Allegedly, Cargo Cults sprang up in and around the remote islands of the South Pacific during WW2 when Allied troops dropped food and other necessary supplies such as medicine (along with armaments) from Cargo planes, though some believe Cargo Cults have been round much longer than that. For the purposes of this illustration we’ll stick with WW2.
To the native inhabitants of these islands who had probably never seen a plane before, let alone one dropping ‘gifts’ from the sky, these events were regarded as miraculous. When the war ended and these ‘gifts’ from the sky stopped the myth arose that they must have come from the gods. Needless to say, these remote islanders kept hoping these generous sky gods would return with some more goodies.
They had presumably seen soldiers clearing paths on beaches for landing strips and doing military drills etc and many of these islanders took it into their heads that these must be the rituals necessary to preempt a visit.
Its easy to see how new religions are created 😉
Perhaps the most widely known is the ‘John Frum’ cargo cult.
See this article for more about John Frum http://www.nthposition.com/thelastcargo.php
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