time she had visited New York, she remembers being mesmerized by the city, and when she returned home, all she could think about was going back.  However, on this second trip to New York, she missed home, Los Angeles (Downey is a suburb of L.A.) very much.  No matter how exciting New York was, she became homesick.  A friend she had met on the trip there noticed her homesickness and told her, “You can take the girl out of the city, but you can’t take the city out of the girl.”  Physically, Cindy was in New York, but her heart was at home, Los Angeles.

I personally love this quote and apply it to myself as well.  Distance from the place you grew up in and the place where you are surrounded by familiar faces and streets cannot make you forget the attachment to that place.  I have lived in L.A all my life, and if I were to live anywhere else for the time being, I will still have “L.A.” qualities about me.  I would probably not blend in with my new location immediately.  Similarly if a girl from a rural farm ventured into the city, she would still have traits that show she most likely grew up in a farm.  She may seem to be overwhelmed with the loud cars and crowded streets.  If I lived in the countryside for a year, people would obviously know I am from the urban area because I would probably appear very restless and uneasy with the calmness.  Where an individual was raised makes a large impact on that individual’s personality.  Hence, the girl can physically change her location, but her heart remains in the place she has called home for the years past.

Contagious
Folk Beliefs
general
Magic
Stereotypes/Blason Populaire

“Twos”

My informant and I talked about a superstition that has been prevalent in college baseball for at least twenty-one years (since I’ve been alive). This superstition is called “Twos”. My informant explained that the actions that encompass Twos occur in a game when there are two balls, two strikes, and two outs, all at once. When this occurs, all the players in the dugout, usually both on the side of the offense and the defense, will in unison do something like rub the bill of their cap with their right hand until the pitch is thrown, or kneel down and pick up a but of dirt and throw it in the direction of the field as soon as the pitcher lets go of the ball. There is even a ritual called “The Radar” where all the players in the dugout hold out their hats toward the pitcher, as if it was a radar gun, while the pitcher throws the ball.

Since both sides of a ball game carry out these acts, there are two objectives. For the offense, the idea is to get the batter to a full count (which is three balls and two strikes instead of two balls and two strikes), or get him to get a hit. The defense’s objective then is just the opposite, and that’s to will the pitcher to a strikeout, ground out or pop up. This superstitious ritual is carried out by teams nationwide. See for yourself the next time the College World Series is on.

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