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THE WOLF CLAN

The Indian Wolf Tails

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OLD INDIAN WAYS

Native people respected and revered this area in which, long before the discovery of the Caldera, they understood that creation was still an on-going process. If you were to believe anthropologist's opinions about the place of Native People in the Yellowstone region, you might imagine tribal people cowering from the geothermal features that they are supposed to have been scared of. Hear the real, native stories of Yellowstone. Your guide is an international author and photographer who specializes in native and natural history.

THE MEANING OF THE WOLF

In Yellowstone, the wolves are the rock stars of the park. But how much do you know about their place in Native American tribal culture and the Meaning of the Wolf to Plains Indians? Reconnect with Mother Earth in this unfinished land. The wolf appears in sacred narratives of ceremony and origin; he is celebrated in song, and has taught and inspired hunters and warriors. Look and listen for wolves, visit places important to the wolf’s history here in Yellowstone and discuss wolf ecology and management in and around the park.
  • The wolf taught many to hunt, and would call others to share the bounty; learn of both that tradition and of the wolf as a teacher within Plains Indian Cultures
  • Be immersed in the world of the wolf.   Through traditional stories and explanations, and by entering the wolf's domain, learn of the power and gifts he brings to the people.
  • Hear of pack behaviors and fascinating stories of wolves since their reintroduction to Yellowstone.

 

 


Wolves figure prominently in the mythology of nearly every Native American tribe. In most Native cultures, Wolf is considered a medicine being associated with courage, strength, loyalty, and success at hunting. Like bears, wolves are considered closely related to humans by many North American tribes, and the origin stories of some Northwest Coast tribes, such as the Quileute and the Kwakiutl, tell of their first ancestors being transformed from wolves into men. In Shoshone mythology, Wolf plays the role of the noble Creator god, while in Anishinabe mythology a wolf character is the brother and true best friend of the culture hero. Among the Pueblo tribes, wolves are considered one of the six directional guardians, associated with the east and the color white. The Zunis carve stone wolf fetishes for protection, ascribing to them both healing and hunting powers.

Wolves are also one of the most common clan animals in Native American cultures. Tribes with Wolf Clans include the Creek (whose Wolf Clan is named Yahalgi or Yvhvlke), the Cherokee (whose Wolf Clan name is Aniwahya or Aniwaya,) the Chippewa (whose Wolf Clan and its totem are called Ma'iingan,) Algonquian tribes like the Lenape, Shawnee and Menominee, the Huron and Iroquois tribes, Plains tribes like the Caddo and Osage, Southern tribes like the Chickasaw, the Pueblo tribes of New Mexico, and Northwest Coast tribes like the Tlingit, Tsimshian, and Kwakiutl. Wolf was an important clan crest on the Northwest Coast and can often be found carved on totem poles. The wolf is also the special tribal symbol of several tribes and bands, such as the Munsee Delaware, the Mohegans, and the Skidi Pawnee. Some eastern tribes, like the Lenape and Shawnee, have a Wolf Dance among their tribal dance traditions.
 

Wenebojo and the Wolves

One day Wenebojo saw some people and went up to see who they were. He was surprised to find that they were a pack of wolves. He called them nephews and asked what they were doing. They were hunting, said the Old Wolf, and looking for a place to camp. So they all camped together on the edge of a lake.

Wenebojo was very cold for there were only two logs for the fire, so one of the wolves jumped over the fire and immediately it burned higher. Wenebojo was hungry, so one of the wolves pulled off his moccasin and tossed it to Wenebojo and told him to pull out the sock. Wenebojo threw it back, saying that he didn't eat any stinking socks. The wolf said: "You must be very particular if you don't like this food."

He reached into the sock and pulled out a deer tenderloin then reached in again and brought out some bear fat. Wenebojo's eyes popped. He asked for some of the meat and started to roast it over the fire. Then, imitating the wolf, Wenebojo pulled off his moccasin and threw it at the wolf, saying, "Here, nephew, you must be hungry. Pull my sock out." But there was no sock, only old dry hay that he used to keep his feet warm. The wolf said he didn't eat hay and Wenebojo was ashamed.

