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Kago, Kastom and Kalja: The Study of Indigenous Movements in Melanesia Today

Marcellin Abong
Marc Tabani

Chapter 7. Even More Strange Stories of Desire: Cargo Cult in Popular Media

Lamont Lindstrom

Texte intégral

1Here are a few recent (November 2009) popular references to “cargo cult”: A Boston Globe movie reviewer bashes: “’Planet 51’ is a cargo-cult movie - a piece of popculture flotsam that exists by scavenging pieces of other, better films” (Burr 2009: G8). A blogger, founder and CEO of a “cloud-based business intelligence startup headquartered in San Francisco,” warns that the European hi-tech ecosystem “bears some signs of a Cargo Cult” (Stanek 2009: np). And a Botswana Member of Parliament grumbles: “We are creating a cargo cult mentality amongst our people” (Gabarone 2009:np).

2Simple Internet trolling uncovers many similar pop-cultural references to cargo cults, only a few of these so-called cults today still located in Melanesia. Previously, in Cargo Cult: Strange Stories of Desire from Melanesia and Beyond (1993), I had some fun quoting glum colonial critics who bitterly complained that despite their best efforts, “cargo cult won’t die quietly” (1993:163). And those old-time observers have certainly proved prescient, at least a propos the ongoing vigor and popularity of the term itself if not, perhaps, the actualities and concerns of active social movements within Melanesia today. In that book, I also traced some of the incursions that the term and concept “cargo cult” have made into discursive arenas far beyond academic anthropology and Pacific Studies, and specifically their presence in popular, pre-Internet media accounts and texts (journalism, music lyrics, art, novels, and the like). Western fascination with “cargo cult” has not abated in the years since my book was published. With the emergence of the Internet and increasing global tourist flows, cargo cult has become even more famous, or infamous, and even more celebrated, or denounced.

3In this paper, I bring my survey of popular uses of the cargo cult story into the present, investigating again why many find that story so compelling. I sample various ways the term continues to be applied and I briefly consider how these now global treatments of cargo cult may feed back and influence Melanesian understandings of their own local island practice. Back in 1993, reading through popular stories about Tanna’s John Frum movement, I suggested that these accounts “play out in two main keys. There is dark-toned parody or irony... And there is a brightly lit romantic heroism” (1993:112). As we shall see, these two themes – cargo cult as obloquy, and cargo cult as noble resistance – still continue to dominate the range of recent pop-cultural deployments of the label. Cargo cultists are misguided, even stupid nitwits who are deluded by irrational thinking and overblown desire; or cargo cultists are gallant rebels, cultural critics even, who scorn and reveal the dull, soul-numbing lesions of our consumerist modernity.

4The Internet, since 1993, has exploded in scope and significance and this today spreads cargo cult talk even more widely than when this circulated mainly in text and film. Cargo cult, nowadays, has certainly gone global: As excerpted above, it rattles through Boston, Botswana, the Silicon Valley, and beyond. The Blogosphere is particularly fond of the term. I suspect that many of those canny enough to blog like to think of themselves as well-read, and their uses of quasi-esoteric terms such as cargo cult serve to decorate their writings thus to impress readers. And cargo cult, moreover, is a useful literary cudgel that serves many bloggers’ elemental carping and critical style.

5I stand by my earlier conclusion (Lindstrom 1993) that cargo cult’s celebrity beyond anthropology per se has much to do with the fact that the term, as metaphor, functions as a barely-disguised model of Western desire itself, although a desire that is displaced onto Melanesia: Cargo cult is a just-so story about our peculiarly modern mode of desiring that is always ultimately unrequited, unquenchable, and never-ending. These underlying cultural currents of, and about, desire sustain the term’s continuing popularity and use, despite the particularities of its deployment online and elsewhere. Moreover, because we unthinkingly discriminate between good desire and bad desire, so we discern good and bad cargo culting. Our judgment here mostly reflects the proper object of presumed universal desire. Good desire focuses on personal development, creativity, and individual freedom. Bad desire seeks material goods and fetishes, quick but ineffective fixes to life’s problems, and tawdry political programs.

