A Comparative Approach to Historical Whaling Techniques: Transfer of Knowledge in the 17th century from the Biscay to Brazil

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Abstract

No contexto da Expansão portuguesa no Atlântico, a baleação teve um papel importante apesar de ser mencionada pontualmente na historiografia da especialidade. Tal como outros recursos naturais, a baleia, e seus produtos derivados, esteve sujeita às dinâmicas do monopólio régio e não só beneficiou a Coroa Portuguesa e empresários, como potenciou o domínio territorial no Brasil. Técnicas baleeiras bascas foram transferidas da Europa para o Atlântico Sul no início do século XVII e prevaleceram durante três séculos até se tornarem obsoletas face às inovações tecnológicas de outras potências europeias e à redução dos stocks de baleias. Os impactos desta atividade fizeram sentir-se principalmente no aspeto económico, mas também a nível social, cultural e científico.

Within the context of the Portuguese Expansion in the Atlantic, whaling played an important role although barely mentioned in the expansion historiography. Like other natural resources, whales and their products were exploited under a royal monopoly that not only benefited the Portuguese Crown and entrepreneurs but also strengthened the territorial control in Brazil. Basque whaling techniques were transferred from Europe to the South Atlantic in the beginning of the 17th century and prevailed during three centuries. Then, that practice became obsolete in the face of other European power’s technologic innovation and the reduction of whales’ stocks. This activity had a major impact in the economic agenda of the expansion but also on social, cultural and scientific fields.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCross-cultural Exchange and the Circulation of Knowledge in the First Global Age
EditorsAmélia Apolónia, Fabiano Bracht, Gisele C. Conceição, Monique Palma
Place of PublicationPorto
PublisherEdições Afrontamento; CITCEM
Pages125-144
Number of pages19
Volume1
ISBN (Print)978-989-8351-88-3, 978-972-36-1635-4
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Keywords

  • Expansão portuguesa
  • Baleeira
  • Transferência de conhecimentos e técnicas
  • Portuguese Expansion
  • Whaling
  • Transfer of knowledge and techniques

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    Vieira, N. (2018). A Comparative Approach to Historical Whaling Techniques: Transfer of Knowledge in the 17th century from the Biscay to Brazil. In A. Apolónia, F. Bracht, G. C. Conceição, & M. Palma (Eds.), Cross-cultural Exchange and the Circulation of Knowledge in the First Global Age (Vol. 1, pp. 125-144). Edições Afrontamento; CITCEM.