The High Plains Society
Applied Anthropology


Taught by Friedl: The Power of Millenarian Movements as Reflected in a New Guinea Cargo Cult

Peter Van Arsdale

Gottfried O. (“Friedl”) Lang was a teacher and mentor to many undergraduate and graduate students during his tenure in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Colorado – Boulder. As senior advisor for my doctoral dissertation, his insights proved exceedingly helpful as I prepared my prospectus and then implemented fieldwork among the Asmat of Indonesian New Guinea. His views on social and millenarian movements were prescient, and his emphases on socio-cultural, socio-economic and socio-political dynamics as induced culture change takes place, guided me to a comprehensive analysis of an intriguing cargo cult. It was referred to locally as the “Belief in the ‘Lord of the Earth’ ” movement.

The Applied Anthropologist, No. 2, Vol. 31, 2011, pp 17 - 24

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