Cargo Cults – Weird Human Wonders

On March 12, 2013 by Tim Newman

Cargo Cult

Imagine you are living within a tribe on a remote island and you’ve never seen a white guy, never seen anyone wearing western clothes, never seen a cigarette, never been to Argos, never seen any documentaries about Jordan or Katie Price and a KFC Zinger Burger has never so much as brushed your lips. You live in a forest village, you kill animals for food and you make whatever you need from whatever is lying around. Are you picturing it? Good.

Cargo Cult - John Frum Day 2003

Now imagine that one sunny day, some whiter than white American chaps turn up on your shores in boats. Huge metal buggers. Wearing uniforms made of exquisite fabrics emblazoned with shiny badges. They have food in tins, glimmering rods that fire death pellets over 100 paces and they seem to be able to communicate with massive metal birds that appear from nowhere and contain food and people in their ample bellies. Surprised would be an under statement. This is exactly what happened to many tribes in New Guinea, Melanesia and Polynesia, particularly during and just after World War II. Japanese and American troops set up bases on these tiny little outposts. Once the war had finally buggered off, so did these foreign wizards and with them their supply of magic. The inhabitants were gutted/ bemused…………..


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