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October 2021

Cargo cult horror

Journal/Book: Oceania. 2000; 70: Univ Sydney, Sydney, 2006, Australia. Oceania Publications. 294-303.

Abstract: Anthropological analyses of cargo cults offer certain plots alongside ethnographic detail. Many such accounts assume one or the other of three common storylines. Cargo cults have been plotted as bildungsroman, as horror story, and as carnival. Bildungsroman cargo narratives suggest that cargo is good but culting is bad. Carnivalesque accounts reverse this polarity to celebrate culting while disparaging the dangers of cargo. The horror storyline laments both cargo and culting. Over the past fifty years, shifting appreciations of modernity, technology, and progress have reshaped the stories in which cargo cults ger accounted: Modernity's cargo bildungsroman has given way to postmodern horror.

Note: Article Lindstrom L, Univ Tulsa, Tulsa,OK 74104 USA

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