Pow-Wow: Pennsylvania Dutch Folk Magic

Read this entire book at the sacred-texts.com site…

“Written by a Pennsylvania Dutch healer in the 1820s, this book is a rambling collection of rural home remedies and folk invocations. Pow-wow is a unique creole of Christian theology and a shamanistic belief system. It is still practiced in some rural areas of Pennsylvania. In spite of the name, it is not of Native American derivation. It is believed to have been brought over to America by German immigrants who practiced folk-magic.”

Mosquitoes? Acne? Hysteria? Knock 'em out with Pow-Wow!

Here is a cure for warts: “Roast chicken-feet and rub the warts with them; then bury them under the eaves.”

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  • broker6001

    a Very cool book

  • http://joenolan.com/ Joe Nolan

    Glad you like this one Broker.

    If you aren't familiar with the site there are a number of great books there. I love that
    they have lots of odd selections – like this one – that would never show up on a contemporary
    book list etc.

    I'll try to sprinkle more around these parts in the coming months.

  • http://joenolan.com/ Joe Nolan

    Hey Word Eater,

    It seems that the Granny tradition has a more direct provenance back to English/Irish traditions (just like bluegrass music etc.) and shares an American Indian component as well. I found a few articles, but this one seems to have the most info:

    http://www.witchvox.com/va/dt_va.html?a=usnc&c=trads&id=3207

    It is absolutely a “folk magic” tradition in the sense that it is defined by it’s geographic location. To this day Appalachian culture is shot through with customs, crafts and arts that developed in the isolation of mountain culture etc. Folk magic can also be a tradition that is specific to an ethnic group etc.

    Here’s the Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Folk_religion#Magic

  • Word Eater

    Would this be related in any way to Appalachian “granny magic?”

    Think of the concoctions that granny on the Beverly Hillbillies liked to cook up. That sort of folk magic.

  • http://joenolan.com/ Joe Nolan

    Hey Word Eater,

    It seems that the Granny tradition has a more direct provenance back to English/Irish traditions (just like bluegrass music etc.) and shares an American Indian component as well. I found a few articles, but this one seems to have the most info:

    http://www.witchvox.com/va/dt_va.html?a=usnc&c=

    It is absolutely a “folk magic” tradition in the sense that it is defined by it's geographic location. To this day Appalachian culture is shot through with customs, crafts and arts that developed in the isolation of mountain culture etc. Folk magic can also be a tradition that is specific to an ethnic group etc.

    Here's the Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Folk_religion#Magic

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