The Island of the legendary traditional whale hunters off Flores on Lembata will come alive with festivities from 14th to 18th August 2013, as the Lembata Marine Tourism Rally 2013 gets underway.
The event is held concurrent with the Sail Komodo 2013 which will pass through the island through the Darwin-Kupang-Alor-Lembata-Flores-Lombok-Baliroute. The rally itself will take sailors on an amazing trip through some of the fascinating spots on the island following the route from Lewoleba-to Lewohala Jontona-Lewolein-Leuwayan-Bean-Lamalera-Mingar-Bour- Lusilame-Lewoleba.
In Lamalera, the village of whale hunters, participants will be presented with various unique traditional dances, musical performances, and distinct indigenous cuisines. The event is projected to be participated by international tourists, domestic tourists, the green off-road communities, and the local population of Lembata.
In the village of Lamalera, villagers have for generations hunted large sea animals, like whales, manta rays and sometimes dolphins to provide food and a living for the entire village. This they undertake on simple sailboats and following ancient beliefs, taboos and tradition. It is for these reasons, therefore, that the Lamalera whale hunts are until this day exempt from the international ban on whaling, considering the traditional way this is still done and the fact that hunting these giant ocean creatures help villagers support their subsistence economy.
The actual whaling is still done on traditionally flimsy wooden boats, called peledang. These are manned by between 7 - 14 helmsmen, oarsmen and harpooner, where each is assigned his special duties. The most agile of the team- the lamafa -stands on the bow ready with a barbed harpoon. When a whale approaches, the lamafa, the harpoonist jumps off the boat and stabs the cetaceans with a tempuling, a handmade harpoon. The heart-stopping action of a lamafa is one of the anticipated moments in the world of visual documentation. A complete description of Lamalera Traditional whale hunting is available at: THE TRADITIONAL WHALE HUNT of LAMALERA on FLORES.
More Information available at: http://pariwisatalembata.com/
Photo courtesy : http://insomari-travel.com/isr/index.php
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