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Contesting Leviathan – Activists, Hunters, and State Power in the Makah Whaling Conflict - Chicago Scholarship Online
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Contesting Leviathan: Activists, Hunters, and State Power in the Makah Whaling Conflict

Les Beldo


In 1999, a whaling crew from the Makah Indian Nation hunted and killed a gray whale off the coast of the Pacific Northwest. The hunt marked the return of a centuries-old tradition and, predictably, set off a fierce political and environmental debate. This book examines the Makah whaling conflict, its implications for Makah identity and sovereignty, the spiritual discourse of whalers, and the motives and strategies of antiwhaling activists. The two sides’ competing interpretations of whales and whaling culminate in attempts by both to translate their agendas into the authorized, bureaucratic la ... More

Keywords: antiwhaling, activism, bureaucracy, whales, whaling, identity, indigeneity, Makah, morality, Native American

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780226657370
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2020 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226657547.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Les Beldo, author