Earrings on sailors
Posted by Tilde on November 30, 1997 at 10:52:22:
In response to sailor's ears, written by Marie Bernadette on November 26, 1997 at 14:39:49
] I don't know about women but sailor's got their ears pierced for different reasons. I think it started with trade in the Orient. Piercing the earlobe was a type of accupucture supposed to improve eyesight. Eventually, sailors forgot the original reason and got the earring for 'good luck'. I have also heard that if a sailor was killed in battle his earring would be used to pay for his funeral. Those are the stories I've heard, anyway. I have no idea about the accuracy of any of them.
My father - who was born and grew up in a fisher-village - said that sailors and fishers wore at least one ear-ring of gold. He also claimed that this was done to "get them to the other site" if they died at sea and thus had no proper laying (not-quite-in-state, but still) or burial. He also said, that his mother - who often nursed dying people - always carried two small coins to lay on their eyes if they died while she was there. This was done so the spirit could buy his or her faire "to the other site".
Both of these traditions clearly builds on the presumption that one has to pay to cross over the river which seperates the land of the living from the land of the dead. (In Greek mythology, the river Styx).
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