A whale of a time
26 October 2013 | Lambeta, Indonesia
Lambeta – Whaling Village
I have a lot of feelings about whaling so when one of the tour was to the only village in the world where they still harpoon whales by standing on the bow of a canoe, I balked about going. I wasn’t so sure I wanted to see or hear about whales being killed but in the end, curiosity won over my hesitation.
Lamalera is the only village in the world that as been exempt from the International ban on whaling. These men go out with wooden boats, spears and many prayers to their ancestors for a successful whale hunt. This is a tiny village where the people were most welcoming. There’s no phones, electricity, internet or banks. It’s a step back into time.
Once we arrive there’s a guide who explains the process of whale hunting. In Lamalera EVERYTHING on the whale is used. The villagers don’t even use money but trade with others using whale bones and parts!
There was a question and answer period in which many questions were thrown at the guide. Then we browsed to see what the villagers had to sell. Tom bought several whales teeth. Surprising, they are quite heavy. We then wandered down to the beach to see their wooden whaling boats and harpoons. I sure wouldn’t want to go out in any of the boats after a whale. The villagers then gave us a demonstration of how they harpoon a whale. The harpooner is instrumental in the way he stands on the bow & try’s to harpoon the whale. It was really quite amazing,
As always. Pics are in the picture Gallery on the right. Enjoy!
Colleen & Tom