The next day the wolves left to go hunting, but the father of the young wolves came along with Wenebojo. As they traveled along, they found an old deer carcass. Old Wolf told Wenebojo to pick it up, but Wenebojo said he didn't want it and kicked it aside. The Wolf picked it up and shook it: it was a nice, tanned deerskin which Wenebojo wanted, so Old Wolf gave it to him. They went on, following the wolves. Wenebojo saw blood and soon they came on the pack, all lying asleep with their bellies full; only the bones were left. Wenebojo was mad because the young wolves were so greedy and had eaten up all the deer. The Old Wolf then woke up the others and told them to pack the deer home. Wenebojo picked up the best bones so he could boil them. When they reached camp, the fire was still burning and Old Wolf told the others to give Wenebojo some meat to cook. One of the wolves came toward Wenebojo belching and looking like he was going to throw up. Another acted the same way and suddenly, out of the mouth of one came a ham and some ribs out of the mouth of another. It is said that wolves have a double stomach, and in this way they can carry meat home, unspoiled, to their pups.

After that Wenebojo didn't have to leave the camp because the wolves hunted for him and kept him supplied with deer, elk and moose. Wenebojo would prepare the meat and was well off indeed. Toward spring the Old Wolf said they would be leaving and that Wenebojo had enough meat to last until summer. One younger wolf said he thought Wenebojo would be lonesome, so he, the best hunter, would stay with him. /p>

All went well until suddenly the evil manidog [spirits] became jealous of Wenebojo and decided they would take his younger brother away. That night Wenebojo dreamed his brother, while hunting a moose, would meet with misfortune. In the morning, he warned the brother not to cross a lake or stream, even a dry stream bed, without laying a stick across it. When Wolf did not return, Wenebojo feared the worst and set out to search for him. At last he came to a stream which was rapidly becoming a large river and he saw tracks of a moose and a wolf. Wenebojo realized that Wolf had been careless and neglected to place a stick across the stream.

Desolate, Wenebojo returned to his wigwam. He wanted to find out how his brother had died, so he started out to find him. When he came to a big tree leaning over a stream that emptied into a lake; a bird was sitting in the tree looking down into the water. Wenebojo asked him what he was looking at. The bird said the evil manidog were going to kill Wenebojo's brother and he was waiting for some of the guts to come floating down the stream so he could eat them.

This angered Wenebojo, but he slyly told the bird he would paint it if it told him what it knew. The bird said the manido, who was the chief of the water monsters lived on a big island up the stream, but that he and all the others came out to sun themselves on a warm day. So Wenebojo pretended he would paint the bird, but he really wanted to wring its neck. However, the bird ducked and Wenebojo only hit him on the back of the head, ruffling his feathers. This was the Kingfisher and that was how he got his ruffled crest. From now on, Wenebojo told him, the only way he would get his food would be to sit in a tree all day and wait for it.

Then Wenebojo heard a voice speaking to him. It told him to use the claw of the kingfisher for his arrow and, when he was ready to shoot the water monster, not to shoot at the body, but to look for the place where the shadow was and shoot him there because the shadow and the soul were the same thing.

Wenebojo then traveled up the stream until he came to the island where the chief of the water monsters was lying in the sun. He shot into the side of the shadow. The manido rose up and began to pursue Wenebojo who ran with all his might, looking for a mountain. He was also pursued by the water, which kept coming higher and higher. At last, he found a tall pine, high up on a mountain, and climbed it. Still the water continued to rise halfway up the tree.

 

Wenebojo Caught in the Moose's Skull

Wenebojo found the skull of the moose and wondered if there was any meat left inside. He looked inside and up the nose, and saw a little piece of meat there. He could crack the moose head open and get the meat, but he didn't do that. Wenebojo wanted that meat badly; so he thought, "I will become a little snake. Then I will be able to get the meat inside there."

