These vintage cans of dolphin meat, from the late 1930s to early 1950s, depict an era when the hunting of selected channel dolphins was considered a cultural rite. The flesh of the dolphin, as well as the pursuit of the catch, were considered a demonstration of a man's virility. As well, the eating of dolphin meat was considered, in some circles, to be a kind of ancestor worship as the channel dolphins were thought to be the reincarnated souls of the local deceased. By the early 20th century, the reasons for eating dolphin had become such a hybrid of stories and causesboth commercial and culturalthat only a few could remember why the dolphin was eaten at all. While many eccentric but seemingly "traditional" dolphin rituals still occur to this day, most people visiting El Fornio think of the local dolphin swim camps when they think of El Fornio dolphins.
PEOPLE EATING DOLPHINS
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