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Saturday 10 December 2016

The Man Who Could Summons Porpoises

     When I wrote my post on the ant whisperer, I explained that the reason I recount stories under the label of "sorcery" is that a lot of reliable eye-witness reports on the subject are being lost as the world becomes more civilised. I ended up with the comment;
     On New Ireland, in Papua New Guinea, there exists a practice known as shark calling, or summoning mako sharks. You can find a number of videos of it on YouTube, but it is apparently dying out. I watched a documentary about it on Australian TV in the 1980s, and was amazed by the results, but when the same team returned ten years later the success, although confirmed, was not spectacular, and the narrator commented that their power was obviously fading.
     So  I shouldn't have been surprised when, upon going back through one of my favourite travel books, I discovered a report on the summoning of porpoises a hundred years ago in what was then the Gilbert Islands, but is now called Kiribati.