When Men and Orcas Hunted Together

The Thaua people of new South Wales, Australia, have always had a mystical relationship with killer whales, or orcas. They believe that after death, they are reincarnated as an orca. So is it any wonder that they learned to work together with the orcas to hunt whales? However, we don’t know if the hunt came first or the beliefs. For centuries, Thaua people would sing to the orcas, and the orcas would herd baleen whales into Twofold Bay. Once trapped, Thaua hunters would kill the whales and harvest the meat, while giving the tender tongue to the orcas. This procedure was codified and passed on to each generation.

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When European colonizers discovered how the Thaua hunted with orcas in 1844, they joined in and harvested whales successfully using the same method. But that only lasted so long. By the 1930s, orcas were rarely seen off the coast of TwoFold Bay, and the familiar families of the killer whales were dwindling to just a few members. The Thaua blame this on a few incidents when European whalers broke the code of the orcas. Read what happened to cooperative hunting with orcas at Amusing Planet.

Source: neatorama

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