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have to turn back, you should make a cross on the road and spit on it, and return to the house, moving backwards. — If a black cat cross the road, you should make a cross in the road and turn back. — If you sweep your floor at night, pile the dirt in the corner, or you will sweep out some of your family; sweep out of doors, become homeless, will come to want. - Don't look at a cross-eyed woman: something will happen before you get home, — dead bad luck. (Virginia.)
If your left eye jump, if your mother's first child was a boy, it is bad luck; if a girl, good luck. If your right eye jump, if your mother's first child was a boy, it is good luck; if a girl, bad luck. But sometimes people, disregarding the sex distinction, will say, “Now my left eye jump, is surely going to cry." (Charleston, S.C.)
If a cat take up at your house, it is good luck. - Good luck to have a black cat with not one spot on it, a clean, clear black, in the house. I knew an old woman who kept a black cat to work witch for her.' — If a dog follow you in the street, keep him. (General in South.)
DEATH AND BURIAL. DEATH-SIGNS. - If you have a dog in the house and he lies on his back with his feet in the air, some one in the house is going to die; if the dog lies that way in the yard, the neighbor who lives in the direction his head is turned will die. — If you hear a mourning-dove around your house, some one in the house will die unless you tie a knot into each corner of your apron. Then the mourning-dove will stop mourning and go away. If any one call your name, and you answer or go to see and find nobody has called you, you are going to die. The spirit of your dead mother or father or of some relative has called you. So, if you are called, do not answer. - After a death a looking-glass must be covered up. The dead body can see in, and the reflection of the dead person goes into the mirror and takes away the living person. - A child born with the face down is born to be drowned, will end in a water-grave. (Charleston, S.C.)
If a digdee owl whoop on a tree near a house or on a chimney, it is a sign of death in the neighborhood or in the house. People in the house would put salt on the fire to burn the tail of the bird on the chimney, or would turn a pair of shoes upside down with the toes under the bed, or would turn clothes inside out. The owl would stop hollering and fly away. (Virginia.)
FUNERAL. - During the watch-night or the sittin'-up, when coffee and food are served and hymns sung and shouts danced, the corpse, which is dressed immediately after death, is placed on a coolin'board. This coolin'-board consists of two planks supported by a "horse" at either end, and covered with a sheet which hangs down
1 Compare Bahamas, MAFLS 13 : 56 (note 1). — E. C. P.
to the floor. Another sheet covers the body; and over the face is another sheet, which is lifted up when the mourners address the corpse. Mourners may talk to the body to this effect: “Mandy, you gone an' left me. . . . I may be nex'. . . . Po' Mandy! ... Po' John! ..." A plateful of salt and ashes is placed under the coolin'-board, where the body is cooling off. Whatever disease the body has goes into the ashes and salt. “Ashes takes up from de body de disease.” These ashes are carried to the grave; and at the words "ashes to ashes and dust to dust,” they are thrown into the grave. Others “dash in dirt.” As people "pitch in de dirt," they sing. Burials are head to the east, “so they will rise." I think it is because of the star in the East at the Saviour's birth. (General in South.)
If there is a dead body in the house, you should not have a cat in the house. The cat will go up on top of the body and scratch the face. — A cat, a black cat, will suck a child's breath until the child dies. The cat will go up on the child's chest and purr. As the child's breath comes out, the cat will breathe it in. So that it is dangerous to leave a cat in the house with a little child.
1 In the minds of the performers, this part of the funeral service appears to be an exorcising-rite. - E. C. P.
FOLK-LORE OF THE CHEROKEE OF ROBESON COUNTY,
BY ELSIE CLEWS PARSONS. ONE morning in March, 1919, into my canoe-camp on the Lumbee or Lumber River came a boy with a gun. After a greeting, he sat down on his haunches by the cook-fire and watched. He asked no questions, but he answered them unconstrainedly He was Claymiller Lockley, named, as his mother told us later, for a son of Jesse James, the “dressparader;" and he had a brother Coleyounger, named for the other son of the desperado. Seeing the camp-smoke, Claymiller had told his mother he was going to take his gun and make out he was hunting rabbits, and find out about the camp. His family lived a half mile or so down the river, near Wagram, in Scotland County; and here in a well-built, four or five roomed house, his parents had lived eighteen years as tenant farmers, according to a system common in the country, getting for their share half the crop they raised of cotton, corn, wheat, and watermelons.
Claymiller's father was called in from the farm so that I could see, as Mrs. Lockley put it, a real Indian. She had white blood, she said, for her father was a Scotchman; but she had no Negro blood: "There is no Negro blood in us Indians," – an assertion I was to hear again and again. She and all the children had quite curly hair, dark brown, the hair of one little girl lighter or "yaller.” Mr. Lockley's hair was dark brown and straight. He had high cheek-bones and aquiline nose, and his skin was comparatively dark. He had the deep-hazel eyes one notes as a distinctive eye-color of his people. The eyes of Mrs. Lockley and of the children were dark brown, negroid.
1 The following abbreviations have been used throughout this article in references to bibliographical citations: Bolte u. Polívka . .
J. BOLTE u. G. POLÍVKA, Anmerkungen zu den Kinder
u. Hausmärchen der Brüder Grimm. Leipzig, 1913. JAFL 6.
J. O. DORSEY, Two Biloxi Tales (Journal of American
Folk-Lore, 6 : 48–50). 1893. JAFL 26
J. R. SWANTON, Animal Stories from the Indians of the
Muskhogean Stock (Ibid., 26 : 193-218). 1913. JAFL 30
E. C. PARSONS, Tales from Guilford County, North
Carolina (Ibid., 30 : 168–200). 1917.
