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Mississippi Folklore Question

Mark Clark 05 Oct 00 - 10:49 AM
GospelPicker (inactive) 05 Oct 00 - 11:02 AM
Jim Dixon 05 Oct 00 - 11:39 AM
khandu 05 Oct 00 - 08:16 PM
okthen 06 Oct 00 - 06:58 PM
khandu 06 Oct 00 - 10:30 PM
khandu 12 Oct 00 - 08:13 PM
Sorcha 12 Oct 00 - 08:32 PM
Ebbie 12 Oct 00 - 10:30 PM
harpgirl 26 Nov 02 - 07:53 PM
EBarnacle1 27 Nov 02 - 02:26 PM
Chris C 27 Nov 02 - 03:32 PM
Chris C 27 Nov 02 - 03:35 PM
GUEST,Auntie Enn 02 Jul 11 - 06:18 PM
Bobert 02 Jul 11 - 11:01 PM
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Subject: Mississippi Folklore Question
From: Mark Clark
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 10:49 AM

I jumped over to khandu's Web site to read his stories of Mississippi John Hurt and their mutual friend "Tunk." Tunk was born with a veil over his face and that fact figures prominently in khandu's story. It got me thinking about African and Voodoo folklore in Mississippi and it's expression in much of the music from that part of the U.S. There are lots of references that we commonly use in song without knowing the full meaning and I thought perhaps some of the more scholarly here could share their insights.

What is the most common superstition associated with being born "with a veil over one's face"?

The seventh son of a seventh son (Hootchie Cootchie Man) was a magical person with, I believe, strong sexual powers over women. Are there other attributes associated with this "sign."

What, if any, is the ralationship in folklore between the veil and the seventh son?

The mojo hand was a talisman also, I believe, conferring sexual powers on it's owner. What, exactly, is a mojo hand? Is it something like "The Monkey's Paw"?

What was the magic in the Stetson hat that Stagolee sold his soul to get? It clearly didn't protect him from losing a bet nor did it protect him from physical harm.

What are good sources for further reading on the subject?

Thanks,

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Mississippi Folklore Question
From: GospelPicker (inactive)
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 11:02 AM

Being born with a veil is rumoured to make a person a seer or psychic in some folk belief structures... a mojo hand is a bag, usually worn around the neck, filled with herbs or roots like John the Conqueror Root or nightshade... depending on what power or protection you want, you would fill a bag with the necessary items... There are botanicas {shops) in New Orleans that still deal with hands and potions and charms in a VERY real way... but be warned... you pay more than money for dabbling... I am dead serious about this... I have had experiemces you would shudder at for sure. Anyway, that is a really basic overview of the things you mentioned... Stagger Lee wanted the hat because it was blessed by a santero or hoodoo man and given power to make a person wealthy... email me at RevHarp@aol.com if you want to know more... Shalom.

GospelPicker

@:()>[+]


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Subject: RE: Mississippi Folklore Question
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 11:39 AM

I believe the "veil" is actually the amniotic membrane, also known in folklore as a "caul." The beginning of "David Copperfield" states that David was born with a caul, and it was thought to mean the person would be protected from drowning. Here is some more information from a site devoted to midwifery. I can't vouch for its accuracy.

Vance Randolph wrote a book called "Ozark Magic and Folklore" (formerly published as "Ozark Superstitions"), which I read long ago. I can't remember whether it covers the specific topics you ask about, but it contains some fascinating information.


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Subject: RE: Mississippi Folklore Question
From: khandu
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 08:16 PM

First, I want to thank you, Mark, for visiting my site and mentioning it here. And I am glad it provoked this thread from you.> I do not have any info to your quetions; however, I also have been told that the caul is actually the amniotic fluid.> Your thread has reminded me of another man("Shag") I knew in Shuqualak, Ms.(Pronounced "sugarlock") I worked at a brick company there and I ianadvertantly left a roll of twine on Shag's machine. (The twine was not on it's original core; I had rolled it up on a piece of bone I happened to find as I looked for something to roll the twine on.)> When Shag returned to his machine and saw the twine, he left the machine and would not return to it as long as the twine was there. He kept saying that it was a "juju" that someone had left there.> Even after explaining to Shag that I had left it there and it was an innocent ball of twine, he was not satisfied. He said that someone had used me to put a "juju" on him. He would not tell me what a juju was or what it meant. He was unwilling to discuss it at all. However, he never felt comfortable whenever I came around. He said that I made him feel "jubous".> I had heard that term used many times before. It means nervously fearful with a connotation of spookiness. In typing this I have for the first time seen the similarities of the words "juju" and "jubous". Surely they are kin. Grace and Peace to you....khandu


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Subject: RE: Mississippi Folklore Question
From: okthen
Date: 06 Oct 00 - 06:58 PM

this is partly to refresh this thread, and partly to maybe open up a discusion on the etymology of words like "ju-ju" or "gris-gris". i find the subject interesting but as a layman, can't really add anything.

random thought throws up christian mass parody french/creole? language.

interested in others thoughts.

