Duppy’: Jamaican Patois word of Northwest African Origin

Forever Black Effusion

Duppy is a Jamaican Patois word of Northwest African origin meaning ghost or spirit.[1] Much of Caribbean folklore revolves around duppies. Duppies are generally regarded as malevolent spirits.[1] They are said to come out and haunt people at night mostly, and people from the islands claim to have seen them. The ‘Rolling Calf’,[2] ’Three footed horse’ or ‘Old Higue’[3] are examples of the more malicious spirits.

In many of the islands of the Lesser Antilles, duppies are known as jumbies. the rolling calf is a scary creature said to have chains around its body.

Origins

Duppy folklore originates from West Africa. A duppy can be either the manifestation (in human or animal form) of the soul of a dead person, or a malevolent supernatural being.[4] In Obeah, a person is believed to possess two souls – a good soul and…

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