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Lamalera Traditional Whale Hunting

Whaling activities in the village of Lamalera, Lembata, NTT, has been going on since the 16th century. The community believe that they can stay there because it is carried by a blue whale. each month may through September, a group of men with closely observed the Savu Sea Sea located around the village of Lamalera. They then tried to catch the mammoth whale-Koteklema, also known as the Sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus). Although there is still some criticism from some quarters of the community, the tradition of Lamalera Hunt Whales was given permission by the Ministry of tourism and conservation agencies and the Creative Economy. Cultural activity is also recognized internationally as a tradition.

Lamalera is located on the South coast of the island of Lembata East Nusa Tenggara. Currently the island of lembata Regency has become, before joining East Flores Regency. There lies the Savu sea, spacious sea but many whales. Lamalera community best known as the community of fishermen, whaling and traditionally. The village of Lamalera is in the Sub-District of Wulandoni, Lamalera is divided into two villages i.e. village of Lamalera A and the village of Lamalera B, with a population of 2,000 residents.

In ancient times was a small hometown Lamalera hometown, far from the crowd. Now there is already a building of lamalera PLN and the manufacture of asphalt road for easy transport tool. Kampung Lamalera built on rocky and coral, right at the foot or on the slopes of hills or mountains. The charm of the village of Lamalera mountain nature panorama with a little barren, and deruhnya waves of the South coast, the mountainous rocks and topografinnya and accompanied by a fairly steep slope that challenging life and lives of Lamalera.

Before the season, the village of Lamalera Hunt has a tradition or culture catch whales, which annually held ceremonies at the same time mass to invoke blessings of ancestors, as well as the memory of the deceased ancestors of those who fall in battle against marine whales. The ceremony and Mass or commonly called ‘Lefa’, held each 1 may. Lefa season is a special time for the sea, as well as hunting of whales and fish large impurity such as dolphins, sharks, rays. in this season of Lamalera community go to sea. Community Community whale catch Lamalera  in the traditional way or called Kotoklema (the Sperm Whale Physeter macrocephalus/). They used sailboats called peledang. The dilengkapai sailboat with hand tools have pierced/Harpoon called a tempuling, a long rope (rope leo), spear (tempuling), and bamboo all 4 meters as tools have pierced. In one peledang can carry 7 Crew and special people who have pierced interpreter called balafaing (lamafa).

There is no cover in peledang, so that the crew can see the fish surfaced. Having already seen then peledang will be close to the fish, and tempuling, and uplift have pierced ready to smite tempuling at the heart of the whales, usually a stab to 4 times or more. After the whale was already weak, then a member of the crew to kill whales by way of ripping off a whale’s body until the blood came out and whales can die quickly. After a dead whale whale then towed by boat to the coast of lamalera, whales and then cut the meat of whales is shared to the community. Division of whale meat is already determined from the time of their fathers. All parts of a whale can be used and nothing is disposed, among others is the meat, skin, fat, blood, and bone. If there is one whale is killed, then all communities get a share, although Lamalera did not enter into the sea, because it can be exchanged with other fish or produce.

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