Pole Splitting

--Informant Info--
Nationality: African American
Age: 16
Occupation: student
Residence: carson, CA
Date of Performance/Collection: April 21, 2018
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s):

What is being performed?
DA: Well, you know how two people that are walking together are never supposed to split a
pole?
AA: I’ve heard that.
DA: I almost split a pole yesterday. Dad went one way and I went the other when we got close
to the street sign outside the house.
AA: If you split the pole is it instant bad luck?
DA: Of course not, but it catches up with you the way karma works.You split a pole and you’ll
find yourself in bad luck eventually.
Why do they know or like this piece? where/who did they learn it from? What does it mean to
them?
AA: Where did you hear this?
DA: I’m pretty sure dad told me this when I was 10 years old.
AA: Where is dad from?
DA: He’s from Los Angeles but grew up around his family from Texas and Oklahoma.
AA: What does this mean to you?
DA: Now it’s kind of funny, but when I was really little it was a serious to me.

Context of the performance- where do you perform it? History?
Leila Atkins brings this up every time she’s walking with friends and they approach a pole. She
hardly performs this outside of the context. Most of the time she performs it as a warning to
people about to split a pole or right after they have done so. It is something I have also heard of
and still hear of in college.

Reflection
This is something that I have encountered and actively avoid in my lifestyle. I mostly do so out
of kicks and not serious belief, but still recognize that it has a pretty good effect on my life.