La Jahbess from Trinidad folklore

Trini Folklore: La Jabless

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Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

La Jabless from French la ‘the’ + diablesse ‘female devil’. La Jabless is known for stalking her prey -handsome men- at night.

  • Lajablesse, La Jabless, La Diablesse (n):  A folklore character, a beautiful woman in a long dress who has one foot like a cow’s; she entices men astray at night in the forest or on lonely roads. 
    • [The] diablesse…is a she-devil, one of whose foot end in a cloven hoof, who frequents cemeteries and crossroads….she is particularly fond of attending belle air dances, and after the festivities, young males would make advanced to her and she would encourage her victim to follow her home….then as she leads him to a precipice she would suddenly transform herself into a huge hog…If however, the young swain knows the ropes he would pick two sticks and make a cross at which time she would also disappear.

Trini Phrases

The various words and phrases from Trinidad & Tobago can be traced back to English, French and Spanish origins. Mother-giver is one such word that has its roots in the English language. Lastly, growing up in Trinidad and Tobago is interesting because the slangs can change over time. I have lived in the United States for 20 years now, and every time I travel back to Trinidad and Tobago, I have to reacquaint myself with the words and phrases that have evolved.

Oral Traditions

Trini folklore such as Papa Bois is an oral tradition meant to pass on the next generation’s stories. Other Trini phrases in the vernacular are Lime, Obzockly, Kunumunu, Douen, Mama D’Leau and La Couray.

Click here now for other Trini expressions and leave us a comment below of phrases you have heard.

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1 thought on “Trini Folklore: La Jabless”

  1. Pingback: Soucouyant (Soo-Koo-Nyah) A Character From Trini Folklore

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