Cargo Cults

cargo cult

cargo cult, native religious movement found in Melanesia and New Guinea, holding that at the millennium the spirits of the dead will return and bring with them cargoes of modern goods for distribution among its adherents. The cult had its beginnings in the 19th cent. and received great impetus from World War II, when the Western armed forces littered the islands with surplus cargo. The cult aims to restore a past time and to regain the goodwill of ancestors who are being lured into giving cargo to the white foreigners, cargo originally intended for the native Melanesians. Cargo cults are revivalistic, in that the adherents expect the restoration of a golden age in which they will be reunited with their ancestors, and nativistic (see nativism), in that the whites are to be driven away. However, as the cargo is composed principally of European goods, and native goods and rituals are abandoned, both the nativistic and revivalistic aspects of cargo cults are qualified by a strong motive toward acculturation.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

Cargo Cults: Selected full-text books and articles

Cargo Cults and Discursive Madness By Dalton, Doug Oceania, Vol. 70, No. 4, June 2000
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Cargo Cult Horror By Lindstrom, Lamont Oceania, Vol. 70, No. 4, June 2000
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Our Very Own Cargo Cult By Wagner, Roy Oceania, Vol. 70, No. 4, June 2000
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Inside the Cult: Religious Innovation and Transmission in Papua New Guinea By Harvey Whitehouse Clarendon Press, 1995
Librarian’s tip: Includes discussion of cargo cults in multiple chapters
Cargoism in Irian Jaya Today By Giay, Benny; Godschalk, Jan A Oceania, Vol. 63, No. 4, June 1993
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Occidentalism: Images of the West By James G. Carrier Clarendon Press, 1995
Librarian’s tip: "Cargoism" begins on p. 36
Telephones, Cameras and Technology in West New Britain Cargo Cults By Lattas, Andrew Oceania, Vol. 70, No. 4, June 2000
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
The Apotheosis of White Men?: A Reexamination of Beliefs about Europeans as Ancestral Spirits By Leavitt, Stephen C Oceania, Vol. 70, No. 4, June 2000
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Becoming Sinners: Christianity and Desire among the Urapmin of Papua New Guinea By Robbins, Joel Ethnology, Vol. 37, No. 4, Fall 1998
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
The Sky Came Down: Social Movements and Personhood in Mekeo Society By Bergendorff, Steen Oceania, Vol. 69, No. 2, December 1998
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Looking for a topic idea? Use Questia's Topic Generator
Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.