> Date:         Wed, 14 Jun 2000 09:47:40 -0400
> From: John Cowan <[log in to unmask]>

> Lars Henrik Mathiesen wrote:
> >    Prince Charles was born in November 1948, after the Cargo Cult days
> > (which ended with WWII, IIRC).
> Au contraire.  The CC started *after* WW II when the Real World cargos
> stopped coming.  Before that, it wasn't a cult, it was a fact.


    Cargo cults are usually revivalist, and in some cases messianic
    and millenarian, movements found among certain peoples indigenous
    to Oceania. The word cargo refers to foreign goods possessed by
    Europeans; cult adherents believe that such goods belong to
    themselves and that, with the help of ancestral spirits, the goods
    can be returned to them through magico-religious means. Some cult
    prophets promise that the arrival of cargo will herald a period of
    prosperity and well-being.

    Such movements represent the efforts of local inhabitants to cope
    with problems arising from contact with foreign cultures
    (acculturation). They first appeared during the late 19th century
    among Papua New Guinea and other Oceanic peoples impressed by the
    abundance of material wealth they saw. The Papuan Vailala Madness
    of 1919 had iconoclastic elements; like some of the cults, it
    reflected the merging of Christian missionary teachings with
    indigenous mythological beliefs. The movements received new
    impetus during World War II. In a Irian Jaya (western New Guinea)
    cult of 1942, entire villages were organized into an imitation
    army, with officers and dummy equipment, in the hope that this
    would be transformed into real equipment. Followers of John Frum
    on Tanna (Vanuatu, former, New Hebrides) built landing strips and
    warehouses in anticipation of the arrival of air cargo. All such
    movements draw on traditional custom, experience, and ideology.
    Essentially, they are attempts to fill the gap between new wants
    and the available means of satisfying them. The movements, some of
    which are politically oriented, demonstrate a people's resilience
    and imagination in coping with new and difficult problems.

My interpretation is that a typical CC wanted _all_ the supplies
arriving at the local airbase, not just whatever they got in aid and
wages. So the motivation for building air strips and walking around in
uniform was just as strong or stronger while the base was active.

To me, this text implies that the Cargo Cult waned again after WW II.
But I don't know how fast, and further 'research' (following some
links from that page) does shows that it is still alive.

Anyway --- whoever used the term 'Tok Pisin from the Cargo Cult days'
(approximate quote) will know what period they were thinking of.

Lars Mathiesen (U of Copenhagen CS Dep) <[log in to unmask]> (Humour NOT marked)