This talk explores the world’s second largest volcanic eruption of the last 2000 years: the Kuwae eruption of the 15th century, which literally destroyed Kuwae island in central Vanuatu, and contributed to the Little Ice Age. Through combining oral historical, archaeological and volcanological evidence Chris Ballard reconstructs this event and its local, regional and global consequences.
Associate Professor Christopher Ballard is a Senior Fellow in Pacific History at the Australian National University. Trained as an archaeologist and anthropologist he is now a historian specialising in Indigenous and vernacular histories, cultural heritage, intangible heritage, transmission and contexts of disaster. He has long-term field experience with communities, particularly in eastern Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and Vanuatu, as well as New Caledonia and French Polynesia.
Featured image (top of the page): Nikolai Miklouho-Maclay, Vulkan Island (Manam), 12 November 1877.