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From:
Subject: Superstitions and folk practices.
Date: Tue, 22 Aug 2006 13:27:40 EDT


Dawn,

There is a little book of folk practices and superstitions in the Egerland
--

Brauchtum und Volksglaube im Kreis Mies by Karl Storch.

Of course it is in German..

The first half follows the various practices associated with holdays. The
back 1/2 of the book is "Der Lebenslauf" and covers the folk practices around
pregnancy, birth, baptism , planting, harvest, and so on.

I don't recall if I read it in that book or in another, but one superstition
I noted and have never forgotten was that when a fire threatened to burn a
whole village, a walk-about with the mother of a newborn was thought to halt
the spread of the flames (in the meantime they removed he thatch from roofs of
the most threatened buildings as a desperate measure to remove kindling.).

Other practices I recall were that the women who visited a mother with a
newborn must never say the babe was beautiful or otherwise complment it or i
would create and evil spell on the infant. They also might contribute special
items to a small purse (drawstring bag) in the baby's crib that contained
talismans against evil spirits.

The midwife had tu bury the placenta under a fruit tree.

Given that the Egerland was once a part of northern Bavaria I suspect that
these practices came from Bavaria.

LaVern J. Rippley has also published a book in English titled: Tjhose
Strange German Ways" or something like that. It should be available for
interlibrary loan and should be easy to find with the author's name. If you use
his name on and Internet search you may come up with other books he has written
abou German Americans or Germans in general that might also have some
information about fold practices / superstitions kept since pagan times.

Karen


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