Tag Archives: Ceremony

Ritual – Freshmen Fun Night

Title: Freshmen Fun Night

General Information about Item:

  • Genre: Customary
    • Subgenre:   Ritual, Ceremony
  • Language: English
  • Country of origin: USA

Informant Data: Wyatt Smith ’19 is a 20-year-old male caucasian light-weight rower from Hong Kong. He is a long-time rower, having rowed competitively before Dartmouth, and was recruited to Dartmouth’s D150 Lightweight Rowing team.

Contextual Data: 

Social Context: Races are incredibly competitive for lightweight rowing, mainly because the team competes directly with other college teams and because all the weekly practices/weight cutting is in preparation for these races. As such, to combat the pressure, rowers observe certain rituals outside of pure racing that build team unity and provide motivation to help them prepare for team cohesion during races. Freshmen Fun Night is an end-of-the-term ritual that takes place to initiate new rowers and incorporate them into the team.

Cultural Context: Freshmen Fun Night is a ritualistic ceremony that occurs every year and in the same way. It focuses on building team unity and reinforcing the commonalities between the rowers by not only initiating new rowers and incorporating them into the team formally, but also by identifying more experienced rowers who act as the ritual’s performers.

Item: This item is a customary piece of folklore that focuses on the passing down of a ritual that is suppose to help build team unity and ultimately bring later success at a race. It is customary because it is a single practiced ritual that happens every year in the same way that involves many different people within the folk group. It is folklore because it is performed by all the members of this folkgroup and celebrates their commonalities.

Associated media:

Transcript (8:00 – 8:48):

WS: “We have an event, uh, in the spring, between the Cornell, end of, right after, the Cornell race… between the Cornell race and the New England Championships where we have – it’s called Freshmen Fun Night…”

BC: “Right.”

WS: “… and it’s sort of a… initi… I’m gonna say initiation but not in the negative term. It’s a way for the freshmen to be initiated into the team – not through any means of harassment or any negative means but really a positive um…”

BC: “Like a ceremony.”

WS: “Yeah, a ceremony if you will, where the freshmen really become lightweight rowers…”

BC: “Right.”

WS: “… and that is very ritualistic and it’s done the same way every year. Um… and it involves talking about past rowers on the team and like past ‘legends’ on the team.”

Collector’s Comments:

  • The sharing and passing down of this ritual is interesting because it focuses on all members of the folk group. All members of D150 crew participate in this ritual and it helps remind them of who they are and why they are similar to each other. This also reinforces the ritual itself because a stronger more unified team is more likely to want to participate in these pan-folk group rituals and to preserve them.

Collector’s Name: Brian Chekal

Bequest – No Weigh Day shirt

Title: No Weigh Day shirt

General Information about Item:

  • Genre: Material, Customary Folklore
    • Subgenre: Ritual
  • Language: English
  • Country of origin: USA

Informant Data: Grant McArtor ’19 is a 21-year-old caucasian male student from Spartenburg, South Carolina in the United States. He was originally born in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. He has been rowing light-weight crew for five years (since junior year of high school) and has rowed on Dartmouth’s D150 varsity team since his freshman year. He has recently left the team.

Contextual Data: 

Social Context: As with any bequest, this item is traditionally passed down from graduating seniors to underclassmen on the rowing team who are deemed most fit to receive the object. This exchange happens annually in the spring after the competition season has come to a close. The event involves the whole team and requires presence for several hours, as each senior may give away several bequests, each with a description of the significance of the item and why it goes to the recipient underclassmen. During the process, teammates must wait until they either bequeath or are bequeathed an item. It is a spectacle for the team and is often humorous and emotional. Underclassmen express gratitude through words and little physical contact as to expedite the process.

Cultural Context: Bequests are handed down through a line of rowers throughout the years. This line is connected through a common trait (e.g., captainship, knowledge of statistics, heavy weight). The bequest links generations, creating team cohesiveness through history. The bequest indicates a unique importance and role in the team and generally shows that the recipient upholds the values of the team. Rowers wear bequests to exhibit that they are deserving of the honor bestowed upon them.

Item: This bequest is a blue tank top with neon pink letters that say “No Weigh Day.” It is traditionally given to the heaviest freshman rower.

