Evolution of Whaling Practices among Lamalera Fishermen in Indonesia

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Sudikan S.Y.
Indarti T.
Afdholy N.


Local wisdom in Lamalera is a topic that is always hotly discussed in Indonesia, especially the whale fishing tradition. This tradition has been a cultural heritage for centuries. The novelty of this research lies in understanding the local wisdom of the Lamalera fishermen’s whale fishing traditions holistically and comprehensively. This research aims to analyze and discover local knowledge and local wisdom of the Lamalera fishing community in whaling. The theory used is ethnosemiotics, which is a combination of ethnoecology and semiotics, which focuses on the concept of local wisdom. The approach used by James Spradley’s new ethnography. Data collection techniques: observation, in-depth interviews, and documentation. Creswell spiral model data analysis technique. Research findings include a) local knowledge in the form of regulations on whales that can be caught and are prohibited from being caught; b) whaling activities as part of the cultural heritage involving skill, dexterity, customs, honesty, justice and chivalry of men; c) determination of the whaling season; d) equipment used for whaling; e) fishing area boundaries (fishing ground); f) distribution of catches from the sea; g) distribution of catches from the sea; h) harmony of Lamalera fishermen’s lives with nature. Further research is needed to develop sustainability strategies in the tradition of whaling in Lamalera by involving local communities to achieve global sustainability.


 Local Wisdom, Lamafa, Traders, Bartering, Ethnosemiotics.

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How to Cite
Sudikan , S., Indarti , T., & Afdholy , N. (2024). Evolution of Whaling Practices among Lamalera Fishermen in Indonesia. Human Evolution , 39(1-2), 101-113. https://doi.org/10.14673/HE2024121134