The Street Characters of Upper Demerara 1960-1980 – By Dmitri Allicock

The Street Characters of Upper Demerara 1960-1980

By Dmitri Allicock

Upper Demerara was not unlike other parts of Guyana and had its full share of Street Characters. Whether driven to the streets by mental, emotional or social derailment, or “dropping out and turning on” by free choice, they remain indelible in memory, symbolic of the life and times. Like the politicians of the day, street characters had the ability to attract attention. Colourful characters who paraded the streets daily and providing spontaneous street theatre.

HERBIE, for most Upper Demerara residents was and is still a living legend that rivals “LAW AND ORDER” the former king of Guyana’s street people who was known throughout Guyana.
There were other vagrants like TIGER, which was both father and his daughter, ITUNI DOG, NUMBER FOUR and a few more that provided public theater, free of charge in the days of no television or rare entertainment.

ITUNI DOG was a quick temper psychotic and the most dangerous of all the characters. When teased, he would violently explode, cursing and chasing the thrill seeking children with his cutlass like a maniac on the loose. Ituni Dog was rumored to live at Ituni and had either chopped up a dog or his parents in the earlier days, hence his name.
Ituni dog was solitude and delusional but functional like most of the area’s characters, he was frequently seen weeding trenches or cleaning up yards in the neighborhood. Ituni dog was unkempt and always had on his trademark long black rubber boots, which, thank goodness, impeded his ability to catch any children.

Read more: The Street Characters of Upper Demerara 1960-1980

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  • Dmitri Allicock  On 04/27/2013 at 1:54 pm

  • Rosaliene Bacchus  On 04/27/2013 at 3:44 pm

    Their names as colorful as their characters. These “personalities” added flavor to our lives.

    Thanks for another interesting article, Dmitri.

  • Dmitri Allicock  On 04/27/2013 at 4:40 pm

    Thanks Rosaliene. The posted song “Drunk Man” symbolized the times. All the inebriated personalities of that time would have enjoyed this Mighty Kaieteur’s popular hit along with the never ending supply of Guyana’s best Spirits.

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