Gypsy lore surrounding teeth is as follows:
- A child’s first tooth must, when it falls out, should be thrown into a hollow tree.
- Those which come out in the seventh year are carefully kept, and whenever the child suffers from toothache, one is thrown into a stream.
- The tooth of a wolf hung to the neck of an infant was believed to be an efficient amulet against disease;
- A child’s tooth caught before it falls to the ground and set in a bracelet was considered to be beneficial to women.
To cure toothache the Transylvanian gypsies wind a barley-straw round a stone, which is thrown into a running stream, while saying:
“Oh dukh ándre m’re dándá,
Tu ná báres cingerá!
Ná ává kiyá mánge,
Mire muy ná hin kere!
Tut ñikáná me kámáv,
Ac tu mánge pál pácá;
Káná e pçus yárpakri
Avel tele páñori!”
“Oh, pain in my teeth,
Trouble me not so greatly!
Do not come to me,
My mouth is not thy house.
I love thee not all,
Stay thou away from me;
When this straw is in the brook
Go away into the water!”
Teeth which have been buried for many years, serve to make a singular fetish. They are mingled with the bones of a tree-frog, and the whole then sewed up in a little bag. If a man has anything for sale, and will draw or rub this bag over it, he will have many offers or customers for the articles thus enchanted.
The bones are prepared by putting the frog into a glass or earthen receptacle full of small holes. This is buried in an anthill. The ants enter the holes and eat away all the flesh, leaving the bones which after a few weeks are removed.