8.8: Cargo Cults
From the nineteenth century through World War Two, white colonizers and occupiers sought to convert the people of Papua New Guinea and the islands of Vanuatu and press them into forced labor on plantations. These efforts resulted in mass death. Visions of liberation from the whites and then the Japanese Army took shape in what have come to be called Cargo Cults. Believers gave up working for the occupiers and paying taxes and awaited the imminent arrival of a ship carrying the spirits of their ancestors and a great cargo that would provide for their every need.