Cultures of Whaling
These video guides provide an introduction to and an examination of mankind’s historic and current interactions with whales.
Subsistence Whaling Cultures
Geography, environment and habitat have all contributed to the growth of cultures that hunt whales for food, bones and oil for survival in regions where agriculture is difficult or impossible.
A History of Commercial Whaling
The Basques from the shores of the Bay of Biscay on the border of Spain and France were among the earliest documented commercial whalers. By the end of the first millennium they were regularly hunting migrating right whales (Eubalaena glacialis) and processing them on shore.
The Yankee Whaleboat
The Yankee whaleboat represents the ultimate evolution of its type in the American whale fishery. Double-ended whaleboats seating six men had been in use since the time of the Basques in the 12th century.
Whale Mythology and Folklore
Folklore and mythology about whales can tell us a great deal about human interaction with whales across cultures. These stories function to encapsulate cultural beliefs about the origins of people, nature and the universe and provide insight into the meaning of the universe and people’s place within it.