Category Archives: Other

Diwali – Diyas

General Information about Item:

  • Material Folklore: Ritual object
  • Language: English
  • Country: United States

Informant Data:

This informant is a junior at Dartmouth from Massachusetts. Her father is Indian and she celebrates Hindu holidays. She attended the Diwali celebration and the lighting of the diyas on the Green.

Contextual Data:

  • Social Context: Part of the Diwali celebrations at Dartmouth was lighting diyas on the Green, one of Dartmouth’s major landmarks. We interviewed our informant, a 19, who attended the ceremony.
  • Cultural Context: Diyas are lamps or candles that are traditionally lit to celebrate Diwali. They are used to symbolize the victory of light over darkness, or of good over evil, which is mentioned Diwali’s origin story. During Diwali in India, one can see thousands of diyas during Diwali. Even at the celebration on campus, there were at least a few hundred.


An image of the diyas being lit during the evening on the Green. We also transcribed the 19’s description of the lighting of the diyas.

Associated File:

Transcript of Associated File:

“We decided to have everyone go to the Green in order to light the diyas, which are an important part of Diwali. Diwali’s known as the festival of lights, so we wanted to make the display really beautiful. A lot of people ended up staying and eating the food afterwards.”

Informant’s Comments:

The informant helped organize the Diwali celebrations at Dartmouth this year.

Collector’s Comments:

I interviewed the informant immediately after the celebration, so she could recall it clearly.

Collector’s Name:

Celine Guan


India, holiday, Diwali, Material folklore



Informant: Libby Flint, age 59, New Orleans resident of 36 years, originally from Upstate New York and Vermont. Collected May 22, 2016 and recorded on iphone.

Verbal Lore: folk speech, slang- associated material Lore


United States of America

Context:the objects thrown to spectators at New Orleans parades


“ New Orleanians are crazy about their parades,  the parade participants throw items to the spectators these items are called ‘throws.’”


Informant: Erin Fell, age 21, New Orleans, LA. Collected on May 22, 2016 and recorded on iphone.

Transcript: The next up is “throws.” These are um, the trinkets that can be thrown during a Mardi Gras parade. They could be stuffed animals. They could be sparkly shoes, in the case of the Muses parade. For example, the throws tonight at Baccus were amazing.

collectors commentary:

Key words: Mardi Gras, New Orleans, throws, beads, doubloons, go cups


K&B purple

Informant: Libby Flint, age 59, New Orleans resident of 36 years, originally from Upstate New York and Vermont. Collected May 22, 2016 and recorded on iphone.

Verbal Lore: Folk speech, Slang– associated: material lore

context: a deep lavender color that is associate with the Katz and Bestoff (K&B) drugstore chain


“ There is something called ‘K&B purple’ that is a deep lavender that was used by the  Katz and Bestoff or K&B drugstore chain. Alas, that chain was bought bout by RiteAid.  Peoplw round here still know ehat shade K&B purple is.”

Collectors Commentary: The color is most prevalent on the awnings of riteaids in uptown and downtown new orleans RiteAids because the store did nto repalce the original purple awnings for the colors accociated with the Rite aid chain. Becaiuse K&B was a New orleans owned and run store  it was associated with new orleans and the city was sad to se the chain die and be bought out by a national chain. The purple color of the K&B stores was so bright and ubiquitiuosly associated with the store and thereforw with NO, that most new orleanians automatically associate the color with the city. It is  unique bit of slangbecaise of that historical and cultural connection with the city and the fact that the K&B chain did not exist outside of the city.

Informant info: (Left to Right) Sadhana Puri, age 20, Jessica Link, age 20, Alex Ledoux, age 21 all from New Orleans, LA


“Jessica: Do you guys like K and B, or like K and B purple.  Do you have your old people talk about that.

Alex: The store.  The grocery store.

Jessica: K and B used to be- Walgreens or Rite-aid bought all the K and B’s

Sadhana: Oh Yeah, but K and B was the local drug store.

Jessica: and it had an iconic purple color.  And so people will say like oh that’s K and B purple.  At least my grandma will,  She’ll point to something that’s the color purple and she’ll be like that’s “K and B purple.”  It’s not purple

Sadhana: That’s funny.”


Collector’s Comments:


Keywords: New Orleans, K&B, purple, Katz and Bestoff

“Brake Tag”

Brake Tag

Informant 1.Info: Caitlin Flint, age 21, Metairie, Louisiana. Collected May 22, 2016 on Iphone.

Verbal Lore; Folk Speech, slang


United States of America

Context: an inspection sticker for a car registered in the state of Louisiana. Needs to be annually renewed to  make sure the  car is in proper working order.

Transcript (if verbal lore)

“The third slang word is ‘brake tag.’ Brake tag is an inspection sticker that is given to you by the DMV- the Louisiana department of Motor Vehicles.  When your car has passed inspection and is able to be drived. You need to get it renewed every year or two. It is the exact same as an inspection sticker in any other state. I do not know why it is called Brake tag, but everyone I know has- everyone I know who is from New Orleans has always called it a brake tag, so  to use it in a sentence ‘oh, hey Dale,  I noticed that your brake tag was expired, you may want to go stop by the DMV to get a new one.’ That would  be about it.


Informant info: (Left to Right) Sadhana Puri, age 20, Jessica Link, age 20, Alex Ledoux, age 21 all from New Orleans, LA. Collected May 15, 2016 on iphone

“Alex: I looked up some things like what’s New Orleans slang, because I wasn’t sure what was slang and what was just normal. Brake tag was on that and I was just surprised that not everyone knows what a brake tag is.  It’s something you get on your car you put it in your windshield.  You have to get it changed every year, but like  I feel like they don’t necessarily check all the time.  You know you can get away with it.

Jessica: They don’t but also you can get a ticket. For having-

Alex: Yeah you can get a ticket so it’s like-

Jessica: I think they have them in some other states, but I don’t know what they’re called in other state.  But I knew that they were only called a brake tag in New Orleans or Louisiana

Alex: Really I did not

Sadhana: I thought it was all states, I thought it was just all states.  I thought it was just a general term.  It was surprising to me that it’s a New Orleans term.

Jessica: We have brake tag stations. There will be a sign that says brake tags, and I know what that means, it’s just on your car a sticker.

Jessica: I think other states, at least some have it, but I don’t know what they’re called.

Katelyn: Is it on the upper-

Alex: They check your brakes.

Katelyn: They check your brakes

Alex: Well they’re supposed to, but they usually just give you one

Jessica: Oh yeah this is that spelling of brake.

Alex: They’re supposed to check your car and make sure it’s like up to code or whatever the terminology is.

Jessica: It’s good

Katelyn: So it’s like uhm, shoot I forgot what it  is called.

Jessica: y’all have them

Katelyn: We do I forgot what it is called, it’s not called brake tag.

Sadhana: What do you call them.

Alex: What would it be called, I feel like brake tag is self explanatory.

Katelyn: It’s like registration you like update your tags.

Jessica: just a tag.

Katelyn: Tags.

Jessica: I think they might call them something else in like other places too, I’m not sure. Yeah.”

Collector’s comments: The term is so wide spread that most New orleanians don’t realize there is another term for the stickers, as such it is an entirely unique word to the city and a good example of New Orleans.

Tags/Keywords: New, Orleans Brake tag, car, Inspection sticker