The epic story of the world’s last subsistence whalers and the threats posed to the way of life that has sustained them for five centuries
The Lamalerans, a tribe of 1,800 people on the Indonesian island of Lembata, have subsisted on whaling for at least five hundred years. In The Last Whalers, after three years of living with this tribe, writer Doug Bock Clark takes readers into their way of life, one in which their yearly haul from the sea provides both their food and their currency.
But this ancient way of life that has sustained and nourished a people unchanged for centuries is in danger of perishing from the earth forever when a port is planned next door to the village of Lamalera and encroaching technology causes divisiveness and splintering in the tribe. Clark documents it all-the Curse of the Black Goat, the Wulandoni War, the Road of Ghosts-as one form of being human, in contact with deeply elemental life rhythms, teeters on the verge of extinction.
The Last Whalers tells the unlikely and important story of a resilient group of human beings unlike any other in the world. Extreme in nature, the act of whaling is a dangerous and uncommon feat, but for the Lamalerans it is also the only way of life they have ever known. From the inside, Clark has told a story for the ages about the bravery of a people whose very culture may not survive beyond these pages.