waiting for jon frum

a tannese creation legend claims that tanna was once the only land in the universe. yasur volcano, a highly active and easily accessible volcano on tanna was designated as the originator of the universe. according to the legend, in that time there were many wild animals on tanna, including lions, tigers, elephants and bison. as these were dangerous creatures, it was decided to create other lands and distribute these perils. chief mahdikdik took the soil of tanna and threw it in the directions of the compass, creating europe, asia, africa, australia and america. some of the soil was caught by the wind and scattered about creating the pacific islands.

the tannese then built large canoes and loaded the animals aboard. the various types of beast were sent to different lands. as there were too many people on tanna as well, they were sent to different parts of the earth. at this time all people were melanesian. most people went to africa, however some were caught on the reef and thrown into the sea, where the saltwater bleached them white.

it is said that jon frum is living in the crater of yasur. There is also a huge army of 5,000 to 20,000 men residing there as well, so the new legend blends with the old. below, we see alternate versions of the jon frum history. that is due, for the most part, to a history based on stories and tales passed on from one individual to the next. in it's own rights, this then is the next step of that tale.

the centre of the jon frum cargo cult today is based in the village at sulphur bay, [also called ipeukel.] the jon frum church here houses the movement's most sacred red cross. on friday evenings, jon frum supporters come from the nearby villages to dance. every year on the 15th of february, jon frum day is celebrated. This is the day when the sulphur bay people believe that jon frum will return, bringing with him all the cargo he has promised. prayers and flowers are offered at the red cross in the village church. this is followed by a flag-raising ceremony and a military parade. villagers carry rifles made of bamboo, painted to appear as if they have red bayonets.

about 100 men march under the command of two village elders dressed as us army sergeants. The soldiers have the letters "usa" painted in red on their bodies. These soldiers consider themselves to be members of the tannese army, a special unit of the american armed forces.

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