Tag Archives: tradition

Patriots Beer Burial

Title: Patriots Beer Burial

General Information about Item:

  • Type of Folklore: Customary Folklore – Tradition
  • Language: English
  • Country of Origin: United States
  • Informant: ET
  • Date Collected: 5/7/20

Informant Data:

  • ET is a Dartmouth student in the class of 2022. He was born and raised in Framingham, Massachusetts. He has been an avid Boston and New England sports fan his entire life, whether that is the Red Sox, Bruins, or Patriots. During his time at Dartmouth, ET enjoys skiing competitively as part of the Club Ski Team. His plans after Dartmouth include becoming a foreign policy analyst.

Contextual Data:

  • Cultural Context: The New England Patriots are both one of the most hated and most beloved teams in all of American sports. Their fans are also regarded as being rowdy, and are considered to be obnoxious by some fans of rival teams. Much of this disdain stems from the fact that the Patriots are also one of the most successful football teams in recent memory. The Patriots’ home field is Gillette Stadium, outside of which many fans choose to tailgate before home games.
  • Social Context: Tailgating is the practice of many fans gathering before a game that is going to be played at their home stadium. Tailgating consists of driving to the parking lot of said stadium, and then often drinking copious amounts of alcohol in the hours leading up to the start of the sporting event.

Item:

  • ET’s family has a long-standing tradition that has been occurring during the Patriots’ season for as long as he can remember. The extended family of ET all meet to tailgate at the exact same location outside of the McDonald’s restaurant nearest to Gillette Stadium each game of the Patriot’s season. Friends of the family can also be present, and before the first game of the season, the group digs a hole near the McDonald’s parking lot and buries several cans of beer in this same location. Then, they leave the beers buried for the entire 17-week regular season, and then before the Patriots’ first playoff game of the season, the group uncovers and drinks the beers they have been storing in that hole.

Image of typical tailgate at a Patriots Game

Associated File:

Transcript:

  • “[My family and I] have [a tradition] for the Patriots. We tailgate at the exact same spot in the McDonald’s parking lot every single home game. So, the first game of the season, we dig a hole in the ground and bury a bunch of beers in there, and then at the first playoff game we dig them up and drink them. This will be right when we get there, about two or three hours before the game starts. It is us and some family friends who share season tickets.”

Informant’s Comments:

  • They have been doing this tradition since before ET was born. He thinks that it brings the Patriots good luck for the season.
  • The beers usually freeze and expand so they are actually full of dirt when they dig them up in early January. ET joked that they “marinate in the earth to get some of those nice earthy notes in the beer.”
  • ET also wears a specific game-day outfit for these Patriots games. This consists mainly of a jersey he wears on top, with a specific shirt underneath. He only washes the shirt if the Patriots lose.

Collector’s Comments:

  • I was very interested in this tradition. It seems completely counter-productive and wasteful to bury multiple beers in the ground for months. Additionally, the fact that many beers burst or become filled with dirt adds to the less-than appetizing taste of the beer. However, the argument that it brings the team good luck is a common theme in many traditions similar to this one.

Collector’s Name: James Baumann

Tags/Keywords:

  • Tradition
  • New England Patriots
  • Burial
  • Beer

Jesus and The Plastic Bong

Title: Jesus and the plastic bong

General information about item:

  • Tradition, Material Lore
  • Location: Appalachian Trail, United States
  • Informant: Jimmy Coleman
  • Date Collected: 11/06/19

Informant Data:

  • Jimmy Coleman, age 20, is a sophomore at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, where he is studying mathematics and computer science. He was born in Baltimore County and loves the outdoors, which he learned from his ample hiking and camping trips with his family as a child. He undertook his thru hiking adventure on the Appalachian Trail when he was 17 years old.

Contextual Data:

  • The Appalachian Trail (AT) begins in Springer Mountain in Georgia and continues north up the Eastern United States until Mount Katahdin in Maine. The trail is about 2,200 miles long and generally takes someone seven months to complete. People can hike this trail either from north to south (SOBO) or south to north (NOBO). 

Item:

  • Jimmy told us a tradition involving a man with the trail name Jesus and his plastic bong. Apparently, Jesus was a homeless man, a common demographic of people on the trail. He had been on the trail for many years, and he always had with him his plastic bong. Every time he passed through the midpoint of the trail, he carved a little notch in the bong. He would then pass it off to someone heading the opposite direction, so they could carry the bong. This created a tradition of hikers passing the bong to other hikers traveling the opposite direction, each time carving a little notch into the bong as they passed the midpoint of the trail.

Interview:

Collector notes:

  • I continued this conversation with Jimmy at a later point in order to gather additional information.

