Tanna | Ambae | Karua | Ambrym | Lopevi | Gaua
Karua, a volcano born out of a cataclysmic
After Kuwae: Karua
Cyclic fumarole activity | 500
years of oral tradition
500 years of oral tradition
While civilisations possessing writing
skills kept records of outstanding volcanic events in their history
which can be read today, cultures with a purely oral tradition are
nevertheless able to shed light on such events from the past, and
help volcanologists piece together the region's history. The story
of the explosion of Kuwae was handed down through the generations
for over 500 years. The early missionaries were the first to write
old tales, then came the archaeologists, who looked for (and
found) supporting evidence and put a tentative date to the event.
Finally, geologists were able to pinpoint the year of the cataclysm
at 1452 AD.
It is quite likely that in the near future an island made up of
ashes and rock will rise out of the water again to become a permanent
feature of this part of Vanuatu.