USC Digital Folklore Archives / Posts Tagged ‘puerto rico’
Folk Beliefs
folk metaphor
general
Signs

Puerto Rican Witches Getting Married

Description

“In Puerto Rico, they say a witch is getting married.”

Context

I was sitting with a few informants as we all discussed our cultures and our different belief systems. After one informant randomly offered their thoughts on what the Persians believe about rain when the sun shines, this informant gave me this tidbit of information. She went on further to explain that the origins of the belief are unclear, but that whenever it rained while the sun was shining, she had clear memories of her mother pointing at the sky and saying it.

Analysis

I found it interesting that I had two different people from two different cultures reflecting on this belief that there had to be something happening because it was raining and sunny at the same time. The closest thing I remember believing is that after a rain, or if there was a rainbow while it was still raining, there was a little leprechaun and a pot of gold at the end of it. My friends would make jokes about God peeing onto Earth, of course, but that was the most of it. I love that different cultures have different explanations, but I cannot begin to think what witches and rain and sun have to do with each other.

 

Folk Beliefs
Legends
Narrative
Protection

Why You Can Never Keep Glass on the Floor: Puerto Rican Tale

Is this tale well known in Puerto Rico?

L.O. – “Nah, this is just something which was told to my father, and he told it to me.”

How does the story go?

“So, there was a man in my dad’s like, village, or his small town, and he’d just always leave his dishes on the floor after he finished eating and was watching TV.  And one day he tripped, and the glass cut into his neck, and he died.  *Chuckle*  And that’s why you can’t ever leave your dishes on the floor.  It’s funny, this is definitely something that you just tell your kids, so they’ll behave around the house and such.”

Do you live by those rules now?

“Yes, absolutely.  We have like, actually kept those rules in our house.  Because I used to keep my dishes all over the floor, and my dad would be like, ‘this dude injured his neck and died, don’t do that,’ and so I never do.”

When you see dishes on the floor, do you think about it?

“Yes.  Immediately.”

 

This story served to remind this person why he should never leave dishes on the floor.  For me, though, it was a reminder to always remember your roots.  While that sounds cliche, it makes sense to me.  Again this is a person who is completely independent from his previous life where he grew up.  To think that, although one day he’ll live far away from his father, he’ll always think of that one story which was told to him, is quite sentimental.  They are stories like these which we hold onto the tightest.  You can also imply this story in other walks of life, using it as lessons for your children, and their children.  

Folk medicine
Folk speech

Heal, Heal Little Frog

My roommate told me about a Spanish rhyme that her mother would say whenever she or her brother got hurt. She knows the rhyme originated in Puerto Rico, but she isn’t sure if it came directly from her Puerto Rican mother or another source. She has fond memories of hearing this rhyme, because even though she was hurt, it was very soothing to hear and could make her feel better.

“My mom, when me or my brother would get hurt as a child, she would…it’s kind of like kissing the wound better, but a little more intricate, because she would rub above it and go ‘Sana sana colita de rana, si no sana ahora, sanaras manana’  Which, the English translation is ‘Heal, heal, little frog. If you don’t heal today, you will heal tomorrow’ I guess the interesting bit is that it was always my white mother who would say this to me, even though my other mother was Puerto Rican… She might have learned it from my other mom or my abuelita, but she also lived in a lot of Spanish-speaking areas so it’s possible she picked it up from somewhere else”

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