Volume V, No. 1, Fall 1977


compiled by Beverly Barber

Tradition is a timeless part of the Ozarks. Even today many Ozarkians believe there is only one way to go about things, and when you go against tradition, you're tempting fate. Here are some beliefs concerning the way things are done.

If someone hands you a pocket knife, be sure you hand it back the way it was given to you, with the blade in or out. Otherwise bad luck will come your way.

If you go in one door and go out another you're bringing company.

When walking with a friend across a bridge, never walk side by side.

It's lucky to have your bed facing east.

If you prick your finger while quilting, be careful not to get any blood on the quilt. If you do you'll cry a tear for every stitch you sew.

Bad luck will follow if two people pass a tree on opposite sides. The only way to break the bad spell is to say, "Bread and butter" and retrace your steps.

If you have a splinter in your finger, when you get it out, rub it in your hair and you'll have good luck.

The people of the Ozarks had many beliefs on clothing including .....

If you marry in black you'll wish you were back.

When you find the hem of your dress turned up kiss it and you'll get a new dress.

A death in your family will result if you buy new clothes to wear to a funeral.

Because Ozarkians lived so close to nature many of their beliefs were about wildlife and plants.

To hear the shriek of an owl is a bad omen.

A crow on the roof is a sign of death.

When a rooster crows in the night, you'll have company the next day.

If you see a dead red bird under a tree you'll have bad luck.

But seeing a live bluebird under a tree is good luck.

To dream of being thrown from a horse is bad luck.

It is bad luck to kill a singing cricket.

When you see a hollow tree in the woods while on your way home you'll have misfortune.

Weather is a touchy subject. If the weather was bad it often caused crops to fail. Because it played such a large part in their lives, many beliefs soon developed about weather.

If it rains on your wedding day you'll cry that many tears.

In the dry summer when a spring goes down into the ground watch it for when it comes back up it will rain.

A lot of crickets in the summer means you'll have an early winter.

If you hear crickets on a warm summer night there is a rain coming.

But when you hear a frog croak in the morning on a cloudy day it won't rain.

If you use for firewood in your house a tree struck by lightning then your house will also be struck by lightning.


Copyright © 1981 BITTERSWEET, INC.

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