Most everything you need to know to draw a Duppy!

The Duppy Page Topper

Some are good, some are bad, but there’s no hiding that they’re Jamaican, they’re restless and they’re dead!

So I’ve been reading Catch A Fire, the Bob Marley Bio… and I was pleasantly surprised to find that the extensive history of the “sufferah”, the sound system, collie weed and the political and spiritual upheaval soaking the island at that time, also included a hell of a lot about obeah (magic/witchcraft) and this rounds hero, the Duppy!

Simply put, a duppy is the Jamaican term for a restless spirit or ghost. It’s generally the spirit of a once living human, but depending on the teller, the name is sometimes applied to demonic, or similarly old world forces. There are good duppies and bad duppies. To give you a lil creative freedom, they can appear as almost anything, a will-o-wisp like glow, your cousin, a monstrous corporeal being or just a cold invisible hand on your neck. The important part to remember is even the nice ones are mostly here to f’ck with you as this old telling demonstrates nicely:

Once a man was walking in the street on a night. He met a duppy. His teet’ was like fire; so de man went to ask for a light, did not know it was duppy. So de duppy gash his teet’ at him an’ he run. So de duppy went on met him again. De man did not know it was him, went up wid a complain’:–“See, sir, I meet a man jus’ now, ask ‘im for a light an’ he gash his teet’ at me!” De duppy grin his teet’ again an’ ask, “Teet’ like dese?” an’ de man run again.

Let’s see what other important things can I share, duppies hate salt, if one’s chasing you, quickly draw a roman numeral 10 on the ground and it will stop in it’s tracks, dumbfounded, as duppies can only count to nine… or you can just expose yourself (cause they also hate genitals???)… They talk in high pitched, nasal voices. You may be in the presence of a duppy if your head feels like it is growing… or if you feel an unexplained heat affecting your body… It’s possible a duppy attacked Rita Marley the first night she spent with Bob… there’s kind of a scary, cool, multiple day, strapped to a tree kinda washing procedure to rid someone of duppy possession, but that’s way to long to describe here…


So here we go! You know Jamaica, reggae, resorts, rastas, pigeon peas, sugar, rum, dance hall, rudeboys, patiose, barbed wire, TV spots that end in “mon” and ganja combined with decades of poisonous, colonial economies and government corruption. So either try and encapsulate all that in 15 minute doodle or just give Casper a giant spliff and Haile Selassie’s ring and call it done! Just have fun, light the pipe and see where jah takes you… oh and sucks to have to say this in 2018, but do me a favor and keep the racism in check please.

Judgement Is Complete

The First Place Duppy EntryFor your gashing ass teeth, sacrificing what must have been most of a black marker and for drawing a beast that looks to eat lit cigarettes for lunch (I know that’s not happening, but it does still look that way!)You win newcomer! So congrats, I’ll be in touch about your shirt soon!

Know that judgement is now law and to the victor go the spoils! And don’t forget, you can always send your drawings of a Duppy in late, you won’t win a shirt but I’ll gladly post it for everyone’s enjoyment!


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