Associated file (a video, audio, or image file):

  • Image unavailable

Collector’s Comments: The receipt of the bequest resembles a rite of passage. Before the ceremony, the rower is a freshman member. He is then separated from his fellow freshmen as he is called up by the senior. During the transition phase, he receives the bequest and shows gratitude to the senior. He is then incorporated back into the team as a new version (labeled by the bequest) of his old self.

Collector’s Name: Sam Gochman

Tags/Keywords: D150, Dartmouth Light-Weight Rowing, Bequests, shirt, No Weigh Day

Bequest – Pocock belt

Title: Pocock belt

General Information about Item:

  • Genre: Material, Customary Folklore
    • Subgenre: folk costume, traditions
  • Language: English
  • Country of origin: USA

Informant Data: Will Kaufman ’20 is a 19-year-old male caucasian light-weight rower from Boulder, CO. He is the middle child between two sisters. He started rowing his freshman fall upon entering Dartmouth. As a walk-on rower, he came in knowing nothing about the sport.

Contextual Data: 

Social Context: As with any bequest, this item is traditionally passed down from graduating seniors to underclassmen on the rowing team who are deemed most fit to receive the object. This exchange happens annually in the spring after the competition season has come to a close. The event involves the whole team and requires presence for several hours, as each senior may give away several bequests, each with a description of the significance of the item and why it goes to the recipient underclassmen. During the process, teammates must wait until they either bequeath or are bequeathed an item. It is a spectacle for the team and is often humorous and emotional. Underclassmen express gratitude through words and little physical contact as to expedite the process. It has been compared to receiving a Christmas present. This specific bequest is passed down from walk-on rower to walk-on rower.

Cultural Context: Bequests are handed down through a line of rowers throughout the years. This line is connected through a common trait (e.g., captainship, knowledge of statistics, heavy weight). The bequest links generations, creating team cohesiveness through history. The bequest indicates a unique importance and role in the team and generally shows that the recipient upholds the values of the team. Rowers wear bequests to exhibit that they are deserving of the honor bestowed upon them.

Item: This bequest is the Pocock belt. It is a strap used to tie down boats now repurposed as a belt. Pocock is a rowing brand originally made by an Englishman working out of the University of Washington. This bequest is passed down from walk-on rower to walk-on rower. This bequest was given to the informant by Widerschein ’17. The belt is thought to have originally been taken from the Dartmouth boathouse. The bequest is worn during meetings and important events such as socials and an end of the year celebration.

Associated media:

Informant’s Comments: Names on the belt are Widerschein ’17 and Kaufman ’20.

Collector’s Comments:

  • The receipt of the bequest resembles a rite of passage. Before the ceremony, the rower is a freshman member. He is then separated from his fellow freshmen as he is called up by the senior. During the transition phase, he receives the bequest and shows gratitude to the senior. He is then incorporated back into the team as a new version (labeled by the bequest) of his old self.

Collector’s Name: Sam Gochman

Tags/Keywords: D150, Dartmouth Light-Weight Rowing, Bequests, Pocock

Bequest – Captain’s Henley jacket

Title: Captain’s Henley jacket

General Information about Item:

  • Genre: Material, Customary Folklore
    • Subgenre: folk costume, traditions
  • Language: English
  • Country of origin: USA

Informant Data: Grant McArtor ’19 is a 21-year-old caucasian male student from Spartenburg, South Carolina in the United States. He was originally born in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. He has been rowing light-weight crew for five years (since junior year of high school) and has rowed on Dartmouth’s D150 varsity team since his freshman year.

Contextual Data:

Social Context: As with any bequest, this item is traditionally passed down from graduating seniors to underclassmen on the rowing team who are deemed most fit to receive the object. This exchange happens annually in the spring after the competition season has come to a close. The event involves the whole team and requires presence for several hours, as each senior may give away several bequests, each with a description of the significance of the item and why it goes to the recipient underclassmen. During the process, teammates must wait until they either bequeath or are bequeathed an item. It is a spectacle for the team and is often humorous and emotional. Underclassmen express gratitude through words and little physical contact as to expedite the process. It has been compared to receiving a Christmas present. This bequest is passed down from current captain to future captain.

