Natural Disasters and Cultural Change

By Robin Torrence; John Grattan | Go to book overview

9

Under the volcano: Ni-Vanuatu and their environment

JEAN-CHRISTOPHE GALIPAUD


INTRODUCTION

Studying the relations that people have developed with their environment, including how they have dealt with unexpected natural catastrophes, raises difficult and complex issues, which are important for understanding the social and cultural evolution of human societies. The careful study of the impact of recent hazards in underdeveloped areas can help to gain some idea, but these observations are partly biased by the level of disaster prevention and the relief programmes that are currently available for even the most remote place on earth.

In the following chapter I will attempt to show that much useful information can be learned about human responses and/or adaptation to disasters in the past by combining archaeological work with a careful analysis of oral history. As examples I will use two cases of natural hazards which have been recorded in oral history and also confirmed and dated by archaeology. They show that in Vanuatu natural disasters are perceived as social rather than natural events. These events are not feared but respected, and the environmental and physical risks are continually weighed and socially controlled.


THE PHYSICAL CONTEXT

The Melanesian tectonic arc contains many risks for permanent human settlement. The islands where people live are subject to violent seismicity and volcanism resulting from tectonic plate movements. This ‘belt of fire’ is also affected from time to time by related catastrophic events such as the tsunami which devastated the northeast coast of Papua New Guinea in July 1998 (cf. Chapter 3).

Within this wider region, the Vanuatu (New Hebrides) Archipelago, located at 16° S and 167° E between the Solomon and New Caledonian Islands chain (Fig. 9.1) extends over 1,000 km from north to south and comprises more than 80 islands totalling over 14,760 km2 in land area. Volcanic activity is important today: there are 12 active volcanoes, including 4 submarine ones. Seismicity, especially

-162-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Natural Disasters and Cultural Change
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 352

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.