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Jamaica wants UNESCO recognition for revival music

Published:Saturday | December 2, 2023 | 11:12 AM
The revival ritual involves singing, drumming, and dancing. - File photo.

Jamaica has moved to get the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to inscribe revival music on its intangible cultural heritage of humanity list.

The designation would mean that the music would be recognised as having outstanding universal value and that the music's permanent protection is of the highest importance to the international community.

“While marking the anniversary of reggae's inscription, we [Government of Jamaica] have nominated another element of our music and that is revival - a traditional afro-Christian culture - and hopefully next year we will have that element inscribed,” disclosed Culture Minister Olivia Grange.

She was speaking on Monday at the Future of Creativity Symposium held by the British Council at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston.

Wednesday, November 30 marked five years since Jamaica's reggae music was inscribed by UNESCO.

Grange said similar lobbying will be made to get revival music recognised.

Revivalism began in Jamaica between 1860 and 1861 as a part of a religious movement called the Great Revival.

It is a combination of elements from African pagan beliefs and Christianity and has several forms, the two major forms being Revival Zion and Pocomania.

The revival ritual involves singing, drumming, dancing, hand-clapping, foot-stomping, and groaning along with the use of prayers to invite possession.

It also includes music and songs from the Orthodox religion.

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