Yasur,the most accessible active volcano on earth!
Tanna Travel Blog› entry 11 of 22 › view all entries
Yasur volcano on Tanna island is the most accessible volcano on earth:visitors can be driven in a 4WD vehicle to as close as 150 m from the rim.After a short 10 minute walk,you are right on the edge of a 100 m deep crater,which is about 300 m wide.
This stratovolcano(summit 400 m) has been called "The Lighthouse of Pacific"because of its continuous eruptions visible from the sea.It's been erupting every few minutes for at least 800 years.
It is a Vulcanian type volcano:that's where large blocks and glowing fragments of new viscous lava are thrown out.And this is what most people see when they stand on the edge of the Yasur and look in.It is most active around late February to April(wet season).
People from Tanna believe that Yasur is the Originator of the Universe and that where, after their death,people's spirits go.
Yasur boasts the world's only Volcano Post !
WARNING:Approaching Yasur's crater is DANGEROUS at any time!
Wear long trousers and long-sleeved shirt,take your sunglasses,a warmcloth
Go there with an experienced guide who knows the local conditions
Don't panic when blasts go off!
Beware of your children:no fence!
Yasur was the main reason of my South Pacific trip!!!!
We stayed 3 nights there in Tanna in the too expensive White Grass Resort near the Airport(rates for 2:accomodation,breakfast only,transferts ,volcano tour were 89600 Vatu i.e 760 euro or 970 Usd for a half star hotel!)
I had some good snorkelling there and a lot of sandwich!We also visit a Kastom(custom) village and attend a Jon From meeting.
John Frum is an active cargo cult for roughly 20% of the people of the island of Tanna in Vanuatu South Pacific.It is also the name of a mythic messianic figure who appeared allegedly in the 1940's during WWII on Tanna island and depicted as a US WWII soldier who will provide goods, wealth and prosperity to his believers on his return.As the anthropologist Kirk Huffmann who have lived several years in Vanuatu explains:"You get cargo cults when the outside world,with all its material wealth,suddenly descends on remote,indigenous tribes".
John Frum(or Jon Frum or John From) seems a corruption of John from...(America).Today white people there are often called John by the locals.His believers think that John Frum will come back on a February 15 (the John Frum day in Vanuatu) but the year of his return is unfortunately unknown!The John Frum's symbol is a red cross copied from the crosses seen on the military emergency vehicles.
During the WWII over 500.000 allied troops( 300.000 American) passed through the Vanuatu's archipelago,mostly in Luganville in Espiritu Santo and in Efate island.More than 1000 residents of Tanna were employed in the US bases.The Tannese people were impressed by the power,the wealth and the apparent equality between the white and African-american soldiers.This led them to consider them as benefactors and dream up a sort of cultural hero who come from across the sea and bring wealth.
The center of John Frum movement is Ipeukel at Sulphur bay in East Tanna,very far from our resort located in the West.We only have attended an evening ceremony in a close custom village which consists mainly in singing.In Sulphur Bay where on February 15th 1957 an American flag was raised,the followers celebrate the John Frum day each year,raising an American flag,marching with an imitation army with imitation rifles made of bamboo ,wearing American caps and T.
There is also an another cargo cult in South Tanna:The Prince Philip movement.
Following a royal visit in Vanuatu in 1974,the Prince Philip,Duke of Edinburgh,the consort to Elisabeth II is worshipped by the members of the Yaohanen tribe as a whiteson of a mountain spirit and as the brother of John Frum.