We humans have passed on knowledge through families and communities by word of mouth for as long as there have been humans walking the earth. We have also passed on tales, laws ways of life ans superstitions in the same way. The internet will not stop that and in fact it is making it available to all who are connected.
folklorethursday.com is the official website of #FolkloreThursday which exists to encourage the passing on of people knowledge.
There are a wealth of stories and folklore there already and here some samples. To read them at length you will need to go to the site and I recommend the you give it five minutes.
The Calderstones: Invoking the spirits of place
The Curious Cures for Warts and Wens
These cures are from Herefordshire.
They are a mix of religion, folklore and rural witchcraft, typical, I imagine, of isolated rural communities where old practices and beliefs remained. There is often an element of secrecy, hiding the ‘magic’ from public gaze, and of burying the evidence. The number nine appears more than once, so does the proximity of cross-roads. Christianity and the power of the cross is not entirely divorced from these cures.
Here are a couple of examples,
1. Steal some beef from a butcher’s shop, rub the warts with it and bury it. As the meat decays so the warts will disappear.
2. A wen on the neck could be cured by the application of a dead man’s hand. This should be the hand of a malefactor immediately after execution. Persons with wens, it was recalled, attended the gallows on the occasion of a hanging to make trial of this method.
Pretty gruesome and quite illegal.
We all know of such tales and as for Robin Hood I live a mile away from where the arrow was fired to ascertain his burial place and it is a good 70 miles from Liverpool!
My own piece of medical folklore.
My grandmother living in the 1920s and 30s, suffered from rheumatoid arthritis and had a deal of pain. This was twenty years before the advent of the National Health Service when the working classes were poor and couldn't afford to buy painkillers. It was recommended (probably by an old wife!) that she drank the water from boiled celery as a painkiller. Rather you than me.
All great stories!