Spears found in deep water fish

Words and photos by Adita Alaik

Lamalera, a village on the Lembata Island, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), is known worldwide for its tradition to hunt down whales. Lamalera’s position is facing the deep Sawu Sea, the cross path of many sea mammals and fish. The deep sea is the front yard of the Lembata villagers.

From Jakarta, I together with two colleagues, Nabil and Djim, had to go through a tough journey to get to the Lamalera village. First, we had to fly to Kupang and then proceed to Lewole­ba, the capital of the Lem­bata district by land. eba in three hours after many bumpy roads.

From Jakarta I had already arranged for a guide named Noel Beding to pick us up. I imagined that I would be picked up with a fully air-conditioned and comfortable 4×4 vehicle. rp and inside it long benches were installed to serve as passenger seats.

We arrived at Lamalera village in the afternoon, when the sun was ready to set. From a distance, we could see villagers trying to pull a 20-meter long dead sperm whale to the shore. My heart sank imagining the struggles it went through to survive to reach that size. It must have experienced 1001 things only to die in the hands of the Lamara hunters. It was like seeing a 100-year tree being fell in just minutes.

Whale hunting in Lamalera uses the traditional method, wielding spears or locally known as tempuling. The lamafa or hunters jumps to the water and stab the spears into the whales body when they surface to inhale some air. The hunters would continue to attack the whales until they run out of blood and die. The process of such hunting method takes hours to finish. According to local residents, the whale that was being pulled to the shore finally died after six tormenting hours.

The next morning, the three of us were already on the beach from 6 a.m. and we saw several young men standing on the whale’s body as they skinned the mammal in which the hide was about 15cm thick because it was covered in fat. After ripping off the skin, they started cutting up its red meat which looked like beef. Well, after all whales are not exactly from the fish group but they are mammals.

All of the whale’s parts, including the skin, meat, stomach, and even its testicles were distributed to all residents in accordance with the local custom. The locals were allowed to cook their share for their daily meal or trade it in the market with other staples such as rice, sugar, salt and others. The market which is located not far from the Lamalera village adopted a unique trading system, in which the process of bartering or buying or selling can only start after a whistle is being blown.


Fishing question, maybe scuba

2010-07-30 13:19:58 by FreakCityFS

I want to jump into a lake and retrieve some electronics at the bottom of this lake in San Franciscos Golden Gate Park.
The water is blooming with algae since there are plenty of birds and lack of plants/nutrients.
Anyhow I really don't want to get wet and the water is about waist deep.
I was thinking fly fishing pants, but now I'm thinking a suit. The water isn't cold though and I could be there a few hours.
Any suggestions on a dry suit that won't cook me up. I can go on a cold/cloudy day or early morning as well


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