Collector: Erica Busch

Colorado Trail Cairns

Title: Cairns

General Information about Item:

  • Material and Customary Folklore (Tradition)
  • Informant: Sam Lincoln
  • Date Collected: 9 November 2019

Informant Data:

  • Sam Lincoln is a 21 year old college student studying mechanical engineering at Arizona State University. He was born in Wisconsin and raised in Arizona. He began overnight backpacking when he was 15 and hiked the Colorado Trail after he graduated from high school in 2016. He enjoys archery and playing video games. Sam is the twin brother of Rachel Lincoln, who collected this item.

Contextual Data:

  • Historical context: Humans have built cairns for thousands of years to memorialize the dead, track the calendar, and create landmarks. Now, cairns have become a fixture of hiking trails to show the way.
  • Social context: Hikers on all lengths of trails build cairns to leave a reminder of their presence. Though cairns serve practical purpose, popular trails usually have many more than necessary because building cairns is a tradition that helps hikers feel connected to the land.

Item:

  • A cairn is a man-made stack of rocks used to mark a trail route. The rocks are stacked and balanced in a manner that would not occur naturally, so they can easily be identified by hikers looking for a trail. Building cairns is a tradition across nearly all hiking trails.

Associated file:

Transcript:

  • “Cairns are just piles of rocks stacked up to mark the trail in places where you can’t really put a sign or there are no signs so people don’t get lost…Just a basic pyramid structure, just pile rocks up in a way that would not normally occur in nature so it’s pretty obvious that someone did it for, like, a purpose—which was to mark the trail.”

Informant’s comments:

  • The tallest cairn Sam saw on the Colorado Trail was about two feet tall.

Collector’s comments:

  • Unlike carving your name on trees or rocks, cairns are a memento hikers can leave that doesn’t irreversibly disrupt nature.

Collector: Rachel Lincoln

Image result for cairn

Tags/Keywords:

  • Cairn, Colorado Trail, Tradition, Material Folklore

Trail Magic

Title: Trail Magic

General Information about Item:

  • Customary Folklore (Tradition)
  • Informant: Stacy Liedle
  • Date Collected: 15 November 2019

Informant Data:

  • Stacy Liedle is a 29 year old MBA candidate originally from Texas. She now lives in Indiana and works as a professional mountaineering instructor while earning her degree. Stacy hiked the first 220 miles of the Colorado Trail in 2015 when she was 25 after being laid off from work. After witnessing a motorcycle crash and using her first-responder training to care for the victim, Stacy decided to leave the trail because the incident “messed with her mind.”

Contextual Data:

  • Cultural Context: Thru hikers’ meals are limited by how much food they can carry. Hikers often eat the same foods, such as rice, oatmeal, or protein bars, for their entire journey. “Trail magic” lifts spirits by providing a change of pace and can happen on any long trail.
  • Social Context: Past hikers of trails like to spend time with current hikers to reminisce about their experience and pass on the gifts of food that they received during their own hikes. Thru hikers get a reprieve from culinary drudgery and a chance to connect with the outside world.

Item:

  • “Trail magic” occurs when non-thru hikers go to a section of a trail to bring food to passing thru hikers. They usually bring cold drinks or a grill to cook burgers. Thru hikers especially appreciate coolers of beer. People who create trail magic have often hiked that same trail before and use the experience to

Transcript:

  • “It’s just about having a good time out in the middle of nowhere. I’ve never done trail magic, it’s usually local people, but who have thru hiked before and want to give back. I saw Goal Zero partnered with another brand to do corporate sponsored trail magic so it’s definitely a big well-known thing.”

Informant’s comments:

  • “Trail magic only happened to me once. It’s talked about way more than it actually happens.”

Collector’s comments:

  • Though I didn’t know the term “trail magic,” I actually experienced this before during Dartmouth Trips. Upperclassmen met my group on our route and brought us pizza. Trail magic is widespread and not limited to the Colorado Trail.

Collector: Rachel Lincoln

Tags/Keywords:

  • Trail Magic, Tradition, Colorado Trail

The Ha’a

 

 

Title: The Ha’a

General Information about Item:

  • Genre/Sub-genre: Customary and Verbal folklore: Tradition
  • Language: Hawaiian/English
  • Country: USA

Informant Data:

  • Bun Straton
    • From Honolulu, Hawaii
    • Age 20
  • Kamana Hobbs
    • From Honolulu, Hawaii
    • Age 20

Contextual Data:

  • Cultural Context: Polynesian culture is rich in art and various types of expression, especially through body movements and dance.
  • Social Context: While not used in war anymore, the Ha’a is most often preformed before football games by the University of Hawai’i football team with the same aim of intimidating their opponents.

