Whaling for subsistence dates to prehistoric times. The early people of Korea were hunting whales as far back as 5000 B.C., and those of Norway began whaling at least 4,000 years ago. Various peoples of the NW North American coast and the Arctic have a long tradition of whaling. Whaling, done from canoes or skin boats, often when migrating pods of whales passed nearby, was a very dangerous undertaking. Over time, many, such as the Qwidicca-atx (Makah) people of the Olympic peninsula, developed set spiritual and hunting practices that became the core of their culture.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.