Southern Shark Lore Forty Years after Jaws: The Positioning of Sharks Within Murihiku, New Zealand

A. Asbjørn Jøn, Raj S. Aich


Forty years after the release of Steven Spielberg’s Jaws the image of the shark in popular culture and public memory still bears the influence of that film. This article explores: recent high-profile human/ shark interactions, the impact of the Stewart Island shark cage diving industry, the body of traditional beliefs and lore about sharks exists along the southern coast of New Zealand, and the way that Jaws has influenced modern perceptions of sharks. The theoretical perspective of multispecies ethnography is suggested as a possible vehicle for further unpacking our understanding of human/ shark interactions.


Sharks; Great White Sharks; Cage Diving; Jaws; Shamanism; Maori; Mythology; Multispecies Ethnography; New Zealand;

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