Cultures of Secrecy

Cultures of Secrecy

Reinventing Race in Bush Kaliai Cargo Cults

eBook - 1998
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After driving the Japanese out of Papua New Guinea during World War II, the U.S. military left their gear—and the makings of a cargo cult—to the native Kaliai. Cultures of Secrecy offers a close look at how, for fifty years, the bush Kaliai in Melanesia have worked these tailings of the western world into their indigenous culture. Andrew Lattas shows how cargo cults in general bring together past, present, and future in their curious blending of traditional myths, imported folklore, borrowed state practices and ideologies, and reworked Christian stories. The result is a richly interdisciplinary work that uses ethnography to explore questions of racial experience, gender relations, space, time, death, and the politics of human relations.


After driving the Japanese out of Papua New Guinea during World War II, the U.S. military left their gear—and the makings of a cargo cult—to the native Kaliai. Cultures of Secrecy offers a close look at how, for fifty years, the bush Kaliai in Melanesia have worked these tailings of the western world into their indigenous culture. Andrew Lattas shows how cargo cults in general bring together past, present, and future in their curious blending of traditional myths, imported folklore, borrowed state practices and ideologies, and reworked Christian stories. The result is a richly interdisciplinary work that uses ethnography to explore questions of racial experience, gender relations, space, time, death, and the politics of human relations.



Publisher: Madison : University of Wisconsin Press, ©1998
ISBN: 9780585081083
0585081085
Characteristics: 1 online resource (xliv, 360 pages) : illustrations

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