Three Little Birds 101

Three Little Birds is all about Jamaican culture! Here is a story synopsis, a glossary, and a few things that might be helpful to know to prepare for this tropical show!

1. Jamaica is an island in the Caribbean that was settled by people from all over the world.
2. Hair is powerful in this Jamaican story.
3. Brown Girl in the Ring is a children's game similar to Simon Says.
4. Duppy is an evil spirit from Jamaican and West African folklore who appears in the form of a bird in this show.
5. The number eight is considered unlucky for Duppy.

Ziggy is a sensitive young boy who lives in Jamaica. His mom, Cedella, tells him to go out and experience the island instead of staying at home and watching TV. Ziggy’s friend, Nansi, also wants him to come out and play, but he doesn’t like leaving the safety of his home. Ziggy is superstitious and wants to make sure that hurricanes and the evil spirit bird, Duppy, who wears a wig of children’s hair, stay far, far away. Meanwhile, Duppy has his sights set on getting Ziggy’s long locks which would give
him even more power.

Cedella tells Nansi and Ziggy to get water from the well and then join her at the seaport, where she sells jerk chicken. Nansi craftily persuades Ziggy to go on an adventure and to get ocean water instead. To keep them company, they bring along Doctor Bird (Ziggy’s best bird friend) and Nansi’s pet spider. As they walk, they start to argue over whose animal is better. Duppy sees them arguing, and secretly makes mangoes fall on their heads, leading to more arguing, and causes the two friends to go separate ways. Nansi continues toward the ocean, while Ziggy heads toward home.

Now on their own, both Nansi and Ziggy run into Duppy, but manage to hide—in the same spot! Their cover is blown and Duppy chases them until they are cornered. They try to make him weak, failing at first, but once Ziggy starts channeling the rhythm of the island, they are able to trick him. Duppy’s power is gone!

Ziggy and Nansi make it safely to the seaport, where they tell Cedella about their adventure. Ziggy, now fearless and excited, wants to start exploring Jamaica and asks to go visit Doctor Bird’s family on the north side of the island. Cedella agrees, but only if Nansi goes with him. Ziggy is happy to finally be outside and unafraid, and wants to share the spirit of Jamaica with everyone!

A yasso nice! An expression used when one is having a good time.

Ackee, Mango: Two fruits mentioned throughout the show that are central to the
food in Jamaica.

Bad like yaz. A phrase to say that something is really cool.

Blue Mountains: A mountain range that covers the Eastern third of the island of

Chaka chaka: A word/phrase meaning messy and untidy.

Cheddar: A slang word used in Jamaica meaning money.

Cockroach no business in a fowl fight! A phrase meaning don’t meddle in things
that don’t concern you.

Brown Girl in the Ring, Dandy Shandy, Puncinella Likkle Fella, Stucky Freezy, Stucky Ketchy, Simon Says:
Jamaican kids’ games.

Deh’pon: A Patois word meaning “on,” as in “we deh’pon street again.”

Dreadlocks: Also called “dreads,” this hairstyle is created by allowing hair to matt into locks. Long dreadlocks are associated with wisdom, knowledge, patience and other virtues.

Chicken merry, hawk, dey near. A phrase meaning to be careful when things are going too
good, as its always possible that danger is around the corner.

Jerk Chicken: “Jerk” is a style of cooking native to Jamaica which uses a heavy
spice mixture used to marinate meats. Traditionally, chicken or pork is used, but you can also find jerk shrimp, tofu, beef, lamb and more.

Jonkonnu: A traditional Jamaican dance.

Likkle muore: Meaning, “see you later.”

One coco full basket. A phrase to say that every little bit adds up.

Patois: Pronounced “Pah-twah.” The Creole dialect used in this show.

Pickapeppa Sauce: A popular tomato and vinegar-based Jamaican condiment.

Reggae: A style of popular music with a strongly accented beat, originating in Jamaica.

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