cheers

bill


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Subject: RE: Mississippi Folklore Question
From: khandu
Date: 06 Oct 00 - 10:30 PM

To the best of my unresearched thoughts, gris-gris may be translated grey-grey, referring to the color. I do not know why I think this, or, if I am correct, what it means. Perhaps I'm totally off base.Maybe some other catters can help. khandu


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Subject: RE: Mississippi Folklore Question
From: khandu
Date: 12 Oct 00 - 08:13 PM

Mark, I thought of something else you may find interesting, though it does not answer your original question. Several of my uncles claimed to be able to "devine" water. (Water witching as they called it.)I considered it a bunch of hooey, however, I was treated to an impressive demonstration. My dad could "buy warts". If he saw a wart on someone, he would ask them to sell the wart to him. He would pay a dime for the wart. He would then hold his hand over the wart and say "It's mine now." In a day or two, the wart would be gone from the persons body. It did not appear on Dad's. He did not like to do it, said it made him feel "jubous"! I don't explians 'em, I just tells 'em.>khandu


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Subject: RE: Mississippi Folklore Question
From: Sorcha
Date: 12 Oct 00 - 08:32 PM

Ju-ju and gris-gris are both charms or curses. Gris-gris are also usually bags of herbs, feathers, and stuff. They can be either good or bad. I believe they are African/French terms. All this is the religion commonly called VooDoo or Voudoun.


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Subject: RE: Mississippi Folklore Question
From: Ebbie
Date: 12 Oct 00 - 10:30 PM

On the subject of removing warts, Khandu, I have a unfailing method. I rub a penny firmly on and around the wart- in a couple of days you can see the wart shrinking and wrinkly, and within a couple of weeks it is entirely gone. I have never known it to fail and I have done it many times.

The last one I did, earlier this year, was on the top of my hand for a year or more and the sight bothered me. I finally got around to doing something about it. Now all that's there is what appears to be a light brown freckle.

When I was a child, I saw an old man do that to a kid's wart- and he said he would have to throw away the penny. I never do. I have no idea whether there is copper transference or if I could just as reliably use a pebble or a raw egg. It's entirely possible that it has to do with my own trust and belief. But it does work.

Ebbie


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Subject: RE: Mississippi Folklore Question
From: harpgirl
Date: 26 Nov 02 - 07:53 PM

I thought this link should be pasted here:

http://www.loc.gov/folklife/guides/Mississippi.html


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Subject: RE: Mississippi Folklore Question
From: EBarnacle1
Date: 27 Nov 02 - 02:26 PM

Sounding out "jubous," as well as looking at it, I wonder whether it [and possibly juju] might come from dubious. The phrase "I feel jubous" somewhat similar in the essence of its meaning to the description to what "I feel jubous" could mean.

As far as water witching, it works whether you believe or not. I learned it as a surveyor. We used bent welding rods to locate, water supply lines, electrical cables, gas lines and sewers. The key to locating things was simply to know what you are looking for. We were often more accurate than the maps we were working from.


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Subject: RE: Mississippi Folklore Question
From: Chris C
Date: 27 Nov 02 - 03:32 PM

Here's a good site on this sort of thing:
click here
BTW: I have also heard pf the term "mojo" or "mojo hand" used to mean a monkey's (or similiar) hand/paw used as a talisman, usually worn on a necklace of beads, etc.
There's a picture of Johnny Shines wearing one on one of his album covers. There was also a tribute to Muddy Waters show shot for public TV in Chicago in which Dr. John presents Muddy Waters with one as a gift.
Any further info?
-Chris


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Subject: RE: Mississippi Folklore Question
From: Chris C
Date: 27 Nov 02 - 03:35 PM

Oops: clicker didn't work!
Website is www.luckymojo.com
Thanks!
Google search of Blues, hoodoo, mojo turns up this type of thing.

fixed the link joe clone


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Subject: RE: Mississippi Folklore Question
From: GUEST,Auntie Enn
Date: 02 Jul 11 - 06:18 PM

Regarding the term 'jubous', it's a slurring of the word 'dubious'. Many of my relatives from the lower Blue Ridge Mountain area (North & South Carolina and Georgia) used this term when they were leery or doubtful about something.


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Subject: RE: Mississippi Folklore Question
From: Bobert
Date: 02 Jul 11 - 11:01 PM

Lived in mountain hollers (Blue Ridge) for half my life and mountain talk can vary from holler to holler... Hollers folks tend to feud from holler to holler and what goes on in one might not go on in the next one down...

Mr. Clifford called compost "compoach" and Costa "Sosco" and Walmart, "Walmarx"... All the men called each other "Honey" in the last holler I lived???

On another subject, mojo is anything that is spiritual and spiritual is in the eyes of the beholder... Back in the Virginia holler I lived I'd be back in the woods cuttin' firewood and kept seein' this short piece of wood about 1 inch round and maybe 4 inches long... I'd see it and then it'd be gone but kept coming back... One day I was on my tractor pushing up a bunch of logs and got off to do somethin' and looked down and there it was again... That mojo... Lotta stuff got them spiritual things going on...

B~


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