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#2742: Laleau comments on folk practice
I believe that ancient Celtic religions and probably others also attributed
infant deaths to maleficent spirits emanating from people who hated them...
probably still do. Ever heard of the old "Evil Eye", for example? I heard of
it in regard to Italy, and in Colombia and Ecuador people tie a red rag to
animals' ears to ward it off. Saw it myself. Also, one folk practice I heard
about in Haiti in the 60s (I don't know if it's still practiced) was to smear
cow dung on the freshly severed umbilical cords/navels of newborn babies... I
don't know if it was a vodoun practice or what, but I don't think it helped
them either. I saw a number of newborns dying from tetanus in the Schweitzer
Hospital in Deschapelles at that time.