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Episode 12: Frum Here to Eternity (John Frum)

To learn more about​ John Frum, you can consult a plethora of different documentaries. One of our favorite documentarians, Werner Herzog, recently discussed John Frum in Into the Inferno (2016), available for streaming now on Netflix. The most recent feature length analysis of the faith, though, came in 2014 with Waiting for John directed by Jessica​ Sherry. Both documentaries (as well as many others) feature interviews with Isaac Wan, who you can see introducing himself here. We would simply recommend supplementing these films with other sources.       

In writing this episode, we consulted the following primary and secondary sources:​

Primary Sources

Cook, James. The Journals, Edited by Philip Edwards. New York: Penguin, 1999. Sample available online here

Gourguechon, Charlene. Journey to the End of the World: A Three-Year Adventure in the New Hebrides. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1977. 


Paton, John G. John G. Paton, Missionary to the New Hebrides: An Autobiography. New York: Robert Carter and Brothers, 1889. Available online here.  


Secondary Sources

Crowley, Daniel J., and Magdalene L. Crowley. "Religion and Politics in the John Frum Festival, Tanna Island, Vanuatu." Journal of Folklore Research 33, no. 2 (1996).


Edmond, Rod. Migrations: Journeys in Time and Place. Wellington, New Zealand: Bridget Williams Books, 2013. Sample available online here.  


Flexner, James L. An Archaeology of Early Christianity in Vanuatu: Kastom and Religious Change on Tanna and Erromango, 1839–1920. Acton, ACT, Australia: ANU Press, 2016.


Gregory, Robert J., and Janet E. Gregory. "John Frum: An Indigenous Strategy of Reaction to Mission Rule and the Colonial Order." Pacific Studies 7, no. 2 (1984). 


Lindstrom, Lamont. "Cargo Cult at the Third Millennium." In Cargo, Cult, and Culture Critique. Edited by Holger Jebens. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2004.  


Lindstrom, Lamont. Cargo Cult: Strange Stories of Desire from Melanesia and Beyond. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1993. 


Lindstrom, Lamont. "Knowledge of Cargo, Knowledge of Cult: Truth and Power on Tanna, Vanuata." In Cargo Cults and Millenarian Movements: Transoceanic Comparisons of New Religious Movements. Edited by G.W. Trompf. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 1990.  


Raffaele, Paul. "In John They Trust." Smithsonian Magazine, February 2006. URL (Accessed July 10, 2017). 


Rice, Edward. John Frum He Come: A Polemical Work About a Black Tragedy. Garden City, NY: Doubleday and Company, 1974. 


Tabani, Marc. "The Carnival of Custom: Land Dives, Millenarian Parades and Other Spectacular Ritualizations in Vanuatu." Oceania 80, no. 3 (2010). 

Tabani, Marc. "Dreams of Unity, Traditions of Division: John Frum, 'kastom' and Inter-Manipulation Strategies as Cultural Heritage on Tanna (Vanuatu)." Paideuma: Mitteilungen zur Kulturkunde 55 (2009).

To learn more about these sources, check out this episode's accompanying blog post

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