Info on the John Frum Movement

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Posted by Bill Cosson on July 11, 2000 at 23:53:15:

In Reply to: I cannot find a single reference to Jon Frum, are you sure they are authentic? posted by The Captain on July 10, 2000 at 15:09:20:

In the interest of scholarly research, I found some info on the John Frum Movement on Vanuatu, formerly the New Hebrides Islands. This comes from "Islands of the South Pacific," a Sunset Travel Guide. It speaks of the island of Tanna:

"Sulphur Bay, the nearby village that owns Yasur, is the home of the John Frum cargo cult. Painted red crosses - symbols of the movement - dot the village and the countryside. (You can photograph these crosses, but don't touch them).
These villagers, and others on Tanna, believe that someday "John Frum" will send them cargoes of refrigerators, jeeps, and other riches. The movement began when the islanders became disullusioned with the missionaries and white people who seemed to possess all the material wealth in the area. The islanders believed the material possessions were brought "free" by cargo ship. Military cargo shipped to Vanuatu during World War II further prompted these islanders to believe that they, too, would soon receive riches from the flying bird in the sky or the ship much larger than their canoes. No one really knows who John Frum was - he may have been an American G.I."

No doubt the writers of "Once a Tiger" had heard of the John Frum movement, and used it as the basis for their cargo cult story - one of my favorites, by the way. Nothing I like more than interior shots of old cargo planes, in this case a C-47. I betcha Tali Urulu III can tell us more about John Frum.


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