Duppies are very much a part of Jamaican folklore. Some people seriously believe in and are terrified by the notion of duppies while others are septical but tell duppy stories to entertain. But what do you know bout duppy plants.
Night scented plants such as the jasmine are thought to attract duppies, and so are avoided. Scented lilies are regarded as death or duppy flowers for the same reasons and some people would never bring them inside a house; that same belief attaches to sea shells: they believed to attract duppies to the house and empower them. During the day, duppies take the form of large green lizards’ it is very bad luck to have such lizards nearby, and many Jamaicans kill them on sight.
Duppy has given its name to a host of objects whose characteristic is that they are an imitation or shadow of the real thing. Thus Duppy Soursop or Duppy Peas closely resemble the soursop or peas but are not edible; a ‘duppy game’ is a drawn game.
In other cases the object has uncanny characteristics, e.g. ‘Duppy fee fee’ for the Monkey Fiddle plant that makes a squeaking sound when its stems are rubbed together;
Duppy Riding-horse is the praying mantis;
Duppy Umbrella is the wild mushroom or fungus.
Some birds are known as ‘Duppy birds’ especially the Gimme-me-bit (also known as Night Hawk) cry is thought to be a demand for payment for getting rid of mosquitoes during the night and Ground-dove, and are regarded with suspicion.
|< Prev||Next >|