Lamalera Fisherman Take On Whale in Hand to Fin Combat

Lamalera fisherman do things the old fashion way. They track down a 75ft-long sperm whale in two small hand-made boats and battle the beast with duri flensing knives and spears. Yeah that’s tough.

The whale, called Koteklema by the locals, provides numerous resources for the village.

The villagers blame lack of harmony between different clans for their lack of [recent] success. “If there is no peace among us, there will be no good whaling,” said villager Anna Bataona…The people believe in the harmony between life in the sea and the island. Peace on the land makes for good hunting from the sea. If a Matros (fisherman) sails without making peace with his brother or enemy, his boat will face problems during the hunt.

The Lamafa or boat captains abstain from sex for six months to purify themselves. During the hunt he will leap from the boat holding a ‘kefa’, a bamboo pole with an iron-blade, to pierce the whale. He does this multiple times swimming back to collect more kefas from the boat.

Moving faster than a jet-ski, the whale drags the boats through the water, writhing as kefas are thrust into its flesh.

2 Replies to “Lamalera Fisherman Take On Whale in Hand to Fin Combat”

  1. Crazy. It looks like a scene from that movie … crouching liger, hidden dragon.

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