So Wenebojo turned into a little snake. He crawled into the moose's skull and started to eat the meat. It was very good and he was enjoying it immensely. But before he finished eating it, Wenebojo changed back into his normal shape, and his head got stuck inside the moose skull. He tried and tried to pull the moose skull off his head, but it hurt him too badly. So he just walked away, thinking that he might be able to get it off another way. Since he was walking and had the moose skull over his head and couldn't see, he didn't get very far before he bumped right into a tree. He touched the tree to see what kind it was, but he couldn't tell. So he asked, "Brother, what kind of a tree are you?" And the tree answered, "I'm a maple tree."

Then Wenebojo said, "You used to stand close to the river. Is there a river close by?" and the tree said, "No, Wenebojo, there's no river near here."

Wenebojo kept on bumping into all kinds of trees and asking them if there was a river near by. All the trees answered No. Finally, Wenebojo came to a tree that he didn't know. He said, "Brother, who are you? What kind of tree are you?" The tree answered, "I'm a cedar."

"A cedar!" Wenebojo said, "You always stand at the edge of the river. Is there any river close by?" And the tree answered, "Yes, there is a river close by, Wenebojo. Just follow along my arm until you get to the river."

So Wenebojo felt along the limb of the tree and then kept on going. There was a big high mountain with a river down below and that's where Wenebojo ended up. He walked along the side of the mountain but his foot slipped, and Wenebojo fell and rolled all the way down to the bottom. When he hit the bottom, the moose skull cracked open and fell apart and he was free of it at last.

 
    

Native American Tales:

The wolf features prominently in a number of Native American stories. There is a Lakota tale about a woman who was injured while traveling. She was found by a wolf pack that took her in and nurtured her. During her time with them, she learned the ways of the wolves, and when she returned to her tribe, she used her newfound knowledge to help her people. In particular, she knew far before anyone else when a predator or enemy was approaching.

A Cherokee tale tells the story of the dog and the wolf. Originally, Dog lived on the mountain, and Wolf lived beside the fire. When winter came, though, Dog got cold, so he came down and sent Wolf away from the fire. Wolf went to the mountains, and found that he liked it there. Wolf prospered in the mountains, and formed a clan of his own, while Dog stayed by the fire with the people. Eventually, the people killed Wolf, but his brothers came down and took revenge. Ever since then, Dog has been man’s faithful companion, but the people are wise enough not to hunt Wolf anymore.

 

The
                       
Two Wolves Within

An old Grandfather said to his grandson, who came to him with anger at a friend who had done him an injustice...

"Let me tell you a story. I too, at times, have felt great hate for those who have taken so much, with no sorrow for what they do. But hate wears you down, and does not hurt your enemy. It's like taking poison and wishing your enemy would die."

"I have struggled with these feelings many times. It is as if there are two wolves inside me; one is good and does no harm. He lives in harmony with all around him and does not take offense when no offense was intended. He will only fight when it is right to do so, and in the right way.

But...the other wolf... ah! The littlest thing will send him into a fit of temper. He fights everyone, all of the time, for no reason. He cannot think because his anger and hate are so great. It is helpless anger, for his anger will change nothing."

"Sometimes it is hard to live with these two wolves inside me, for both of them try to dominate my spirit."

The boy looked intently into his Grandfather's eyes and asked, "Which one wins, Grandfather?"

The Grandfather smiled and quietly said, "The one I feed."
 
The Legend of The Cedar Tree
as told by Jim Fox

A long time ago when the Cherokee people were new upon the earth, they thought that life would be much better if there was never any night. They beseeched the Ouga (Creator) that it might be day all the time and that there would be no darkness. The Creator heard their voices and made the night cease and it was day all the time. Soon, the forest was thick with heavy growth. It became difficult to walk and to find the path. The people toiled in the gardens many long hours trying to keep the weeds pulled from among the corn and other food plants. It got hot, very hot, and continued that way day after long day. The people began to find it difficult to sleep and became short tempered and argued among themselves.

Not many days had passed before the people realized they had made a mistake and, once again, they beseeched the Creator. "Please," they said, "we have made a mistake in asking that it be day all the time. Now we think that it should be night all the time." The Creator paused at this new request and thought that perhaps the people may be right even though all things were created in twos... representing to us day and night, life and death, good and evil, times of plenty and those times of famine. The Creator loved the people and decided to make it night all the time as they had asked.

