uperstitions- they have always existed. However, these are not superstitions known all over the world. They are typical only to San Pedro. They are things people actually did to get results. Twenty five years ago now looks at some of these beliefs and practices.

What did people do 25 years ago with the boy's navel after the scar fell off? They went outside the reef and threw it into the deep blue seas so that the, boy would grow into a good seaman, a good sailor who never got seasick and was daring and courageous in the sea. Whenever a young man got seasick, other men would say, "Your father didn't cast your "tuch" (navel scar) in the sea."

And what did people do 25 years ago with the children's milkteeth when they were pulled out? These teeth were thrown in the "chit" (the thatch roof). It was the belief that because rats have small teeth, the new set of teeth the child would grow would also be small.

Here is another fisherman's superstition. How did they get wind during a very calm day and their sailing boats were not moving? My dad-taught me several ways. You could throw a penny, or a nickle, or a dime and ask to buy some wind. You then got wind proportionately to your money. A quarter dollar would give you quite a storm. One never threw a half-dollar because that was a lot of money then, and also because you could get a hurricane.

Here is another method the fishermen used to get some breeze into the sails. They made nine knots on a rope and gave each knot a name, usually the names of some miserable ladies they knew of. The rope would then be thrown into the sea and dragged behind the boat. After a while, sure enough, there was a breeze. My dad said it was so that the old ladies would not drown. Want to hear some of the names we gave to the knots? I know you would, but that is confidential.

Fishermen also had a way to cut down or destroy an approaching storm. The youngest child of the family called the "shtup" (Mayan word pronounced shtoop) could make nine crosses in the air with his little finger pointing in the direction of the thundercloud.This could be repeated 9 times and at the end of each set, he would say, "Rain go away." Now this really works. I know because I'm a "shtup".

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