6As cultural moderns, however, we take our desiring, no matter its good or bad objects, to be naturally unending. We rightly desire human perfectibility and freedom but we would be astonished should we one day actually achieve this. Self-development is, and should be, an infinite task. Cargo cultists, both good and bad, take desire naturally to be an unquenchable human condition. Cargo cults serve to phrase our desire in constant, universal form. We appreciate cargo culting, even the bad sort, and love to gossip about it. It is nirvana, however noble and unattainable a goal, that makes us nervous and suspicious. The bloggers’ message is that an end of desire, should this one day happen, must mean death.

Cargo Cult for Beginners

7Cargo cult is ubiquitous enough nowadays so that graphic artists and others can freely pun off the term. For example, we cultists, now moved online, worship at the altar of those cargo pants (Figure 1):

Figure 1 : Cargo Worship

8Or, we consumers get the joke when an artist pokes fun at our forlorn desire for sex, happiness, or wealth or at our irrational means to achieve, or understand, such desires (Figure 2):

Figure 2: Forlorn Desire

9Just in case, however, slowpoke World-Wide-Websters or even old-fashioned literati have yet to encounter the notion of persistent cargo culting, or have not yet come to grasp its global significance, several comic artists have drawn helpful explanatory depictions of the term itself. These run through the basics. Ryan North, for instance, creator of Dinosaur Comics simplifies cargo cult for his fans (​index.php?comic=1100) (Figure3):

Figure 3: Cargo Cult for Beginners

10This comic clarification features one of the standard cargo cult origin myths – that forlorn Melanesian natives turned to culting after Pacific War cargo evaporated from their shores. North, thus, offers a graphic version of higher anthropological theories of post-colonial mimesis and he is kind to remark that cargo cults are crazy not so much because they are, well, crazy but because their desires are sublime.

11Allysa Nassner, a second graphic artist, narrows her pedagogical focus down to one particular Melanesian cult, the John Frum movement of Tanna, Vanuatu (Figure 4):

Figure 4: John Frum for Beginners

12Nassner obviously has studied John Frum photographs although her cultists – and that volcano – do not much resemble island actuality. She does, however, nicely sketch a panel of island cargo dreams so to blur and conlate islander and Western desire: Cultists everywhere, so it seems (and so many presume), naturally share the same sweet dreams of potato chips, mobile phones, athletic shoes, and pepperoni pizza (​2008_05_01_archive.html).

13Both these graphic explications of the term are sympathetic in the anthropological sense. The artists explain away culting, rather than denouncing this, as a sort of rational irrationality – culting makes good sense given people’s historic experience or given the inherent and natural desirability of those Western goods. Who doesn’t, after all, lust for potato chips? Many others who use the term to condemn and deplore, however, are not so even-handed.

Bad Cargo Cults

14Cargo cult as obloquy continues to dominate spreading usage of the label online. There are more ignoble, than noble, cultists prowling about, at least as apparent on the Internet. Back in 1993, I suggested that those who find cargo cult useful as a label which defames what they deprecate presume a tripartite lowest common denominator. Almost anything might be called cargo cult if it: 1) Affects desire (for wealth, or whatever); 2) involves some group or collectivity of the desirous; and if 3) such desires, or purported means to achieve them, can be discredited as irrational. Or, “the distilled essence of cargo cult, in this most simplified delineation of the term, is a tragic relationship between rational ends and irrational means – between genuine desire and ineffective practice” (Lindstrom 1993:185-186). In years since, popular detection of cargo cults seems to have become unhampered by even these slight definitional requirements. Nowadays, cargo culting might be almost anything that some critic depreciates.

15Popular uses of the term spin about the Internet mocking, in particular, misguided politics, misguided economic policies or business plans and, oddly, misguided computer programs and systems. Such cargo computing perhaps reflects the enduring influence upon computer geeks of physicist Richard Feynman who was an early adopter and academic importer of the onetime anthropological term. Feynman deplored “cargo cult science” in his 1974 commencement address at the California Institute of Technology: “So I call these things Cargo Cult Science, because they follow all the apparent precepts and forms of scientific investigation, but they’re missing something essential, because the planes don’t land” (1974:11). Frequent Internet critique of imprudent computer code is phrased in a language of “cargo cult programming.” Cargoist abuse of this sort has been common enough that “cargo cult programming” is now a Wikipedia entry: “Cargo cult programming is a style of computer programming that is characterized by the ritual inclusion of code or program structures that serve no real purpose” (; for an example, see​blog/​not-cargo-cult-programming-source-control-communication-and-lack-of-it-all/​). Wikipedia also remarks “cargo cult software engineering,” referring its readers onwards to “magical thinking” and “voodoo programming.”