The day ceased and night fell upon the earth. Soon, the crops stopped growing and it became very cold. The people spent much of their time gathering wood for the fires. They could not see to hunt meat and with no crops growing it was not long before the people were cold, weak, and very hungry. Many of the people died.

Those that remained still living gathered once again to beseech the Creator. "Help us Creator," they cried! "We have made a terrible mistake. You had made the day and the night perfect, and as it should be, from the beginning. We ask that you forgive us and make the day and night as it was before."

Once again the Creator listened to the request of the people. The day and the night became, as the people had asked, as it had been in the beginning. Each day was divided between light and darkness. The weather became more pleasant, and the crops began to grow again. Game was plentiful and the hunting was good. The people had plenty to eat and there was not much sickness. The people treated each other with compassion and respect. It was good to be alive. The people thanked the Creator for their life and for the food they had to eat.

The Creator accepted the gratitude of the people and was glad to see them smiling again. However, during the time of the long days of night, many of the people had died, and the Creator was sorry that they had perished because of the night. The Creator placed their spirits in a newly created tree. This tree was named a-tsi-na tlu-gv {ah-see-na loo-guh} cedar tree.

When you smell the aroma of the cedar tree or gaze upon it standing in the forest, remember that if you are Tsalagi {Cherokee}, you are looking upon your ancestor.
 

How the
Wolf Ritual Began 
        


A long time ago, a young woman of the tribe, with three companions, was walking outside the village. They were going to a place called Tomak'cluh to look for ah-et's'l, a small plant whose roots they use for food.
During the journey a Wolf went trotting across their path, strong and sleek and scarcely noticing the girls.
The young woman said: "How handsome he is! I wish my husband, when I marry, could be as strong and as fearless."

At nighttime the women went to sleep, and the Wolf came in.
(The Wolves know everything and read the minds of human creatures).
The girl did not know that he had come, but the Wolf woke the sleeping girl, and told her he was going to take her with him. Opening her eyes, she saw a fine young man standing before her.....

The young woman went with the Wolf to his home in the mountain, and was there a long time. Two sons were born who grew up to be half Wolf and half man.
The old father of the girl, meanwhile, did not know where his daughter had gone, and was greatly troubled. At her home they tried everywhere to find her, looking in vain in all sorts of places, until they grieved for her as dead.

In the Wolf country the oldest son, grown to be a man, asked his mother why he looked different from the people around him (the Wolves). The mother had told him that he came from another place, and that there, far from where the Wolves live, dwelt her own father.
Then the son asked when she was going home, because he wished very much to see what it was like there.
So the woman told her husband that their son would like to see his grandfather. He finally agreed, but before they went, as a gift to his wife, the Wolf began to teach the woman about the Klukwana [the wolf ritual], which they had there.
It was the Chief of Wolves that the woman have married and all the wolves came to the Chief's house to have Klukwana.

When she had learned all about it, the Wolves came to take her away to her own village.

They brought her to her father's house at night, and waited behind the other houses, but did not come near. The woman went in to wake her father, and began talking to him of a daughter he had lost, though she kept hidden who she was.
She said she herself had a Wolf husband, and that she had with her two sons.
The woman also told her father many things about the Wolves, and that the villagers must not do anything when the Wolves howled, or try to harm them. Instead they must try to learn from them.

The old father had been much grieved because his daughter was dead, but he did not know her because it was nighttime and she was much changed after so many years.
But at last had revealed herself to him and told him that now she was going to have a "song" of her own as a sign that the Wolves had brought her back and by which he might know her again.

The father gathered his people and told them of his daughter's return. They heard the wolves outside and began to beat on long boards and sticks. The wolves howled four times and departed.

Then the woman taught her father all about Klukwana, and the secrets she had learned from the Wolves as to their power and strength.
After she had taught him all the songs and all the dances, the father began the Klukwana and later taught the rest of the tribe all that his daughter had learned from the Wolves.

 

Wolf Story   

Many years ago, the Ugly Otter was selling Indian Jewelry in Santa Fe, NM, at an indoor flea market. The following story is true, and happened as follows. However, this story is being told as a story of interest, and not as a story to "make fun" or to be disrespectful of another's beliefs. After all, who among us knows all the answers?

