USC Digital Folklore Archives / Posts Tagged ‘georgia’
Folk Beliefs
Legends
Magic
Narrative
Tales /märchen

Witch in Georgia

Context: The collector is interviewing the informant for tales. The informant (as GL) is a Chinese USC student who went to high school in Georgia. His classmates told him this story in a history class, the content of which was related with witch hunts.

 

GL: The story happened when there was witch hunting.

Collector: In the US?

GL: Yeah probably. So there were too many hares and they ate up all the crops. So hunters wanted to hunt them down. There was one particular hare that was gigantic, very huge. And so they go consult the witch. They cannot catch the hare so they go to the witch for help. The witch is like, “Okay you guys should just go to this place to find it (the giant hare) and don’t let the giant black dog lose and just let it chase after the hare.” The hunters don’t know what that means. They keep that in mind and they find the giant hare. During the process (of pursuing the hare), a giant black dog jumps out of nowhere and takes a bite on the giant hare’s hind leg. The hare ran off. The giant black dog also ran off. The hunters went back to the witch and was like, “We found the hare, but sorry that we couldn’t keep track with the black dog coming out of nowhere.” But what they figured out was, you know, on the hip of the witch, there was a bite mark like where the dog bit the hare. I don’t remember what happened to the witch later. Sorry.

Collector: Do you think this story happens in Georgia?

GL: Yeah I guess so. You know, there was a time in the 17th or 18th century where there were witch trials and people were suspicious about witches causing misfortunes, you know.

Collector: Do you think people view the story as a legend or just a fairy tale?

GL: Apparently witches are not real. They were just unfortunate women accused as witches. I guess it has some sort of authenticity with it. Well it also can be completely made up by people.

 

Collector’s thoughts:

As the informant has mentioned, the legend is probably developed in the time of witch hunt. People of that period of time blamed natural factors that had negative impact on their daily production on witches and transferred their anger to innocent women. I think the tale is interesting, and it makes people remember the dark time of witch hunt.

Folk speech
Game
Rituals, festivals, holidays

Who’s Got the Rock?

Who’s Got the Rock?

Is a game the source learned at her high school near Augusta, Georgia. Apparently the game was originated by her Latin class, and is still played at the school to this day.

“Our teacher wasn’t very aware of what was going on at most times, so while she would lecture us in the front of the class we’d play this game. Basically someone would just wrap a piece of paper around any solid object they had. I think the original rock was an empty ink cartridge for a printer, but sometimes people would use tennis balls or scotch tape dispensers wrapped in paper. There was always one rock per day at least and people would just throw it from one person to the next to see who could throw it at the most daring time and not get caught. If Ms. Grimaude ever caught anyone and took the rock away, everyone would try to determine who had made the next rock. We had a chant we’d do—well I’m not sure it was a chant, but we’d do that thing where you shout but are also whispering but everyone would say it at different times. Once the first rock of the day was thrown we’d say “who’s got the rock?!” until someone threw the next rock. The funny thing was, we didn’t have that many rocks taken away the whole year. She never really caught us except a few times so much of the time when we would say “who’s got the rock” it was more of a dare for whoever had it to throw it at that exact moment. Ultimately it got out of hand with my class and people started throwing eggs and stuff. My brother though, who is 3 years younger than me told me that they still were playing that game in Latin class when he was there, which made me happy that we had created a game that lived on at the school.”

 

This game is interesting to me because there doesn’t seem to be any particular point to it. There’s never any winner or goal to the game, except to unite the class against the teacher. It’s also a rite of passage for Latin students at the school, the game continues to this day because if you haven’t played Who’s Got the Rock?, you clearly weren’t part of the Latin program.

[geolocation]