Item:

A branch of an ancient dancing tradition that stems from the collective Polynesian islands and cultures. It is performed primarily before battle to intimidate opponents, and can also be done before weddings and funerals. It is seen as a farewell and greeting dance at times. The Ha’a is a  dance that varies across cultures but has the same basic elements of War or Death, Sun or Warmth, and Life or Living. Components  of the dance are identifiable by bent knees, heavy use of facial expressions and strong, aggressive movements. In New Zealand it goes by the Haka to the Maori people, in Samoa it is referred to as the Manu Siva Tau and in Hawaii it is called the Ha’a

Collector: Nigel Alexander 20′

Tags/Keywords: dance, war,Haka, Ha’a, tradition, Hawaii, Maori, Samoa

Never Take Pork on the Pali

Never take pork on the Pali

General Information about Item:

  • Genre/Sub-genre: Customary and Verbal folklore: Superstition
  • Language: Hawaiian/English
  • Country: USA

Informant Data:

  • Sophia Domingo ’20
    • From Maui, Hawaii
    • Age 19

Contextual Data:

  • Having boundaries and respect for deities such as Pele brings community members together with their shared beliefs and customs.
  • Cultural Context: The Hawaiian people look to legends to explain natural phenomenon around them. Legends such as the goddess of fire and volcanos, Pele, are respected greatly.

Item:

The legend of the goddess of fire and volcanos, Pele, includes her relationship with the “hog child”, Kamapua’a. The two had a bad breakup, so now she is insulted if anyone dares to bring pork on the Pali, the cliffs that connect Kihei to Lahaina. If one were to get caught with pork on the Pali, the legend says that one would then have to feed the pork to Pele’s dog.

Collector: Makena Thomas ’20

Tags/Keywords: Pele, pork, Pali, Kamapua’a, Hawaii, tradition, legend, superstition, goddess, deity

 

Never Bring Bananas on a Boat

Title: Never Bring Bananas on a Boat

General Information about Item:

  • Genre/Sub-genre: Customary and Verbal folklore: Superstition
  • Language: Hawaiian/English
  • Country: USA

Informant Data:

  • Sophia Domingo ’20
    • From Maui, Hawaii
    • Age 19

Contextual Data:

  • Social Context: Due to Hawaii’s landscape, an outdoor lifestyle is a large part of many local’s life. This includes boating and fishing.
  • Cultural Context: Various protocols and rituals are a part of life in the Hawaiian Islands. Legends and superstitions have developed over time and continued to be respected to the appreciation of the islands and ocean.

Item:

Hawaiian fisherman claim that bringing bananas on their boats is back luck. The superstition is that a banana on the boat will cause not only fish not to bite but also mechanical breakdowns on the boat. Angler fisherman of Hawaii journeyed on long fishing trips in dugout canoes in which they brought bananas as provisions. The longer the trip was in duration, the fewer the fish. The fisherman mistakenly confused the correlation between these two events for causation. Although the bananas were not the reason behind the lack of fish, the superstition stuck with the people.

Collector: Makena Thomas ’20

Tags/Keywords: ocean, water, boat, fish, Hawaii, tradition, banana, superstition

 

The Salty Dog Rag

General Information about Item:

  • Genre (Subgenre): Customary Folklore (Dance)
  • Language: English
  • Country/State: United States/New Hampshire

Informant Data:

  • Senior (Class of 2018) from New Jersey
  • First participated in trips his freshman year (Fall 2014)
  • Led climb and hike trip during Fall 2017 term

Contextual Data:

  • Social context: The Salty Dog Rag is a customary dance led by trip leaders and Croo members and performed by large groups of first year students shortly after they assemble at Robinson Hall after arriving to campus. Most of the students do not know each other or any of the upperclassmen.
  • Cultural context: The dance is supposed to help first-year students embrace the novelty and unfamiliarity of college in a welcoming and supportive atmosphere, as most people (especially upperclassmen) look silly performing the dance.

Item:

  • The Salty Dog Rag is a whimsical dance that involves a lot of awkward motion while silly music is playing loudly.

Transcript of Informant Interview:

  • “You do the Salty Dog Rag before even meeting your trip leaders, so most of the freshmen don’t really know any upperclassmen, and they’re just dancing in a large mob.”

Informant’s Comments:

  • The informant highlighted the Salty Dog Rag as a sort of introduction to trips, wherein new members were initially exposed to what is probably the most iconic dance of trips lore.

Collector’s Comments:

  • The informant fondly recalled both his memory of observing first-years perform the dance this fall and his memory of performing the dance as a first-year himself.

