Volume IV, No. 1, Fall 1976
A lot of the Ozarkians grew up as farmers, therefore farming became an important part of their life. Droughts and floods could ruin crops and food so as the years went by food became the basis for many beliefs.
Don't plant peppers when the signs are going up or you'll have all foliage and no peppers.
Any true hillbilly will never burn walnut shells.
Never pass a piece of bread on a knife. A quarrel is sure to follow.
If you do not cut your bread evenly, you will never be rich.
If you eat black-eyed peas or cabbage on New Years Day, you will have money in your pocket all year.
Eating the crusts of bread is supposed to make you pretty or make your hair curl.
It is bad luck to dream of eating cabbage.
Never let the supply of salt get too low. If you do let it run completely out it means a whole year of poverty and privation for the family.
A woman mixing a cake should always stir the batter in one direction. If she stirs it first one way and then another she will spoil the cake.
Thunder and lightning cause milk to sour in a few hours, even in the coldest weather.
In the Ozarks people depend greatly on good and bad luck in everything from work to play.
Don't sweep the dust from your house from the front door. You will sweep your good fortune away.
The mountain housewife is careful never to drop a broom so that it falls flat on the floor, and it is considered bad luck for a woman to step over a broom handle.
A person may go barefoot or shod anywhere, but it is tempting fate to go out of doors in one's stocking feet, or to walk in the house with one shoe on and one shoe off.
It is unlucky to light three cigarettes with one match.
To have water spilled over you is lucky.
It is unlucky to spin a knife around on the table.
To spill salt on New Years Day is unlucky.
A button received as a gift is always lucky no matter what the color.
Have you ever been asked the question, "What does this mean?" Some of these beliefs may answer your question.
If on your way you catch a falling leaf, it means a year of happiness.
A broom standing in the corner of a room means a stranger is coming.
If a hairpin falls out, someone is thinking of you.
If you sing before breakfast, you will cry before supper.
If you trim your nails on Sunday, you will be sick before the next Sunday.
Fright can turn a person's hair white over night.
Copyright © 1981 BITTERSWEET, INC.
Next Article | Table of Contents | Other Issues
Local History Home