At the time of this story I was selling Indian Jewelry, Navajo Kachina Dolls, and Indian Pottery in a small stand of mine in the indoor flea market in Santa Fe, New Mexico during the winter of 1992, or thereabouts.

I was tending my booth when a young Navajo girl of about 18 years old approached holding three or four Kachina Dolls that she wanted to sell to me. I saw they were of good quality, well made, and my inventory of Kachina Dolls was low.

I asked her if she had more of these, and she answered "Yes, we have about twenty more outside in the car with my grandfather, who makes these". I asked her to bring them in, and perhaps I would buy them all if they were as good as the samples she had shown me.

She left, and in a few minutes came back with some boxes of Kachina Dolls, followed by her elderly grandfather. He appeared to be in his 80's, perhaps.

Now, the person who had a stand next to mine was selling various furs and animal parts. Rabbit furs, fox tails, cow skulls, cow hides, feathers, and various items of this nature which people in the area use to decorate their houses and shops.

When the young girl's grandfather spotted the stand next to mine, he became highly agitated, and rushed right into the next stall and started to sift thru the various items for sale. He spent several minutes in the stall, sorting thru the items to the astonishment of the other stall owner.

After a few minutes, the grandfather calmed down, came back to my stall where the granddaughter was with the boxes of Kachina Dolls, and I proceeded to buy the Dolls from her. The grandfather spoke no English, so all the dealings were with the granddaughter. After the deal was completed, I asked the young girl what had happened to cause her grandfather such alarm and to act as he did with the next door stall. She replied:

"We live on the far side of the Rio Puerco Valley, and that is the home of the Nightstalker. Our family is of the "Wolf" clan, and everyone knows that the wolf and the Nightstalker are great friends. My grandfather was afraid that some of the furs or bones in the next stall may have been from a wolf, and that the wolf's spirit would get really mad at us if we were in the presence of wolf parts. My grandfather wanted to make sure there were no wolf bones or furs in that stall, because if there had been, we would have to leave immediately before being seen by the wolf spirit."

She further explained that if the wolf's spirit was mad at her family, the wolf would get his good friend, the Nightstalker, to take revenge on them. That, she said, would be a terrible tragedy for the whole family as they lived so close to the Nightstalker's home.

There were no wolf parts in the stall, so all ended well, and all was happy.

Now, I know nothing more of this except what I saw and what the young girl told me. I do not know if her story is true, but I have every reason to believe that she and her grandfather did believe it.

End of story.

 
The black wolf and the white wolf
There is a story I like to tell to my clients, participants and friends. It’s about a wise, old Cherokee Indian. Because I felt like writing about it I just did some Google research and I realized that I unconsciously changed the story slightly. Which is nice, I guess. It means that the story is alive. I also found that there is a second chapter but let me start with the beginning.

A group of Cherokee children has gathered around their grandfather. They are filled with excitement and curiousity. That day there had been a quite tumultuous conflict between two adults and their grandfather was called to mediate. The children are eager to hear what he has to say about it.

One of the children pops the question that puzzles him. “Grandfather, why do people fight?”. “Well” the old man replies “we all have two wolves inside us, you see. They are in our chest. And these wolves are constantly fighting each other”. The eyes of the children have grown big by now. “In our chests too, grandfather?” asks another child. “And in your chest too?” asks a third one. He nods, “yes, in my chest too”. He surely has their attention now. Grandfather continues. “There is a white wolf and a black wolf. The black wolf is filled with fear, anger, envy, jealousy, greed, and arrogance. The white wolf is filled with peace, love, hope, courage, humility, compassion, and faith. They battle constantly”. Then he stops. It’s the child that asked the initial question that can’t handle the tension anymore. “But grandfather, which wolf wins?”. The old Cherokee simply replies, “the one that we feed”.

Nice story, isn’t it? It is not so hard to resonate with the “feeding” of anger, jealousy, envy and greed. These emotions can really have power over us and we can see how we keep fueling them and feel how hard it is to “snap out of it”. What also sounds pretty convincing and hopeful is the idea that we have a choice. We can stop feeding the black wolf and start feeding the white wolf at any given moment. It’s the whole spiritual path, or the path to happines and fulfilment in a nutshell. And I don’t know about you but the third thing that definately speaks to me is that it’s a never ending battle. Not that I like it but I surely resonate with it.