16Most popular uses of bad cargo culting, though, target irrational economic or political endeavor – and this makes sense given that non-anthropological devotees of the term generally take “cargo” to refer to riches or prosperity, and “cult” to presume some sort of religio-politically organized practices aiming to achieve such wealth. These popular uses of the term are too numerous to catalog in full, but one finds examples thrown about the American national elections of 2008 which provided an opportunity for supporters of one party or another to accuse their opponents of being cargo cultists. One jokester blogger, for example, decried Republican Party candidate “John Frum McCain,” writing:

Trailing by large margins in US national polls, Republicans are hoping for the miraculous return of a presidential candidate known to them as "John Frum" McCain. Activists say Frum-McCain, who bears striking similarities to saviour figures in 20th century Pacific Island cargo cults, will return one day bringing winning vote margins and financial aid. "John Frum' im go come wi' lotsa cargo," says North Carolina Republican party chairman Linda Daves. Frum-McCain supporters are known for fanaticism, often scarring their faces, or spending huge amounts of money on ceremonial vestments to prove their devotion. Critics say there have been very few sightings of John Frum-McCain in states the Republicans need to win, and that party officials are being unrealistic about their election hopes” (​2008/​10/​republicans-put-faith-in-johnfrum.html) (Figure 5).

Figure 5: John Frum McCain

17Republicans, though, have turned the tables to likewise accuse Democrats of engaging in cargo cult. In 2004, so they said, Congressman Denis Kucinich was actually “Dennis The Menace, back again, to suck all the life out of the American peace cargo cult – uh, American peace movement” ( More recently, some have accused the Obama administration of engaging in crazy cargo cult economics, a charge conveniently featured on a cap for sale on the Internet (​cargo+hats) depicting Obama, the cargo prophet (Figure 6).

Figure 6: Obama the Cargo Prophet

18Australians, too, easily toss about political cargo cult accusations. Cartoonist Jonathan Bentley, for instance, lampooned former Queensland Premier Peter Beattie as a cargo worshipper in a cartoon featured in the 11 July 2003 Courier-Mail newspaper (Figure 7).

Figure 7: Cargo Cult Politics

19Not just politicians, anyone with irrational economic desire or strategy might actually be a crypto cargo cultist. The Canadian International Development Research Centre plotted out four possible global futures in light of “new information and communication technologies” – one of the more unpleasant futures being “cargo cult”:

By 2010 the Cargo Cult mentality prevails. Most national governments not only lack financial resources and know-how but also political will. Having a national computing centre, like having a national airline and a national satellite system, is a matter of national pride, if in reality a loss to the treasury. Computers symbolize the new religion; even if they do not work well or have any useful software. Every country has a national campaign to put computers in schools, but many fail to train the teachers to operate the computers and some put computers in schools that do not have any electricity or connectivity. Very few education officials have the skills that are needed... The result is widespread frustration (​en/​ev-28773-201-1-DO_TOPIC.html).

20Bad mentality, lack of “know-how,” skill, and political will, and useless symbols that take the place of real, practical means all lead inexorably to dreaded cargo cult.

21If less grandly, other critics smell out more specific irruptions of cargo cult across the land. One blog, “The Cargo Cult of Business,” offers regular comment on current economic irrationality: “The desperate need for redemption of the corporation as a beneficial social organism is why it is our mission with this blog to provide exposition of this clash between corporate, social, and government interests; a clash that forms the turbulent ocean defining the world of early twenty-first century America” ( A misleading veneer of business stylishness conceals inadequate, primitive product.

Figure 8: Cargo Cult Business

22Many other commentators launch similar jeremiads about the decay of once tough American rationality into cargo cult thinking. Peter Klauser fingers the four “Principles of the American Cargo Cult” for instance, as “Ignorance is innocence, Causality is selectable, It’s not your fault, and Death is unnatural” ( Such madness, of course, reflects “a worldview that is orthogonal to reality” and leads to “Corporate Cargo Cults” ( Such cults deify irrational “personal rapid transit” schemes, among many others, where the deluded faithful throw away good money after bad (as early John Frum supporters on Tanna reportedly cast off their hard-earned Australian dollars and French francs into the sea) (​PRT-Cult.html).

