An original ethnographic documentary, ‘The Whaler’s House, now streaming online

“The Whalers’ House, Stories of cultural heritage on Texel” is an ethnographic documentary produced in the PERICLES project ‘Cultural heritage of European coastal and maritime regions’. This is apart of a research and innovation action (RIA) call from the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme and led by the researchers in the Environmental Policy group (ENP) at Wageningen University and Research.

It does so, by reconstructing how two individual quests for the story behind the house came together. The film portrays the owner of the house, Annetje Capitain- Bendien and Ineke Vonk, historian and wife of a fisher.

From their stories it becomes clear that the house with the old boxbeds and beautifully decorated blue tiles on the wall, wasn’t a pilot house, as commonly thought, but had been inhabited by the whalers Claas Daalder and Simon Walig in the eighteenth century.

The two women were able to reconstruct the history of the house together. The house is now part of the cultural heritage of Texel and can be visited in small groups.

The Pericles project

The Pericles project is designed to address the challenges and risks that will affect Europe’s coastal and maritime cultural heritage.

By bringing coastal and maritime cultural heritage and the stories surrounding them to the fore, together with local inhabitants, using different methods, the project aims to contribute to keeping the heritage alive.
Texel is one of those places along Europe’s coastline where there is a long (in)tangible history of human-environmental interactions; such as maritime warfare, fishing, whaling, dike building and recreation.

 Cultural heritage provides a sense of place, unity, and belonging to people.

Cultural heritage provides a sense of place, unity, and belonging to people. Rooted in specific landscapes, seascapes, buildings, stories, traditions, and language, cultural heritage is a fundamental part of every society. It connects people to each other and to the past and helps guide our future.
The project promotes sustainable, participatory governance of cultural heritage in European coastal and maritime regions.

Contribution to cultural heritage conservation and management

The documentary aims to bring people on stage who are not always recognized for their contribution to cultural heritage conservation and management.

With the documentation of the life stories of Annetje and Ineke; with showing aspects of a domestic life of whalers and their families beyond the images we know from ancient paintings; the documentary searches to connect citizens and visitors with the cultural heritage of coastal communities.

The documentary may also inspire active recognition of contemporary presence of ancient stories and family lines in individual and collective identities.