Ozark Encyclopedia – B – Birds

Owl Owl guts over the doorway – “A man in Fort Smith, Arkansas, told me that his father placed the entrails of a big horned owl over the door, to keep witches away.” ~Randolph OMF 284 Owl gizzard worn for luck – “…Otto Ernest Rayburn tells of a man on trial for hog-stealing who wore... Continue Reading →

285: Witch Animals

Witches have long had associations with certain animals. In the Ozarks we inherited a folk tradition from European, African, and Native sources, so when we talk about witch animals we have a wide variety to mention. First we can talk about white and black animals and their supernatural associations. Often black animals, like crows, ravens,... Continue Reading →

269: The Razorback

Across the world, the wild boar and feral pig (two distinct critters though often overlapping in legend) have been scaring hunters shitless for centuries. As a fiercely aggressive animal it’s no wonder there are so many legends surrounding the beast. Ozarkers inherited much of their razorback lore from their Appalachian ancestors, who most likely their... Continue Reading →

266: Birds, part II

Sources: Parler, Mary Celestia Folk Beliefs from Arkansas (FBA) Randolph, Vance Ozark Magic and Folklore (OMF) Owl Owl guts over the doorway – “A man in Fort Smith, Arkansas, told me that his father placed the entrails of a big horned owl over the door, to keep witches away.” ~Randolph OMF 284 Owl gizzard worn... Continue Reading →

265: Frogs and Toads

Sources: Carter, Kay & Bonnie Krause Home Remedies of the Illinois Ozarks (HRIO) Parler, Mary Celestia Folk Beliefs from Arkansas (FBA) Randolph, Vance Ozark Magic and Folklore (OMF) Frog tied around neck for asthma – “Otto Ernest Rayburn reports a case in which asthma was cured by tying a live frog on the patient’s throat.... Continue Reading →

259: Animal and Human Parts

Here are some uses of various animal and human bits in certain Ozark folk charms and remedies: Mole’s foot for teething – “Another way to make teeth come easier is to give the child a mole’s foot to play with. The old tradition is that it should be the left hind foot, but the big... Continue Reading →

244: Ozark Fairies

Fairy lore and beliefs here in the Ozarks has its origin in the folklore and traditions of the Scots-Irish settlers to the Appalachian Mountains. It was in these mountains and hills that the traditional European belief in the “Fair Folk,” “Good Folk,” “Gentry,” “Little People,” etc. mixed with the indigenous belief in the “Little People”... Continue Reading →

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