Tag Archives: california


“Cali”

Context: Isabella Estrada is studying history at the University of Southern California. She is graduating this year and is in the process of applying to/hearing back from law schools. This was clearly on her mind as the first piece of folklore she gave me dealt with law school applications. She was born and raised in… Continue Reading »

California breaking off

My mom, who grew up in Los Angeles, recalls a folk belief from her childhood that California would break off from the US and float away: “So when I was growing up there would be these periodic panics or rumors that on a certain day, California was gonna break off and float out into the… Continue Reading »

Choctaw Freedman Anti-California Song

Informant: When my grandma moved from the reservation in Oklahoma—the one where, like, you know, they were forced to go after the Trail of Tears and stuff—to California, people were mean to her and her family. And the other Choctaw Freeman. So they’d sing this little song, like: “One, two, three, four, five, six, seven,… Continue Reading »

Gravity Hill

INFO: In Altadena, California, there’s a hill called Gravity Hill. When you go on its downward-facing slope in a car in neutral, the car starts going uphill. Gravity Hill is situated next by a reservoir; there are trees everywhere, but it’s a pretty open space otherwise. BACKGROUND: The informant first heard about when she was… Continue Reading »