Native American Whaling and Porpoise Hunting Techniques Along the East Coast of North America
Author(s): John Hairr
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.
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)
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min long: -91.274; min lat: 24.847 ; max long: -72.642; max lat: 36.386 ;
Abstract Id(s): 17363