A cargo cult is a religious practice that has appeared in many traditional tribal societies in the wake of interaction with technologically advanced cultures. The cults focus on obtaining the material wealth (the "cargo") of the advanced culture through magic and religious rituals and practices. Cult members believe that the wealth was intended for them by their deities and ancestors. Cargo cults developed primarily in remote parts of New Guinea and other Melanesian and Micronesian societies in the southwest Pacific Ocean, beginning with the first significant arrivals of Westerners in the 19th century. Similar behaviors have, however, also appeared elsewhere in the world.
Cargo cult activity in the Pacific region increased significantly during and immediately after World War II, when the residents of these regions observed the Japanese and American combatants bringing in large amounts of material. When the war ended, the military bases closed and the flow of goods and materials ceased. In an attempt to attract further deliveries of goods, followers of the cults engaged in ritualistic practices such as building crude imitation landing strips, aircraft and radio equipment, and mimicking the behaviour that they had observed of the military personnel operating them.
Over the last sixty-five years, most cargo cults have disappeared. However, the John Frum cult, one of the most widely reported and longest-lived, is still active on the island of Tanna, Vanuatu. This cult started before the war, and only became a cargo cult afterwards. A number of editions of the Papua New Guinea Post-Courier from late 1969 report an apparent latter-day cargo cult, but with more traditional practices.[Citation needed]
- More at Wikipedia.org Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cargo_cult
Other Cargo-cultish modern efforts
[Help them God, for they know knot what they do!]
Thousands of Youtube videos exist like the gentleman's below.Just as islanders, today, the human curiosity is found attempting to duplicate the motions that please the Gods. So much knowledge is needed. Would not it be a wonderful thing to bring the curios and the driven into a common auditorium with a talking-stick for a facilitated discussion? Contact me, DonEMitchell, for discussing an Arizona 2012 consortium.
- Similar behaviors: see Church Effect for a rambling essay of human/animal group dynamics in social habituation.