Saturday, February 17, 2007

Cult of the GI continues

This fascinating story from the BBC we site maybe tells something of how beliefs grow up:

Cargo cult lives on in South Pacific By Phil Mercer BBC News, Tanna, Vanuatu
At the base of a sacred volcano in an isolated corner of the South Pacific young men play the "Star Spangled Banner" on bamboo flutes.

Islanders have celebrated John Frum's generosity for 50 years Every February they parade in old US army uniforms with wooden weapons.
Others go bare-chested with the letters "USA" painted in bright red letters on their bodies.
Nearby, a giant Stars and Stripes flutters in the breeze from the main flagpole.
This is the heart of John Frum country on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu.
Villagers at Sulphur Bay worship a mystical figure who they believe will one day bring them wealth and happiness.
Time of upheaval
"John is our god," declares village chief Isaac Wan, who beats his fists into the ground to emphasise his words.

"One day he will come back," he says.
Believers are convinced that John Frum was an American.
The name could well have come from war-time GIs who introduced themselves as "Jon from America."
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