Chapter

Commodity Millennialism

Richard Landes

in Heaven on Earth

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780199753598
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199897445 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199753598.003.0005
Commodity Millennialism

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This chapter discusses the “kago-kuts” of Papua New Guinea from the beginning of the twentieth century to their post–World War II manifestations. Here local natives, watching Western cargo planes land and unload what looked like mana from heaven, began to execute rituals which they believed would bring the salvific cargo to them. Part silly misunderstanding of the workings of modernity, part profound critique of our own “salvific” relations to consumerism, these movements have deeply affected the attitudes of anthropologists toward both their subjects and their own cultures.

Keywords: anthropology; cargo cults; sexuality; consumerism; revitalization movements

Chapter.  11864 words. 

Subjects: East Asian Religions

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