North Carolina (Ibid., 30 : 201–208). 1917.
JAMES MOONEY, Myths of the Cherokee (19th Annual
Report, Bureau of American Ethnology). 1897–98. Senate Document No. 677 The Indians of North Carolina (Senate Document
No. 677). 1915.
"What Indian tribe are you?" I asked Mrs. Lockley. “Cherokee.” – “And how many of you?” — “Thousands 'pon top of thousands. Dere's only us up dis way; but you'll see more down to Maxton, an' mo' an' mo' in Pembroke an' Lumberton."1— “And why do they call you ‘Cruatan'?" It was the way a white farmer of Scotch descent had referred to them the day before in telling me how much they kept to themselves, mixing with neither whites nor colored; how they had a different "tone" in speaking, "sounds French" (I failed to notice it in any instance); and how they were "a very kind people until they got mad, "— testimony to their "fierce temper," when aroused, that I got later from whites and Negroes. "Dey nice people," said one Negro; “but if you get dem against you, dey kill yer.” — “We tend to our business," an Indian put it, “don't boder with other people."
"Why Cruatan, or, as written, Croatan?" - "Because Ham McMillan gave that name," answered Mrs. Lockley. “Several years ago he went to Washington to see about the Indians' rights." Later, farther down the river and in the town of Pembroke, on asking the same question, I got the same answer; and in one log-cabin house the very government publication which sets forth the Croatan tale of the lost tribe from Roanoke Island was shown to me, "Indians of North Carolina" (Senate Document No. 677), 1915. The McMillan theory has become or is becoming a legend of the country, for in the store at Pembroke the town authority on Indian history was called in to repeat it to me. The narrator was kinsman of Henry Berry Lowrie, an outlaw equal in local fame to Jesse James; and the narrator was reputed to be one of the band that kept Lowrie from being arrested, although "he must have killed two or three hundred head." The father of the Lowries was a white "from the North;" the mother, a Cherokee from Indian Territory.
The great Removal to Indian Territory was referred to by the town historian and by others. “The people went away when I was a little girl," said one woman about eighty years old, "but a heap o' people staid." - "Why did your family stay?" – "I ruther stay where I was born an' raised.” According to the town historian, the
1 According to the census of 1910, there were in Robeson County 5,895 Indians; in Scotland County, 74 Indians; and all told there were 8,000 of these Indians in the Carolinas.
Mr. McMillan's pamphlet on Sir Walter Raleigh's Lost Colony was published in 1888. In 1885 the Legislature of North Carolina decreed that the Indians of Robeson County were to be known as “Croatan Indians." In 1911 the Legislature changed the name to "Indians of Robeson County," and in 1913 to “Cherokee Indians of Robeson County" (Senate Document No. 677, pp. 28-30).
. And yet there has been no connection, it is said, between these lowland Indians and the Cherokee nation (Senate Document No. 677, p. 236).
last speaker of the Cherokee language, one Will Lockler,' died about eight years ago. Mr. Lowrie himself knew a few words, — waka 2 ("cow," Spanish vaca I), sola ("good-morning"). I met nobody else who knew any Indian words at all. As for the few tales and riddles I gathered in, as well as certain unsophisticated beliefs, it is difficult to see in them any but Negro and white, presumedly Scotch, sources. Indeed, except for physical characters (and these, too, are mixed with white and frequently with unmistakable Negro characters) and except for manners (independence and a mixture of reserve and frankness), it is difficult, at least for the visitor, to see anything distinctively Indian about the people. The tie that mainly gives them a sense of community appears to be negative, -- the will not to be classified with Negroes by the whitęs, to whom racial discrimination seems to be an indespensable condition of life. "Which are the nicer to get on with, — Indians, or colored people?" I asked one white woman. “Colored people,” she answered. “If you don't treat de Indians as whites, dey get mad wid you." From hotels and drug-stores, “as far as the fountain goes," Indians are excluded; but they use the waiting-rooms and cars for the whites, "won't travel any other way," complained the railway officials; and, unlike the Negroes, they are not disfranchised. Nor do they vote consistently the Democratic ticket; their vote, according to their white critics, is purchasable and "wishywashy." The country goes Democratic, but at the last presidential election the Indian vote went Republican. In recent years the State has provided separate schools; formerly they were quite illiterate, since they were not admitted into white schools, and to Negro schools they would not go. Their separate churches are Methodist and Baptist. The bridge near which I was for a time encamped was a place for baptizing, the river making a little bay, where "the Free-Will Baptists put you under all the way.'
It was from this camp, to which there were many visitors from the near-by road leading into Maxton, three miles away, that my country acquaintance spread. And in one hospitable house a few hundred yards distant I spent hour on hour, watching the quilting that was in
1 Lochlayah (Lochler, Locklear, Lochley, Lochlyear) is, according to Mr. McMillan, a native Cherokee name. It is largely on the matter of names that Mr. McMillan bases his argument for the European-Roanoke ancestry of the "Croatan.” He finds a number of names of the lost colonists common names to-day among the Indians. He ignores the extreme unlikelihood of white captives, women and children, perpetuating their European names in a tribe which would undoubtedly give them Indian names and pay no attention to their European names; and he ignores the fact that the names of Raleigh's colonists, common Scotch or English names, were undoubtedly the names, too, of later immigrants to the Carolinas. The Indians, like the Negroes, have been taking their names from the whites for generations.
3 Compare RBAE 19 : 265.