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How Did It Begin?: The Origin of Our Curious…
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How Did It Begin?: The Origin of Our Curious Customs and Superstitions (original 1966; edition 2011)

by DR R and L Brasch (Author)

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220581,331 (3.16)4
Member:BellaJean
Title:How Did It Begin?: The Origin of Our Curious Customs and Superstitions
Authors:DR R and L Brasch (Author)
Info:MJF Books (2011), 328 pages
Collections:Your library
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Tags:to-be-read

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How Did It Begin?: The Origin of Our Curious Customs and Superstitions by Rudolph Brasch (1966)

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Showing 5 of 5
This is a book that was a product of its times - it has some interesting facts, but the author is of a different age - for example, he kept referring to "primitive people". Also, a few things were completely wrong- early in the book, he mentions how Mayan people were before the Aztecs - except the Mayan Culture is still around. There are references to the "Orient", which for the author, seemed to mean anything Middle East to Asia. And last, there are no references to this book. Its hard to take a book on origins seriously if the author doesn't say where he got his information from. ( )
  TheDivineOomba | May 27, 2019 |
Interesting but so many things are lost to history that much of the book is just recitation of competing theory or conjecture. ( )
  DonaldPowell | Feb 5, 2019 |
A good collection of different beliefs, customs, and superstitions, with good explanations of origin and significance through the ages. I read this partly for bits of information that might make good details in some story, since I am--have been, for some time, if erratically--pursuing the goal of writing a novel, or even a short story, or at the very least accumulating a hefty store of details and ideas that will become useful whenever I actually do write something. To that purpose, I found a number of tidbits which caught my fancy. Like, that apparently people used to kiss the mouth of a dying person to catch and preserve the spirit as it left the body. Which is both creepy and absolutely delightful, since that is just the sort of thing I could fit wonderfully into a story--or even build a story from.

On the other hand, if you've ever wondered about how a certain belief or superstition began, or are just interested in this sort of thing in general, this is a book worth reading.

If I could, I'd probably give this a 3.5; I didn't round up because I don't quite think it deserves a 4, though it's a near thing. ( )
  -sunny- | Jul 15, 2014 |
A good collection of different beliefs, customs, and superstitions, with good explanations of origin and significance through the ages. I read this partly for bits of information that might make good details in some story, since I am--have been, for some time, if erratically--pursuing the goal of writing a novel, or even a short story, or at the very least accumulating a hefty store of details and ideas that will become useful whenever I actually do write something. To that purpose, I found a number of tidbits which caught my fancy. Like, that apparently people used to kiss the mouth of a dying person to catch and preserve the spirit as it left the body. Which is both creepy and absolutely delightful, since that is just the sort of thing I could fit wonderfully into a story--or even build a story from.

On the other hand, if you've ever wondered about how a certain belief or superstition began, or are just interested in this sort of thing in general, this is a book worth reading.

If I could, I'd probably give this a 3.5; I didn't round up because I don't quite think it deserves a 4, though it's a near thing. ( )
  -sunny- | Jul 15, 2014 |
Entertaining examination of the origins of many words and customs. However, this is on a superficial level, and depends upon the cleverness of the author rather than on history and fact. For example, the author claims "potluck" comes from the NW Indian word "potlatch", based on the similarity of the words. They have nothing in common, and the word "potluck" was used centuries before extensive contact with the Pacific Northwest Indians were made. Similar goofs appear in many of the religious practices, combining wishful thinking and superficial appearances to complex customs, words and traditions.
A fun read, and well written, but nothing to be used for factual research or repetition, unless it is also checked against other, more authoritative references.. ( )
  hadden | Dec 7, 2013 |
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This revised edition is dedicated to the memory of its author by his ever-loving wife. It was his first book on "Origins," to be followed by many, many others.
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Introduction:To explore the origin of customs and superstitions is a great adventure and its reward a goldmine of fascinating informtion.
Chapter 1: Superstitions have been with people from the earliest days and even in the scientific age of today the most enlightened are often tempted to keep them, as there might be "something in them."
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This investigates the origins of the customs surrounding the rituals of life and living. Why blue for boys and pink for girls? Why is a kiss written with an X? Investigates traditions and rituals that are part of our lives.

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