Day 129: Wasps and Hornets

Mountain Man Traditional Healing


Despite the fact that the wasp and hornet was often a great nuisance for the Ozark hillfolk, they also figured into a lot of signs and cures. The photo above is of a hornet I collected then put into some grain alcohol as a remedy for hornet stings. Oftentimes in Ozark remedies you’ll find the causer of the harm to be a part of the cure as well.

Here are a few other examples of remedies and lore from Vance Randolph’s “Ozark Magic and Folklore”.

Weather Signs
“Many old people say that if the hornets build their nests low in the trees, it means that a severe winter is coming; if the hornets’ nests hang high, the following winter will be mild.”

Household Superstitions
“An empty hornets’ nest is hung up in the loft of nearly every old-time mountain cabin, and I have seen such a nest tied to the…

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