Cultural Context: Bequests are handed down through a line of rowers throughout the years. This line is connected through a common trait (e.g., captainship, knowledge of statistics, heavy weight). The bequest links generations, creating team cohesiveness through history. The bequest indicates a unique importance and role in the team and generally shows that the recipient upholds the values of the team. Rowers wear bequests to exhibit that they are deserving of the honor bestowed upon them.

Item: This bequest is the Captain’s Henley jacket. It is green with white trim and has a D150 patch on the breast pocket. It is from the Henley Royal Regatta, a rowing event held annually on the River Thames in England. The jacket is a high honor on the team, only given to the rising captain of the next year.

Associated media:

Informant’s Comments: He expressed that bequests are not limited to clothing items, but clothing is a common way to exhibit membership to the team. He said that the Henley jacket is one of the highest honors in terms of bequests.

Collector’s Comments:

  • The informant recently left the team.
  • The receipt of this bequest in particular resembles the marking or transfiguration of the hero in Propp’s list of fairy tale functions.
  • The receipt of the bequest resembles a rite of passage. Before the ceremony, the rower is a freshman member. He is then separated from his fellow freshmen as he is called up by the senior. During the transition phase, he receives the bequest and shows gratitude to the senior. He is then incorporated back into the team as a new version (labeled by the bequest) of his old self.

Collector’s Name: Sam Gochman

Tags/Keywords: D150, Dartmouth Light-Weight Rowing, Bequests, Henley

“TDX-mas”

“TDX-mas” Initiation/RitualScreen Shot 2016-05-31 at 4.41.43 PM

  • Informant Info
    • Sophomore Year
  • Type of Lore
    • Customary
  • Language
    • English
  • Country of Origin
    • United States
  • Social / Cultural Context
    • Dartmouth Fraternity
  • Informant’s Comments
    • Taken light-hearted yet seriously as all brothers of the house partake in the festivity. The basement is completely covered in Christmas-styled wrapping paper. This is done for an end of the term party that the entire school is welcome to join.
  • Collector’s Comments
    • Anonymity in order to not reveal identity of fraternity and informant
    • Further research of publicly available fraternity information revealed that this practice is also done at other campuses that have this fraternity, such as MSU, dating back past 2010.

Initiation Ceremony

 

  • Initiation ceremony tradition
  • Informant info
    • Junior sorority member at Penn State University
  • Type of lore (verbal, material or customary), Genre, Subgenre
    • Customary
  • Language
    • English
  • Country of Origin
    • United States
  • Social / Cultural Context
    • These are some traditions performed every year to start and during the initiation ceremony
  • Informant’s comments
    • Every year for the initiation ceremony we have a candlelight ceremony where all members have to dress in all white and decorate the suite with candles and white curtains. Each potential member has to enter the house three at a time in alphabetical order, and is then sworn in. It is taken very seriously and is a big tradition for us. It is assumed when you pledge the sorority you will also take these longstanding traditions.
  • Collector’s comments
    • the specific sorority is kept anonymous in order to protect the traditions of the sorority and the informant

 

 

Having a Ball

Title: Having a Ball

Informant info: Informant name is Jason Laackmann. Jason is twenty-eight years old and attends Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH as a United States Army Veteran. Jason served in the Army for five years in active duty and continues to serve in the Minnesota National Guard. Jason has served in Fort Bend, Georgia, Fort Riley, Kansas, and overseas in Eastern Afghanistan.

Type of lore: Customary, Ceremony, Tradition

Language: English

Country of Origin: USA

Social / Cultural Context: Jason was interviewed at Dartmouth College. Jason was asked to talk about any ceremonies or traditions that took place in his time in the army.

Associated File: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6KcnEdk7Q4 (start at 2:05)

Transcript: [I have recorded the item exactly how it was told to me in the interview]: Each, each unit has there own, uh, specific history. So a lot of what you’re doing in the military is tied to your unit lineage. Um, so understanding, uh what your unit did in previous wars is really important. Um, so change of command ceremonies are always important. There’s a lot of, regal things that happen with that. Um, so I guess some of the main traditions is to have a ball and bring your girlfriend or husband and uh have like a traditional dance, if you will.

