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Negro Superstitions Recorded by the WPA

W. P. A.

For Mississippi

Historical Research Project

Jefferson County

Elsie Chamberlain, Supervisor

Customs relating to human life (Birth, Courtship, Marriage, Death).


Negro Superstition:

1.     Breaking medicine bottles and burying with the dead patient.

2.     Tying a live frog across the forehead to cure headache.

3.     The wearing of an amulet made of a dead mole’s foot by a child to assist teething.

4.     Walking in someone’s tracks will give them headache.

5.     Put an axe under the bed where a woman is in labor to ease the pains.

6.     To cut a baby’s nails will cause “light fingeredness”, or thieving traits.  Baby’s nails should be bitten off the first time they are trimmed.

7.     It is very dangerous for an expectant mother or one with a very young baby to eat scaly fish.

8.     It is very injurious for a woman to leave the house until her “munt” is up.  Or for a month after the birth of her baby.


(Found at the Old Courthouse Vicksburg, Warren County, MS June 2009)

Transcribed by: Antoinette M. (Toni) Stewart 

(submitted: 06-30-2009)

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August 15, 2002

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