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Published on March 23, 2015

The wonders of Lembata Island in East Nusa Tenggara Province will be showcased in a special photography exhibition called;  “Cinta Lembata-Pesona Indonesia” or “Love Lembata-The Charm of Indonesia”It is  scheduled to take place from27th to 28th March 2015 at the Balairung Soesilo Soedarman Hall, Sapta Pesona Building, the Office of the Ministry of Tourism, at Medan Merdeka Barat, Jakarta.

Presented by the East Indonesia. Photography Enthusiasts Community (KOPIT), with the  full support from the Ministry of Tourism and the Regency of Lembata, the exhibition will unveil the amazing splendors of the island in some of the most captivating pictures. The eventwill also feature a Talkshow, sharing ofLembata trip experience, Lembata’s distinct ‘ikat’ hand-woven fabric exhibition, the traditional Sasando Music performance, and more.

The Island of Lembata, especially in the village of Lamalera, is renowned worldwide as the home of the fascinating traditional whale hunting activities. In Lamalera, villagers hunt large sea animals, like whales, manta rays and sometimes dolphins to provide food and a living for the entire village, which they undertake on simple sailboats and following ancient beliefs, taboos and tradition. It is for these reasons, therefore, that the Lamalera whale hunts are until this day exempt from the international ban on whaling, considering the traditional way this is still executed  and the fact that hunting these giant ocean creatures help villagers support their subsistence economy.

The actual whaling is still done on traditionally flimsy wooden boats, called peledang. These are manned by between 7 – 14 helmsmen, oarsmen and a harpooner, where each is assigned his special duties. The most agile of the team stands on the bow ready with a barbed harpoon. When a whale approaches, the lamafa, the harpoonist,  jumps off the boat and stabs the giant animal with a tempuling, a handmade harpoon. This heart-stopping action of a lamafa is one of the most anticipated moments in the world of visual documentation.

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