Mambu is the name of a native of New Guinea who led what has become known as a 'Cargo' cult. These cults, common in Melanesia, are partly religious, political and economic in nature. Participants in the cult engage in exotic rites, the purpose of which is to gain possession of European manufactured goods, such as knives, medicines, razor blades, tinned foods etc.
The volume discusses why these cults occur and examines a way of life of a New Guinea people and their reactions to European penetration and achievement.
First published in 1960.
'A book really worth reading It is undoubtedly the richest analysis of any single Melanesian cult-movement that we possess.' - P. M. Worsley, The Sociological Review