On April 2, 2007, a 6m tsunami struck Ghizo Island, Western Province, Solomon Islands. One of the most severe impacts was in Titiana, a distinct Micronesian community, where 13 villagers were killed. Despite the similar impact in a nearby Melanesian village, Pailongge, no deaths occurred. Moreover, the villages experienced a differential recovery. Social vulnerability largely determines a hazard's impact and the ability to recover, a process influenced by broader socio-political dynamics, like politics, regional exchange, and marginalization. This thesis examines how the Solomon Island government, wantok system, and immigrant status dynamically shaped vulnerability in Titiana and Pailongge and how this underlies their differential recovery. Results show the Solomon Island wantok system, a pre-capitalist Melanesian exchange pattern in which people favor their wantok _ individuals united through shared kinship, language and place _ heavily influenced recovery. Specifically, post-disaster aid distribution at multiple organizational scales flowed primarily along wantok networks, creating a biased allocation. Titiana and Pailongge households' disparate connections to these networks strongly influenced the aid they received and their overall vulnerability to the tsunami's impact. Importantly, this process was highly scale-dependent. While Titiana's immigrant status largely excluded them from these wantok networks, increasing their vulnerability, Pailongge was not necessarily resilient at all organizational scales (e.g. community, regional, national). Therefore, this thesis also explores how the wantok system and vulnerability are dynamic, inherently contradictory processes, both dependent upon and transformative across scales. The analysis challenges more static approaches to vulnerability. Understanding the shifting articulation of the wantok system, vulnerability, and resilience has implications for the future vulnerability and resiliency of Melanesian societies.