"The Tragedy of Captivity - Where did it all go wrong? Sacred Bonds with the Sea re-visited"

Whales and Dolphins


"The Tragedy of Captivity - Where did it all go wrong? Sacred Bonds with the Sea re-visited"



     With the unceasingly emotional debate and outcry about the tragic plight of whales and dolphins in captivity, it seems appropriate to revisit the sacredness of these highly intelligent and beloved animals. For eons, the indigenous people have revered whales and dolphins.

     First people tell ancient sacred stories of their arrival from various far away star systems.   Many of these stories have been passed down for generations speaking of the Pleiades star system, and Sirius as their original home. Etched in pottery, depicted in drawings on cave walls, and carved into the stones of the great pyramids of Egypt and South America is the depiction of the arrival of the first people; and the Gods, and Goddesses who walked the Earth with them.   This explains the many cultures, diverse languages, skills and specific knowledge that came to be on our planet.

     Some of the first arrivals were medicine people given the knowledge of the medicinal purposes of the plants for healing humankind.  The Hopi are record keepers, and are a guardian of the great prophesies regarding the future of humanity. The Cherokee were caregivers of an area on the eastern coast, specifically, the Great Smokey Mountains. Others arrived as caretakers of the Appalachians Mountains. The elders say, “There were many who arrived first, the stories come from what they remembered of the beginning”.  Much later others came astrologers, master stonemasons, the Egyptians, Inca, and Mayan cultures.  All came with knowledge to share, supported by guidance from the Supreme Creator.  Food was abundant on the land, and in the seas and rivers.  It was a time of peace and harmony, a balance with nature existed.  The first people were gardeners, and hunters, those who lived on the coastal shores became skilled in fishing for their lively hood. 

     Images of whales and dolphins appear on the walls of caves, painted somewhere around 2000 to 1500 B.C.  Ancient religions and mythology depict Goddesses riding or standing on the backs of dolphins and whales.  In the six and seventh centuries, Dolphins appear in the Homeric Hymn to Dionysus and to Pythian Apollo. In the Homeric Hymn to Dionysus, we see the Greeks describing dolphin’s cheerfulness, intelligence, and apparent love for people. The Hymn is also the story of how dolphins came into being: dolphins once were men, as recorded by the Greeks.


     Indigenous elders refer to the people, past and present, living on this planet as visitors. They also say humanity is crossing into the “Fifth World”.   Sacred stories tell of the great ice age, which began about 2.6 million years ago.  The “Fifth World” is the end of the ice age, according to the elders.  The first people also remind us that the temperature of the seawater, and the air (above and below) controls all life on the planet.   Events, like climate change, have happened on the planet according to this sacred natural plan, some events unfolding that effect our planet, and creation, are contrary to the natural plan, this is known as the unbalance.

     So the people will not forget, many elders and medicine people, from around the world, continued to tell the story of the agreement between humankind and the creators of Earth.   The sea creators and the land creators give their lives for the people, as this was the plan from the beginning. The people should always take only what they need, and honor the lives of each creator taken for food, and clothing.   In another time, joy filled the hearts of the people because they were connected to the source of life, and they understood their place in the plan. Nothing was ever killed for sport, or trophy. This never entered the hearts of the first people to kill for such uselessness. It would have been considered unacceptable behavior, and the waste of the life of a living creator, a relative. A timely reminder of the sacred bond between the world of the sea and our spiritual ancestors is in order, and to try and understand what went wrong.

The Rainbow Bridge: How we & dolphins came to be–A Chumash origin story:


     There is a sacred ancient story handed down, even until today, by the elders of a small band of indigenous people from California, the Chumash.  They call themselves, as all indigenous people do, the first people.  Stars were both the Chumash guide and their entertainment. The elders spoke of the night sky as a map for the people, a way to remember how to return to their origin. The Chumash were well versed in ethno-botany and astronomy. They possessed a well-defined spirituality, based on a connection to the natural world and complex systematic study of the heavens. They saw themselves as part of creation and used their scientific expertise to monitor creation.


     The Chumash elders tell the story of the Rainbow Bridge, which explains how dolphins and whales came to be in the waters on earth, and why they are considered relatives of the first people. Hutash Earth Mother created a rainbow bridge for the people to cross because the village had grown so large, and the people needed more land. The first people, even today, understand that the land sustains human life, without it they would die.  This sacred message continues today from the indigenous people of our planet.

A Shortened version of the story:

The people were afraid, to cross the Rainbow Bridge

“But Hutash, the bridge is too high! What if
we fall? We will drown!” they protested.

“You are my people,” reassured Hutash.
“I will take care of you. In three days,
it will be time for most of you to go.”

The people put on their fur and leather clothes,
filled a few baskets with belongings,
and started up the Rainbow Bridge.
Families held hands to stay together.

“Keep your eyes on your goal,” said Hutash.
“Look ahead to where you are going.”

As the people climbed higher and higher
on the Rainbow Bridge, they could see the land
as clearly as on the days the warm winds
blow from the east, and they were excited.

But some people looked back, and some people
looked down. These people felt dizzy. The water
was a long long long way down. The fog licked
their toes. Some of the people grew afraid,
and they looked down instead of ahead to where they were
going. They doubted Hutash and their tummies
felt funny. Some of the people lost their
balance and they fell fell fell through the fog
toward the shimmering, dark sea far below.

Hutash had told her children she would take
care of them. So as they fell, she turned the
people into dolphins. When they landed
in the water, they could swim and dive and
hold their breath long enough to catch fish to eat.

The dolphin people are grateful to Hutash.
They like playing in the water so much
that they are always smiling, and we
smile to watch our dolphin brothers and sisters.

     The Chumash continue today to understand and speak the language of their relatives, the whales and dolphins. You can learn more about the Chumash Band at: http://www.sbnature.org/research/anthro/chumash/index.htm


     The cruelty in public captivity of whales and dolphins is tragically ongoing and relentless, protected by vested interests of big business, supported by the paying public. It is hoped that this article will remind the reader, and hopefully a wider audience, of the spirituality of the first bonding with creatures of the sea, and question deeply why the tragedies of enforced captivity are still being allowed under the banner of “Entertainment”.



Nancy Oakes is a member of the Free Cherokee, and an adopted member of the United Lenape Band.  Nancy is currently involved in the study of psychology, and cultural anthropology.  Her passion is “A humanity free from the addictions of drugs and alcohol.  She is also an activist for the Freedom of Tibet, and the preservation of sacred life on this planet.   Her first book will appear soon on amazon.com.  The Return of Sophia, Mother of the Universe. You can contact her at her email address of nancy.oakes1@aol.com,





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Comment by Nancy Oakes on August 10, 2013 at 3:23pm

Thank you very much. I really like the way this article turned out, with your help. Hugs

Comment by Trevor Taylor on August 10, 2013 at 3:14pm

Hi Nancy - scheduled for one of the September multi media editions

OM Times Magazine is a Holistic Green eZine with a Spiritual Self-growth Perspective for the Conscious Community.



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