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AfriGeneas Africa Research Forum

Re: African 'Old Wives' Tales
In Response To: African 'Old Wives' Tales ()

Chris, I am full of superstitions, as is my family. We adhere to them [the older of us, that is] because we have witnessed what happens when those 'superstitions' are ignored. The origins? I have no idea, but here are a few:

1) Never wash clothes on New Year's day, or you will wash someone out of your family [I ignored this, and, to my horror, my mother got a phone call one New Year's Day, while my clothes were drying on the clothesline, to say that her sister had just passed].

2) Let the first person who enters your house on New Year's day be a male, and you will have good luck throughout the year.

3) When the New Year arrives, make sure your house is clean and in good order, and it will remain that way for the rest of the year.

4) Never let anyone toss or otherwise place their hat on a bed where someone sleeps.

5) Never, when walking with family, let yourselves be split apart by an object or person. If you are going past a telephone pole, for example, make sure each of you takes the same path [right or left]around that pole.

Origins? Again, I don't know. Thus far, I have not been able to trace any African ancestry in my line, but I grew up in a segretated neighborhood where everyone was black. I vaguely remember one African family living there.

Perhaps these superstitions were inherited from African slaves or free African immigrants. Do any of them ring a bell?

Spivey


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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