Nathan Dauota, 36, is a traditional fisherman from the island of Malaita (Solomon Islands). He lives by the coast in the village of Fatakalua in a small house with his wife Salmish and three children.
In order to get food for all his family, he usually goes spear fishing into the reef with his self-made wood gun that shoots sharp and modified big ribs from umbrellas as spears. Sometimes, he goes into the open sea paddling his traditional canoe at night as he looks for Bonito or Tuna fish.
Being a fisherman in Malaita means much more than fishing. This is the land of the shark-callers (also known as shark-talkers), where each tribe used to worship and recognize their sharks containing their ancestor’s spirits. When honoring them with respect to the ancient rules, some men were able to call their custom sharks in times when they needed help in the sea. For example, if they got lost into the open sea they were able of calling a custom shark from the tribe that would then show them the way back home.
Nathan teaches the art of fishing to the next generation. Kids learn from him everything about fishing into the reef: how to make a good spear gun, diving techniques, and when and where to find fish for feeding their families. But equally important as survival, Nathan teaches them the ancient rules and traditional stories of their tribes that will keep their culture and their roots alive for future generations.