23Such economic madness flows from “cargo cult innovation” (, “cargo cult management,” or maybe “cargo cult entrepreneurship” that “allow inefficiency and bad management to creep into the system” ( Or perhaps feckless tourism is the ultimate cargo cult? “Tourism is the quintessence of Commodity Fetishism. It is the ultimate Cargo Cult – the worship of goods that never arrive, because they have been exalted beyond the stench of mortality – or morality” ( Cargo cults have occurred even in the hallowed precincts of professional American baseball: “Baseball’s worst Cargo Cult has been on the wane for about a decade, the religion built around the value/virtue of starting pitchers throwing complete games (sometimes also the value of having a pitcher be a 20-game winner, or throwing 250 innings for a season)” (​2008/​09/​corporate-cargo-cults-bruce-jenkins_25.html). Cargo cultists spread across the land. Is nothing, anymore, truly sacred?

Good Cargo Cults

24But not everything is dark and foolish in the land of cargo cult. There are, in fact, noble cargo cultists who struggle to repel and reveal the onslaughts and faux rationality of modernity. Here, the goal is not to reform and save modernity with threats of scary cargo cult, but rather to demystify and impugn it. Just as John Frum people on Tanna have stood to criticize the invidiousness of colonial, and now post-colonial, economic and political structures, so too do global cargo cultists impeach modernity’s false claims. Here, we deal not so much with deluded politicians or businessmen but with farsighted bards and wise artists. These cargo cultists are cool.

25The one-time Austin, TX rock band (their one album: Strange Men Bearing Gifts) and the more recent electronic/triphop artist Allan Vilhan both call themselves Cargo Cult, emphasizing a critical stance and a desire to remake the world, and they share that name with other Indy bands including Cargo Cult Revival. Members of the Paris-based music group Ulan Bator have also performed as “Cargo Cult.” Cargo Cult Records, an independent music producer located in Knoxville, TN, specializes in “forward-thinking rock & pop music produced, performed and distributed with a DIY ethos” ( (Figure 9).

Figure 9: Cargo Cult Revivals

26Our noble musical cultists, here, seek out do-it-yourself indy music that transcends today’s commercialized schlock. Forward-thinking cargo culting is the future, not the past. Those Melanesian cultists, like the John Frum people, were prophets of post-modernity. And the spiritual savior John Frum, in fact, turns out to be ourselves. The cargo – the force – is already within us; just click your ruby slippers three times. We can scrape away modernity to locate good honest desire within. Devotees of one of the Cargo Cult groups sell t-shirts ( that proclaim “we are the ones we have been waiting for,” eaturing a spaceman John Frum walking out into the present (Figure 10).

Figure 10: Cargo Cult in Space

27Other musicians, including Paris-based 7BZH (Frank Thorstein, and Earl Reinhalter, have named albums or songs after cargo cult. Reinhalter’s album Cargo Cult features a John Frum hymn, the first verse of which begins:

All of us are members
of the cargo cult,
waiting for the savior
that they call John Frumm.
If you are a member
of the cargo cult,
you will be rewarded
when the cargo comes.
We will be rewarded
when the cargo comes.
We will be rewarded
when the cargo comes.

28The exact referent of “all of us” and “We will be rewarded” is blurred: who are the real cargo cultists, after all? Why, come to think of it, it’s us!

29Artists, too, celebrate cargo culting. Some, like Brisbane-based Ona Filloy, have depicted Melanesian cultists such as on her “John Frum Day” postcard that features planes flying over Tanna (​). Or, an anonymous artist offers a more fanciful depiction of a cargo plane pregnant with cargo (Figure 11).

Figure 11: Cargo Plane

30Whereas Filloy’s red cross and, perhaps, frangipani mark her cultists as Tannese, the generic cargo plane can pop up anywhere, and artists thus locate their cultists everywhere.

31Carl Chew, for example, designed one cargoist homage to New York pop artist Ray Johnson: A facsimile sheet of postage stamps featuring twisted planes likewise pregnant with who-knows-what desirable (but dangerous?) cargo in their holds.

