For my assignment, I chose to base my ethnographic study on the Faroese culture in the Faroe Islands that is part of the country of Denmark. I wanted to study




НазваFor my assignment, I chose to base my ethnographic study on the Faroese culture in the Faroe Islands that is part of the country of Denmark. I wanted to study
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Cierra Bell

Anthropology 1010

Chapter 3 Assignment


For my assignment, I chose to base my ethnographic study on the Faroese culture in the Faroe Islands that is part of the country of Denmark. I wanted to study these people because of their century tradition of killing pilot whales for food. The biggest questions I want answered is: 1) Why are they still killing pilot whales when there are other food resources? 2) How do they feel about how other countries view their whaling activities? 3) Are there other food resources they can use to replace killing pilot whales? 4) How does the killing pilot whales tradition influence the generations to come?

The history of killing pilot whales in the Faroe Islands dates all the way back to the 17th century when they began this tradition. Every summer the Faroese people set out to kill as many pilot whales as possible in their own tradition called a “grind”, which is a form of organized whaling and was once very common in the North Atlantic (Watson, 2012). Pilot whales used to be the only food source for the Faroese people that fed their country for the year, but now they have found other ways to provide food. The performance of a “grind” begins when a school of pilot whales is seen coming close to an island shore and the entire city is notified that a “grind” is about to occur. Small boats travel around the whales forcing them to the shore where hundreds of people wait for the signal to run into the water with their weapons. As soon as the whales are close enough to the shore all of the people race into the water to see who will be the one to kill a whale first. In a matter of minutes all of the whales are killed and ready to take home for processing (Watson, 2012). This tradition has caused some major controversy, and I think it would be a great culture and tradition to study the Faroese people.

To start out my study I would first learn the language of the country because I think it is extremely important to let the Faroese people know that I am there to study their culture not to put it to shame. In this country their primary language is Faroese, but this type of language is not generally taught so I will learn Danish because that is their most fluent language (Wylie, 2012). I would also try to find people that have immigrated to the U.S. and interview them to see what I need to know about the Faroese culture and how to act. I think it’s really important to find out these things because I don’t want to disrespect the Faroese people or their culture and I want them to accept me while I am studying their culture.

To begin my ethnographic study of the Faroese people, I would contact an agency that could possibly place me in one of the Faroese home so that I could get the full experience of their culture. If I can’t find a way to be placed in a home, then I will find a home in a very populated area where I can find more people to interview about the whaling history and tradition. I would like to go there during the whaling season because I think it will give me a chance to see how they really participate in killing the whales and why it is still a tradition of theirs. After spending a few weeks with these people and showing them that I am not there to criticize or objectify their traditions, I will take the opportunity to start interviewing people about this century old tradition.

These people have been criticized for their traditions and I think it would greatly help the cause of whaling if someone were able to live with their people and see how they truly live. I think the Faroese culture is a very fascinating culture, and if I were given the opportunity to study and spend time with the people then I would take it.


Works Cited

Watson, P. (Performer) (2012). Whale wars: Viking shores [Television series episode]. In

Whales Wars. Discovery Communications.


Wylie, J. (2012). Faroe islands. Retrieved from

http://www.everyculture.com/Cr-Ga/FaroeIslands.html

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