June, 1950

claimed that it had been revealed to him that before long the whole world would he turned upside down, particularly that the whites would serve the natives, the chiefs would serve the common people, and his followers would have eternal life. Jehovah was subordinated to local gods, and through the use of supernatural powers derived from the gods, the prophet was enabled to secure the obedience of a large following. The following drilled in European style to repulse the expected advance of the Administration. The prophet was banished, but the belief in the tuka cult continued.                  

The Baigona Cult of Papua.4 

The Baigona Snake Cult of the Northern Division of Papua operated for many years from 1911. The prophet had the secrets of sorcery and prophesy revealed to him by the Baigona Snake, and cultivated its good-will by special rites. He sold the secrets of the cult to those who wished to he initiated. The movement was characterised by trances. Its rise coincided with the attempt to bring the area under administrative control. An administrative patrol was endangered and administrative pressure to reduce the trances and abolish the sale of initiation in accordance with anti-sorcery policy was not completely successful.                   

The Lontis Cult of Buka.  

1 have not been able to find details of this cult, which occurred in 1913 during the German administration. Numerous arrests were made.          

The German Wislin of the Torres Straits.5  

This is the first clear specimen of the genus now known as "Cargo Cult". It occurred in 1913 on the island of Saihai, Torres Straits. The prophet declared, that his followers would see the markai, the spirits of the dead, who would come to them in a steamer, bringing all kinds of manufactured cargo, and who would kill all the whites. Those who disobeyed the prophet would lose all their money and would he unable to earn any more.             

The Taro Cult and its Relatives in Papua.6   

This cult, very much akin to the Baigona, but in which the native vegetable taro took the place of the baigona snake, was more 

4. See Papua Annual Reports 1911/12 p. 129, 1912/13 p. 154, 1919/20 p. 63; Chinnery and Haddon, Five New Religious Cults in British New Guinea, Hibbert Journd, XV, 3, 1917;  Williams, F. E., Orokaiva Magic, Oxford 1928. 

5. See Chinnery and Haddon, op. cit. 

6. See Chinnery and Haddon, op. cit.; 'Williams, op.cit. 


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