32Australian sculptor Rudi Jass’ cargo cult, on the other hand, features an older-fashion steel boat carrying, no surprise, mysterious cargo ( Painter Robert Becraft (who has completed a cargo cult series “things belong to those who want them the most”) is also now “working on a film animation loosely based around Melanesian cargo cults, how an adult film star and serial killer can loom larger in absence than in real life, among other things” (​2007/​artists.php?a=Robert_Becraft). Cargo prophets and transgressive porn stars and serial killers reveal the limitations of modern, “real life.” And Seattle, WA artist Alden Mason’s 1995 acrylic painting “Cargo Cult” is for sale on an online art gallery for only $7100 ( It is a pity that Melanesians, or even anthropologists, failed to copyright the now popular and ubiquitous term when we had the chance. “Well into his 70s, Mason traveled to New Guinea to live among native tribes (he still proudly displays in his Ballard studio an arrow he pulled from a tribesman struck in an inter-tribal war)” (www.cs.washington. edu/building/art/AldenMason/). Here, again, we find those favorite distorted cargo planes – an artistic comment, I think, about the psychological abrasions of materialism, or at least of modernist desire for material goods.

33Literary cargo cultists also join with the artistic and the musical. Cargo Cult Press (where the “natives are notoriously slow”), for instance, is a “small press that will provide a home for the talented mid-list writer and celebrate fine boutique handcrafted binding” ( (Figure 12). Among its list one finds The Sound of Drums, Valley of the Dead (deluxe edition), and other tales of modern, cargoist horror.

Figure 12: Cargo Cult Press

34Writers, as I noted back in 1993, continue to stumble upon the cargo cult story and weave this into their work. Christopher Moore’s comedy Island of the Sequined Love Nun (1998) most faithfully follows the cargo cult story, but the term also turns up in a flush of other recent popular novels.

35Playwrights, too, have put cargo cult on stage, most often as modern tragedy of desire. I described a number of such plays in 1993 (Lindstrom 1993:170-172) and more have appeared in recent years. Writer and performer Mike Daisey, for instance, toured the USA with his one-man show, optimistically called “The Last Cargo Cult” (Figure 13). No surprise, this hammers the point that “the source of America’s financial crisis and the faith of a group of islanders in the Vanuatu Islands don’t look as different as you’d expect” ( The Tannese yearn for those cargo planes but we also worship financial hedge funds and the stock market. Lo and behold, we too are melancholy cargo cultists. Melanesian madness has conquered the rational West.

Figure 13: The Last Cargo Cult?

Cargo Cult for Sale

36I could go on. The Internet is popping with cargo cults and Google makes it easy to seek these out. Instead, I conclude with a few thoughts about ways in which today’s global exposures and images of cargo culting spill back into Melanesia. First, as I noted in 1993, cargo cult – the term – has always been one of opprobrium despite the fact that, for a time, it became part of standard anthropological jargon. Despite examples of good cargo culting, the majority of cargo cult branding today still carries a sting. Politically active Melanesians generally discount the term’s local suitability, although within political tactics they sometimes apply it to one another – as did one blogger in criticism of recent plans to establish a free trade zone on Manus island, Papua New Guinea ( Bad cargo culting, worldwide, continues to tinge people back in Melanesia with feckless desire and irrational thinking insofar as they are identified with its origins.

37But good cargo culting, too, may spill back into Melanesia insofar as the good cult experience, in the main, is for sale. One can buy into cargo cult in the form of CDs, DVDs, stage plays, edgy books, cool painting and sculpture, and more. And there is at least one Cargo Cult Shop (next to the Explorers Café-Bar) located in the UK’s Cheddar Caves and Gorge (Figure 14):

Figure 14: Cargo Cult Shopping

If shopping is your religion, Cargo Cult is named after a religious cult that sprang up amongst headhunters in the East Indies to explain the "magical" appearance of treasures brought to their islands by C18th sailing shops and later dropped by parachute to GIs in the jungle during WWII. Our Cargo Cult shop, situated beside Gough's Café entrance, has the perfect gift for you to buy for a friend or loved one, as well as that well deserved self indulgence just for you (

38Cargo cult shopping comes back around to Melanesia, too, where the John Frum movement, among a few others, have become advertised and increasingly popular tourist attractions (Lindstrom 2013). Nowadays, one can buy the cargo cult experience on Tanna, too, as in the Cheddar Caves or on online bookstores and music sites anywhere. Cargo culting, now worth real money, brings in hard tourist dollars.

