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The Wolf & The Indian

Wolves and Indians began as kindred creatures, both highly social beings that lived off the hunt and depended upon ritual to keep order. The two hunted together and their spirits touched...

By Jon Van Zyle

It's not surprising that the Indian saw the wolf as a significant animal. Both were hunters of which the survival of their families depended. The indian was very aware of the many ways in which his own life resembled those of the wolf. The wolf hunted for himself and for his family. The wolf defended his pack against enemy attack, as the indian defended his tribe. He had to be strong as an individual and for the good of the pack. It was a sufficient system of survival; and in the eyes of the indian, no animal did this as well as the wolf. The indian worked to be as well intigrated in his environment, as he could see the wolf was in the universe.

The wolf fulfilled two roles for the indian: he was a powerful and mysterious animal, and so perceived by most tribes, and he was a medicine animal, identified with a particular individual, tribe or clan. At a tribal level, the attraction to the wolf was strong, because the wolf lived in a way that made the tribe strong. He provided food for all, including the old and sick members of the pack.. He saw to the education of his children. He defended his territory against other wolves. At a personal level, those for whom the wolf was a medicine animal or personal totem understood the qualities that made the wolf stand out as an individual. For example, his stamina, ability to track well and go without food for long periods.

The definition and defense of home range was as important to the Indian as it was to the wolf. The boundries of most Indian territories, like those of wolves, changed with the movement of game herds, the size of the tribe and the time of year. The tribe, like the pack broke up at certain times of the year, and joined together later to hunt more efficiently. Both the wolf and the Indian hunted the same type of game and moved their families to follow specific game herds. Deer sought security from Indian hunters by moving into the border area between warring tribes, where hunters were least likely to show up, just as they did between wolf territories, where wolves spent the least time hunting.

By SacredWolfDreams

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