cargo cult


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Related to cargo cult: Richard Feynman, Burning Man

cargo cult

n.
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.

cargo cult

n
(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

car′go cult`


n.
(sometimes caps.) any of various religious cults of Melanesia whose central belief is that spirit beings will bring them large cargoes of modern goods.
[1945–50]
car′go cult`ist, n.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.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
cultus, religious cult, cult - a system of religious beliefs and rituals; "devoted to the cultus of the Blessed Virgin"
References in periodicals archive ?
As with the Western telling of linear history (another directional coming and going), the building of cathedrals to turn the medieval superbeing God's relation to humans on end (humans move skyward), UFO sightings, or the anthropological heuristic 'cargo cult,' in our modeling of those things we encounter ourselves: they create us as much as we create them.
Since the book's initial publication, Burridge's underlying optimism about cargo and about the possibilities of its arrival, which is Mambu's principle motif, has been overtaken by darker versions of the cargo cult story, some antecedents of which can also be found in the book.
The Melanesian cargo cult literature also holds many examples of people mistaking Europeans for spirits, so in looking at recent theorizing about the topic of cargo, it may be fruitful to consider whether something similar to Obeyesekere's claim has happened in the Melanesian case.
In this paper, I explore the creative practices of cargo cult followers in the Kaliai bush of West New Britain.
Williams (1979a[1923], 1979b[1934]) characterized what was to be called the 'cargo cult' phenomenon as a kind of 'madness,' even though this characterization has been widely challenged by anthropologists, 'madness' has nonetheless continued to haunt 'cargo cult' discourse.
The problem here is not merely diagnostic of 'cargo cult' or 'millenarian movement' alone; it is as characteristic of all social movements in general as it is of the sciences that would study them.
My habit of saying 'cargo cult' was a deep one that had been with me for about twenty-five years, so it was difficult to change.
If the cargo cult leaders of digital like Gary Vee didn't exist, we would need to invent them.
Ammous calls this "cargo cult science," arguing that bitcoin will always be the only "successful implementation" of the blockchain.
The same kinds of minor behavioral variations can, however, be attached to a cargo cult led by a new prophet who is advocating some highly drastic activity, like eating up all the food or throwing all possessions into the sea in expectation of all the wonderful goods which will come by ship.
Since Lawrence's (1964) classic study of a Melanesian 'cargo cult', many writers have interpreted these movements as indigenous modes of engagement with super-ordinary beings and the dead, albeit transformed by colonial and post-colonial experience.
If not, Edwina Hart will leave the people of Ebbw Vale sitting on the circuit tarmac like members of a Cargo Cult. Waiting for the planes that will never come.