Catching Power, Playing Deep

Keith E. McNeal

in Trance and Modernity in the Southern Caribbean

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780813037363
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780813042121 | DOI:
Catching Power, Playing Deep

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This chapter further elaborates upon the concept of ecstasy in practices of popular mysticism introduced in the Prologue and differentiates between practices of “baseline ecstasy” and “individuated mediumship,” as well as highlighting the significance of the contrast between positive ecstasy and negative affliction in ecstatic religious behavior. It examines commonly shared vernacular conceptualizations in both African and Hindu trance-performance practices in Trinidad such as “power,” “manifestation,” “possession,” and “play.” The chapter theorizes the ritual arts of trance as a form of “alter-cultural praxis” and reviews the literature on Afro-Caribbean ludic performance culture in order to better situate the comparative study. It provides an overview of the entire book, including the methodology of controlled comparison utilized.

Keywords: manifestation; possession; play; alter-cultural praxis; ritual arts; trance; controlled comparison

Chapter.  12997 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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