My informant told me about the customs of italian women in relation to their hair length:
“Native women tend to avoid cutting their hair. This is a female concern men do not seem to give a damn. I recalled your great grandmother (Santa’s) friends, how slowly they got used to American ways and cut their hair. Your grandmother and I used to laugh how they all found an excuse for shortening their hair usually lamenting that arthritis made it impossible to comb it long. Long hair was part of their system of belief. And they felt the necessity to find an excuse for their sin.”
My informant told me that his wife kept her hair long, just like her family would have liked back in Italy.
Again, the connection between Italian customs/superstitions and religion shows through in my informant’s use of the word “sin” in relation for women cutting their hair. Even little customs like hair length is tied back to belief.