Informant’s comments: Jason has been to a few military balls and values the regal traits.

Collector’s comments: During Jason’s response he smiled when recalling the ball and was very animated when he talked about the idea of lineage in the military.

Pre-Deployment Ceremonies

Title: Pre-Deployment Ceremonies

Informant info: Matt Menezes. Informant attends Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH as a United States Army Veteran (2004-2013) . Informant was a member of the 82nd Airborne Division and deployed twice to Afghanistan (2007-08, 2008-09) as well as spent two years as a drill sergeant for basic combat training (2011-13).

Type of lore: Customary/ Verbal, Tradition, Ceremony, Recipe, Toasts

Language: English

Country of Origin: USA

Social / Cultural Context: Informant was interviewed at Dartmouth College. Informant was asked about various ceremonies that they experienced during their time in the military. Informant took a minute to remember the different ceremonies. The informant discussed the pre-deployment ceremony and how they would make different mixes of drinks that were inspired by alcohol from different regions of the world in which they had military victories.

Associated file:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/11vv5a27kzlycgq/Dartmouth_Folklore_Collections_Matt_Menezes.mp4?dl=0

 

Transcript: [I have recorded the item exactly how it was told to me in the interview]: So the military in general has ceremonies for everything. Going from promotion ceremonies, award ceremonies and just kind of pre-deployment ceremonies. One of the things, one of the ceremonies in particular is the pre and post deployment ceremony, where we basically mix a bunch of different liquors together to be a grog that is supposed to signify all our units past combat contributions in the United States History. So for example, I remember one of them was Schnapps for defeating the Germans. Another one was, I think a bottle of wine for beating the Italians and something else for the French, but I can’t remember.

Informant’s comments: Spoke about how those ceremonies were always good times.

Collector’s comments: Although informant spoke light-heartedly about the pre-deployment ceremonies, the interviewer noted a very serious tone to the ceremonies as well.

The Last Roll Call

Title: The Last Roll Call

Informant info: Informant requested to remain anonymous. Informant attends Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH as a United States Army Veteran. Informant enlisted in the Army in 2005 and was a member of the Army Infantry 10th Mountain Division of Fort Drum, New York. Informant served in Iraq from 2006 to 2007. Informant is 28 years old.

Type of lore: Customary, Ceremony

Language: English

Country of Origin: USA

Social / Cultural Context: Informant was interviewed at Dartmouth College. Informant was asked about various ceremonies that they experienced during their time in the military. During this, the informant described a ceremony that honors a soldier that has died in action. After their death, the members of that soldiers platoon or squad go through their roll call. When they get to the name of the deceased, they call their first name, their last name and their rank. After there is silence from no response, the sergeant goes on to explain that this soldier was killed in action and what they were doing. After this, there is a flag ceremony in their honor.

Associated file: Informant requested to remain completely anonymous.

Transcript: [I have recorded the item exactly how it was told to me in the interview]: I don’t know like whenever someone dies, like during their memorial ceremony they do like this roll call. So they’ll like call like a list of names of like… so they’ll have like a company roster or whatever- I forget how they order it- but they’ll… so everyone’s doing their like drill and ceremony… so they’re doing all the formal positioning and movements and things like that. Speaking in like funky voices like Attention! And its like all that parade stuff that you think you know about. And like I don’t know I’ve always found it very uncomfortable because they do this roll call thing whenever someone dies for their memorial and its like they’ll say like a handful of peoples names and they’ll call out present. And then they’ll get to the deceased and obviously he’s not there to be like “here!” (laughs) you know so they just call his name several times and then um they’ll say you know they’ll say his name… they’ll say his full name… they’ll say his full name and rank… and then um they’ll say he’s not here and then they’ll say that he was like killed in action dad a dad a da. They’ll do like the flag ceremony.

Informant’s comments: Informant noted that this ceremony happened a few times while serving. Informant also said that “It’s really horrible its always been really weird. I think is kinda dumb personally but I mean the military is quite traditional.”

Collector’s comments: Informant sat for a few seconds before answering. During the informant’s response, they used a different voice, like that of an Army Lieutenant. I marked this in bold-type font.