Nawra is a village in the former Toruń district. In the first half of August 1875, Kolberg stayed in the local manor of Michał Sczaniecki. Sczaniecki owned the manor in 1865 along with one of the most outstanding book collections in the former Royal Prussia. He was a famous social and political activist and a charity worker. He participated in the January Uprising and was a co-founder of the Toruń Scientific Society, which contributed to the development of research on the history of Pomerania and Prussia. Some other people who took advantage of his hospitality were Józef Wybicki, Wojciech Kętrzyński and general Józef Haller.
According to Kolberg’s material, local people believed that “a fly burnt in a candle’s light brings about rain”.
Moreover, they knew how to prevent rain:
“You must take silver spoons or coins and throw them into the yard in order to get rid of the clouds. Of course, as soon as they fly away, you can collect your silver items”. In addition, to prevent hail “on Christmas Eve, apart from wreaths, they take four pieces of paper with a gospel; they light them up and bury them in corners of a village”.
During harvest they cultivate a custom called ‘baba’ [old woman]:
“The last cartload of any cereal is called ‘baba’. The last cartload of wheat makes a ceremonial ride around the manor and its carter has to escape from his friends who try to pour some water on him. They attach a piece of wood near the cart’s wheel to produce more noise”.
About a baptism custom Kolberg wrote: “Godparents hold a child wrapped up but without a cousin. A baptism usually takes place in the late evening hours”.
Local people believed that “When one successfully steals something on St. Stephen’s Day, he or she will have luck at stealing for the whole year”.
Kolberg gave also some accounts of witchcraft from this region:
“To protect a calf from a charm put a red ribbon on its neck. Remember also that when a stranger praises your animal or any of your property, it will immediately get sick, die or break down, unless you at once spit behind your back to break the spell”.