Collector’s Name: Abhishek Bhargava

Tags/Keywords:

  • Customary, Tradition, Song/Dance, Salty Dog Rag

X.ado acapella conference

Title: X.ado acapella conference

General Information about Item:

  • Folklore: rituals, traditions
  • Language: English
  • Country where Item is from: United States of America

Informant Data:

  • Trevor Davis is an ’18 that joined X.ado his freshman year and sang in his high school choir for three years. He is 21 years old. He was born in Wheaton, Illinois. He grew up and still lives in Raleigh, North Carolina. He is majoring in computer science, and minoring in math and anthropology.

Contextual Data:

  • Social Context

This conference provides a way for X.ado to socialize and connect with more people, and serves as an event for the people within X.ado to connect and socialize amongst themselves. It is probably a fun activity for them to do together that strengthens the group dynamic.

The people in

  • Cultural Context

People that engage in similar activities or are like minded, or have some major factors that connect them like to connect with each other, network with each other, and socialize with each other. X.ado is no exception to this, there are many Christian acapella groups all over the United States that want to find people engaging in the same activity that share their same beliefs and lifestyles, and they all meet together.

Item:

  • Members of X.ado attend the “Break it Down in Boston” conference, which is a conference for Christian acapella groups to meet up.

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

https://youtu.be/o15wfAOuSWk

Transcript of Associated File:

A couple of things that got introduced in the group that changed since we got founded one is that we do more activities as a group. We have prayer partners where you match with someone individual in the group, that helps us bond more and know people on an individual basis since rehearsal’s everyone all together, and also as we become more established and groups like ours spread, we have more interactions with those groups. For example, there’s this conference we do every year called “Break it down Boston” which is a gathering of all the different Christian acapella groups so it’s a very different dynamic than you have with other musical conferences and that’s a cool way to see how our group along with other groups has evolved over time as we become more of a national thing.

Informant’s Comments:

  • Check transcript

Collector’s Comments:

  • It’s not at all uncommon for college students to attend meetups and conferences. There are conferences for many different interest groups, such as for demographic factors (race and gender), intellectual interests, and for sports as well. These conferences serve as a way for people to meet people to network with that share some factor with them.

Collector’s Name: Marcus Reid

Tags/Keywords:

  • Acapella
  • Singing
  • Conference
  • Tradition

 

Auditions

Title: Auditions

General Information about Item:

  • Customary folklore: rituals, traditions
  • Language: English
  • Country where Item is from: USA

Informant Data:

  • Trevor Davis is an ’18 that joined X.ado his freshman year and sang in his high school choir for three years. He is 21 years old. He was born in Wheaton, Illinois. He grew up and still lives in Raleigh, North Carolina. He is majoring in computer science, and minoring in math and anthropology.

Contextual Data:

  • Social Context

All returning members of X.ado are present for auditions as well as members of other acapella groups and all potential members who are trying out. Auditions take place during the fall term. X.ado used to conduct auditions separately from other acapella groups but for the past few years X.ado has worked with other acapella groups to create joint auditions.

  • Cultural Context

All groups that require some sort of skill hold auditions so they can evaluate the candidate for their ability and to see if the candidate will be a culture fit for the group. X.ado does this to ensure that the person can sing, as X.ado is an acapella group, and also wants to see if the person is a cultural fit for the group, and so the person can see if they are a cultural fit for the group. An important part of acapella is being comfortable singing in front of large groups of people. This need for confidence is seen in the fact that potential members must audition in front of members of various acapella groups.

Item:

X.ado’s auditions have changed over time. They used to host their own auditions, but now, their auditions are part of the larger Dartmouth auditions circuit.

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

https://youtu.be/B7aQJ6L_Tg0

Transcript of Associated File:

“So I’ve been in the group for three years now and thing I’ve really like seen every year is how we do auditions. Um that processed has changed for us over time, we used to do our own but now we are part of the larger acapella auditions at Dartmouth. And it’s just kind of a whole day thing, we get excited, we dress up in flair, we get them to sing different songs, they match scales and pitches, um, and it’s a really great opportunity not just for us to get to hear how they sound, but for them to get to know us and decide, you know, that acapella is something they want to do, and if our group is something they want to be a part of.”

Informant’s Comments:

  • See transcript

Collector’s Comments:

  • All groups tend to have some evaluation process to induct new members. Companies conduct interviews to see if candidates are a cultural fit, and if they’re confident. Fraternities and sororities have rush to see if they want to take a certain person into their group, etc. This seems like a pretty standard tradition that most groups engage in, in some form or another. Performance groups in general engage in a slightly more formal audition process.

Collector’s Name: Marcus Reid

Compiled/Analyzed by: Afnan Enayet/Sruthi Pasupuleti

Tags/Keywords:

  • Initiation
  • Auditions
  • Singing
  • Acapella
  • Ritual
  • Tradition