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One of a number of religious movements arising in Melanesia and New Guinea especially as a result of the influx of American military materiel during the 1940s, seeking to usher in an age of great material wealth by ritually imitating the behaviors of Americans or Europeans.
(Anthropology & Ethnology) a religious movement of the SW Pacific, characterized by expectation of the return of spirits in ships or aircraft carrying goods that will provide for the needs of the followers
(sometimes caps.) any of various religious cults of Melanesia whose central belief is that spirit beings will bring them large cargoes of modern goods.
car′go cult`ist, n.
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|Noun||1.||cargo cult - (Melanesia) the followers of one of several millenarian cults that believe salvation will come in the form of wealth (`cargo') brought by westerners; some ascribe divine attributes to westerners on first contact (especially to missionaries)|
cult - followers of an unorthodox, extremist, or false religion or sect who often live outside of conventional society under the direction of a charismatic leader
Melanesia - the islands in the southwestern part of Oceania
|2.||cargo cult - a religious cult that anticipates a time of joy, serenity, and justice when salvation comes|