What is Religion? Religion is an institution found in all societies. It is classed as an important aspect of social life. Additionally, it is linked to culture and to issues of social integration and may cause conflict between different groups of society.
What is Pocomania? • Pocomania is a Jamaican folk religion combining revivalism with ancestor worship and spirit possession. • This is an African form of religion with elements of other religious traditions. • Pocomania sometimes referred to as Revivalism, is more than 200 years old and is a religion practiced in Jamaica. • This religion was brought from enslaved Africans to the Caribbean. • Pocomania is viewed by many as a form of rebellion and protest against European religions and the political status quo.
History of Pocomania • Pocomania is an African-based religious tradition indigenous to the island of Jamaica in the Caribbean. • Emerged in Jamaica during the 1860s. It was influenced by Myalism, the Great Revival of the 1860s. • Pocomania is generally drawn from the poor and depressed sector of Jamaican society. The name “Pocomania” is generally attributed to the Spanish word meaning, “small madness.” This Jamaican indigenous pocomaina religious tradition is also spelled as “Pukumania” meaning ‘small kumina or the small dance of ancestral possession.’
History of Pocomaina • Under the general name of Revival Zion, the intensity of the Great Revival transformed Myalism into two streams, Zion and Pocomania. • Pocomania emerged after Zion in the early months of 1861. • Pocomania modified the African and ancestral heritage, adapted them to the Jamaican context and provided healing from the trauma of displacement from ancestral homelands and the brutality of slavery and plantation society.
Leadership • In Pocomania, the leader is always a man who is known as the Shepherd. • In the former Revival Zion movement, the male leader is referred to as Captain, whereas the female leader is called Mother or Madda. • Women play an important role in Pocomania. They serve as members, healers, and preachers. They act as recruiters for the religion and as leaders of small groups interested in learning about the religion. They remain the backbone, that is, the strength of many African traditions in the religion.
Rituals performed • Pocomania worship revolves around music from drums and spirit possession. • The worship consists of values and moral teaching, singing of hymns and choruses. • Alarge part of the worship is devoted to tramping or trumping and movements invoking the spirits to enter the ceremony.
Dance • An essential part of the Pocomania meeting or worship , is an African inspired dance “tramping”. • This is accompanied by the playing of cymbals or tambourines. • Tramping occurs after the singing has become intense and the percussive element has reached a peak. • The members of the Pocomania group move around in a circle, counterclockwise, each using forward-stepping motions with a forward bend of the body. • This is much like the ancient ring-shout form often seen in the Gullah regions of Georgia and South Carolina.
Dressing and Music • Members of Pocomania wear white robes, with there heads wrapped in blue, red, white, or green colored cloths, as they chant and move to the rhythm of drums and tambourines. • The music is hypnotic, inducing hips to gyrate to its steady beat. This is an individual form of self – expression, where the participants’ minds are attuned to sounds only they can hear.
Beliefs • Pocomania religion follows the African pattern of not dividing the present world from that of the afterlife. All things are circular and reciprocal. • They believe the living and the Dead are part of the same moving force in the universe. Those who have passed away have merely gone to another part of the same community. • The deity (spirit) expresses love and justice in the present life, not only in the afterlife. • The followers of Pocomania believe that God is everywhere and so are the spirits of their ancestors. • They believe that the spiritual world is experienced through the natural physical world.
Beliefs • They believe that the spiritual world is experienced through the natural physical world. • Invoking the spirit is an integral part of Pocomania. They often go into trances where the spirits come to reside permanently in the ones possessed.
Pocomaina Presented By • Aruna Mattoo • Vasha Jaglal • Revita Ramjattan • Brandon Heru • Brian Narcis • Naresh Maharaj • Tulchan Narine