39This global commercialization of cargo cult can transform local understanding and practice. Whereas a social movement was once just that – people organized in hopes of bringing about political and economic change – this now becomes touristic spectacle. In fact, as more-and-more people encounter global applications of the term online or elsewhere, be these so-called cargo cults noble or ignoble, they may eventually be drawn to visit cargo cult’s Pacific sources (see Scott, 2012). Places like Tanna become cargo cult Mecca, Jerusalem, or Rome, gummed up with tourists. Outsiders appear to experience cargo cult as an amusing spectacle, as noble resistance to the evils of modernity, or merely as some undigested and poorly understood oddity. Whichever, Melanesians under tourist gaze have come to understand that they can sell certain local events if these can be packaged up as cargo cult. Nowadays, John Frum as cargo cult is bought and sold on Tanna just as it is in American theaters or on the Internet. Spreading global awareness of cargo cults and promiscuous use of the term unsettles its original Melanesian referents.

40It is certainly piquant that some American cargo cultists, like performing artist Mike Daisey, are daring or foolish enough to offer up “the last” cargo cult. Cargo’s secret – which is also the secret of modern desire itself – is that it is always unrequited, undying, and never-ending. I previously dared to reveal the true secret of the cargo cult: That “our metadiscourse of desire makes cargo cult for us both believable and emotionally compelling... The unrequited desire of cargo/love is undending” (Lindstrom 1993:210). Cargo cults, for us at least, are parables of modern desire and our particular mode of desire “seems even more real insofar as Melanesians appear to suffer it, too” (2004:32). Modernist unrequited desire, however, spreads powerfully within global economic structures and by now it has washed back everywhere including onto Pacific islands where people today confront the mysteries of late capitalism (Dalton, this volume; see also Hermann this volume). Daisey’s title is too optimistic. Cargo cults now gone wild on the Internet will continue to erupt everywhere.



Burr, Ty
2009 Movie Review: ‘Planet 51’ Is Hardly Worth the Visit. Boston Globe (20 November): G8.

Feynman, Richard
1974 “Cargo Cult Science: Some Remarks on Science, Pseudoscience, and Learning How to Not Fool Yourself”, Engineering and Science, 37(7):10-13.

Gabarone, Obebile
2009 “State of the National – A Response”, Mmegi Online 26 (175, 20 November),

Lindstrom, Lamont
1993 Cargo Cult: Strange Stories of Desire from Melanesia and Beyond.
Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.
2004 “Cargo Cult at the Third Millennium”. In Holger Jebens (ed.), Cargo, Cult and Culture Critique. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.
2013 “Cultural Heritage, Politics, and Tourism on Tanna (Vanuatu)”. In E. Hviding and G. White (eds), Cultural Heritage and Political Innovation in the Pacific Islands. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press.

Moore, Christopher
1998 Island of the Sequined Love Nun. New York: Harper.

Scott, Michael W.
2012 “The Matter of Makira: Colonisation, Competition, and the Production of Gendered Peoples in Contemporary Solomon Islands and Medieval Britain”, History and Anthropology, 23(1): 115-148.

Stanek, Roman
2009 “Avoiding the Cargo Cult and Getting the Trans-Atlantic Startup Model Right”.
TechCrunch (1 November).

Table des illustrations

Légende Figure 1 : Cargo Worship
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Légende Figure 2: Forlorn Desire
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Légende Figure 3: Cargo Cult for Beginners
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Légende Figure 4: John Frum for Beginners
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Légende Figure 5: John Frum McCain
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Légende Figure 6: Obama the Cargo Prophet
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Légende Figure 7: Cargo Cult Politics
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Légende Figure 8: Cargo Cult Business
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Légende Figure 9: Cargo Cult Revivals
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Légende Figure 10: Cargo Cult in Space
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Légende Figure 11: Cargo Plane
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Légende Figure 12: Cargo Cult Press
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Légende Figure 13: The Last Cargo Cult?
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Légende Figure 14: Cargo Cult Shopping
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Kendall Professor of Anthropology at the University of Tulsa, is the author of Knowledge and Power in a South Pacific Society (Smithsonian Institution Press, 1990), Cargo Cult: Strange Stories of Desire from Melanesia and Beyond (University of Hawaii Press, 1993), and has also published on cultural policy, kava, chiefs and governance, Pacific War ethnohistory, and adventurer-photographers Martin and Osa Johnson, and he has written a dictionary and grammar of the Kwamera language of southeast Tanna, Vanuatu. He is currently following the life stories of Tanna urban migrants who have moved up into the settlements surrounding Port Vila, Vanuatu's capital town, whose lives have spanned the eras of colonialism, national independence, and globalization.

© pacific-credo Publications, 2013

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