tDAR Logo tDAR digital antiquity

Native American Whaling and Porpoise Hunting Techniques Along the East Coast of North America

Author(s): John Hairr

Year: 2017

» Downloads & Basic Metadata

Summary

Native Americans were the first people to exploit the cetacean fauna found in the coastal waters of the western North Atlantic. Most of these animals were drift whales found washed up along the shoreline, but there is historiographical evidence indicating that some Native Americans actively pursued whales, porpoises and dolphins from small craft offshore. In this paper I discuss various tools and techniques utilized by the indigenous inhabitants of North America to pursue, harvest and process whales in the Atlantic, examining early accounts from the coast of Florida north through the Carolinas to New England and the Canadian Maritimes. I also discuss the results of experiments made with my colleagues at the North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort replicating the process of oil extraction from odontocete blubber as well as porpoise jaw oil.


This Resource is Part of the Following Collections


Cite this Record

Native American Whaling and Porpoise Hunting Techniques Along the East Coast of North America. John Hairr. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430922)


Keywords


Spatial Coverage

min long: -91.274; min lat: 24.847 ; max long: -72.642; max lat: 36.386 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 17363

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America