M is a 45-year-old Haitian immigrant originally from Port-au-Prince, Haiti. M is currently a body-builder based in Phoenix, Arizona.
M offered me this piece of folklore during a phone conversation. I Informed M that I was in the process of collecting folklore, and asked her if she remembered any superstitions her family in Haiti may have had.
M: When I was growing up, the adults.. from Haiti had a saying that if anyone sweeps under your feet, with a broom.. you will never get married.
Reflection: Though M did not provide me with many background details about this fascinating bit of Haitian folk belief/superstition, I can at least try to interpret its meaning based on historical context. I have heard that in post-colonial and post-slavery nations like Haiti, there is a common marriage tradition in which the bride and groom each jump over a broom during their wedding as a good luck ritual. Assuming that the broom’s association with luck and marriage remains consistent across Haitian folklore, it may be fair to interpret the sweeping broom in M’s account as the antithesis of jumping over a broom, as doing so literally ”sweeps away“ the luck of getting married from underneath an unlucky soul’s feet.