Using the cargo cult movement of Dakoa on Bali Island (West New Britain),this article explores the relationship between history and the other forms of human time articulated in cult practices, beliefs, and myths of origins. This relationship often entails the collapsing of historical time into biographical time. It involves Dakoa's cult taking up Western notions of kingship and the Christian figures of God, Jesus, and Moses—all of whom are merged with the heroic structure of traditional myths. New mythological figures have emerged who encompass multiple identities and who resurface at key historical moments so as to give a mythicmagical quality to the transformative processes of government, mission, and commerce. Many of the cult's new important spirit beings are extensions of the cult leader Dakoa, whose personhood embodies a history and provides a model for a new, pacified Melanesian self capable of reincorporating the globalizing processes of modernity.
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Andrew Lattas; Capitalizing on Complicity: Cargo Cults and the Spirit of Modernity on Bali Island (West New Britain). Ethnohistory 1 January 2005; 52 (1): 47–80. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00141801-52-1-47
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