The Lamalerans are the last of their kind. For five centuries, the Indonesian tribe has survived by hunting whales from a rocky Pacific island so remote that their countrymen call it the land left behind. The tribe has long followed the ways of their ancestors, a set of rules handed down through the generations that dictate a camaraderie so intense that anthropologists have ranked the Lamalerans as one of humanity’s most cooperative societies.
Today, venerable traditions are being undermined by cell phones, television, government regulations, and other modern influences. One area where the old ways persist, though, is the hunt: Dozens of Lamaleran men still coordinate on ancient wooden boats to kill the largest toothed predator in the world, then share in the bounty.
7,300 words, about 45 minutes
Audio version: The article has an audio player embedded in the article, near the top.
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