The Environment in Anthropology: A Reader in Ecology, Culture, and Sustainable Living

By Nora Haenn; Richard R. Wilk | Go to book overview

Chapter Thirty-Five
Tribal Whaling Poses New Threat

Will Anderson

There are few symbols as powerful as the sight of a whale in her death throes, thrashing in agony from a whaler's explosive harpoon. Now, despite the efforts of whale advocates, the long and arduous campaign to end the killing of all whales is nearing catastrophe.

The source of this imminent disaster is the 1855 Treaty of Neah Bay (the Treaty) that in Article IV states, “The right of taking fish and of whaling or sealing at usual and accustomed grounds and stations is further secured to said Indians in common with all citizens of the United States.” The Makah (who call themselves Ko-ditch-eeot, which means People of the Cape) are part of the Nuu-cha-nulth culture that extends north to Vancouver Island, Canada, and were regarded as the best indigenous whalers on the West Coast. Whale hunting was central to the Makah cultural identity. The blubber, bones and by-products from the whales enabled the Makah to prosper. Extensive spiritual rituals, lasting several months, included fasting, sexual abstinence, self-flagellation and prayers. These preparations were considered essential before the select few whalers went to sea. In a tight tribal hierarchy, it was the whaling families who had the greatest power to rule as chiefs. Now, after a 70-year lapse in which the Makah have not whaled, and at a time when there is zero nutritional subsistence need for whales, they wish to reassert their Treaty right to kill gray whales, protected internationally since 1946. Though there is no obvious way in which it could be done legally at the present time, many in the Makah community believe there will be a way to make money from the renewed whaling.

On May 5, 1995, the Makah Tribal Council (MTC) Chair, Hubert Markishtum, wrote to the US government asking it to represent the Makah before the International Whaling Commission (IWC), the international body that passed a 1986 moratorium on commercial whaling. The Makah requested the US Departments of Commerce and State “… to represent the Tribe in seeking International Whaling Commission (“IWC”) approval of an annual interim ceremonial and subsistence harvest of up to five (5) gray whales.” The letter also stresses, “It should be emphasized, however, that we continue to strongly believe that we have a right under the Treaty of Neah Bay to harvest whales not only for ceremonial and subsistence but also for commercial purposes.”

Used by permission of Will Anderson, © 2000.

-386-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Environment in Anthropology: A Reader in Ecology, Culture, and Sustainable Living
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 493

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.