Stop feeding the black wolf. Feed the white wolf. It’s that simple. But it ain’t easy.

When hearing this story many people realize how utterly and completely their world is dominated by the black wolf. We are driven by greed and fear, our economy is based on the idea of scarsity and in order to survive the black wolf will go far to obtain the biggest part of the pie he can get.

Fact is that most of us have a very underdeveloped white wolf. Makes sense, it was hardly fed. The white wolf is weak, skinny and small. “If I show my white wolf at work, it will be murdered within seconds” is a common reply from executives I coach. “There is no place for the white wolf in our company”, they say. And of course, I believe them, in the sense that I can see that the vast majority of businesses and corparations are completely run by black wolves.

But I found out something really cool about the white wolf. Where the shoulder height of the black wolf can reach a maximum of 32-34 inches (80-85 cm), the white wolf can grow into the size of a horse. When a well developed white wolf enters a room filled with back wolves something changes. The underdeveloped white wolves realize they are potentially a lot stronger than their black bullies. All of a sudden they got back-up. And every strong white wolf will back his weaker brothers and sisters up. Always.

The black wolf is primarily self-serving and mainly interested in staying ahead of the other wolves at any cost. He is the survivor. The white wolf is interested in the development and empowerment of all his white brothers and sisters and sees himself as a mere vehicle to spread loving kindness. He is led by his cause. It doesn’t feel like a choice or an obligation, he just surrenders to the call of this life force. It just feels natural.

It’s tough to get your inner white wolf healthy with a strong and cunning black wolf around that is eager to steal as much food as possible. But please be perseverent. Then one day you will notice that the white wolf has become equally strong. That is the tipping point. Allthough the battle continues the white wolf wins more and more fights and keeps getting stronger. Like Neo in The Matrix.

Contrary to the way black wolves relate a white wolf never has to be afraid when he meets a stronger white wolf. They are natural allies. So the best thing you can do is first start feeding the white wolf sneakily; do a meditation course. Meanwhile look around carefully and find the biggest white wolf around. Learn. Practice. Read. Study the black wolf. Stop being his bitch. Start winning.

 
 

THE WOLF AND NATIVE AMERICANS

             
Wolves and Native Americans at one time lived in mutual harmony! The wolf has great spiritual significance to Native American Indians and they were not seen at all as an enemy. The wolf has patience, great intelligence and is a keen hunter. When a Native American was told that he hunted like a wolf, this was considered a great compliment. When a Native American was told that his warrior ability was like that of the wolf, this was considered a very high compliment.

A wolf has a keen since of his or her environment and can detect very small changes. They seem to sense the unseen. With very sharp hearing and eye sight, the wolf in a pack can hunt animals ten times it's size and weight. They can move very quickly and very silently. The can run up to 40 miles per hour and run like that for as long as twenty minutes. The wolf is able to sustain life with little food when that is needed and can travel vast and great distances. In a pack, they plan their hunting activity. Dogs are descendants of wolfs and wolfs are a friend of all mankind not an enemy.

Wolves are, for the most part; an endangered species. It's a sad story that humans has caused this. There is some good news about this. Wolves have been reintroduced in Yellowstone National Park and their numbers are growing there. In fact, because of the reintroduction of the wolf, things have changed back to the way of mother nature. In certain locations, the elk have moved to get away from the wolfs. Because of this, beavers are back. Because beavers are back, beaver dams have been constructed. Because of that, the water depths and growths have changed in streams. Natural growth along the banks in these places have changed and certain birds and insects are now back. The wolves reintroduced into Yellowstone National Forest is proof beyond a reasonable doubt of the chain and relationship of everything that has to do with Mother Earth.

We have a theory of man's best friend, the dog! First of all, it is now a proven scientific fact that all dogs are descendants of wolfs. In the early history of humans, wolfs learned to follow man who was mainly nomadic. The wolf was attracted to human's camps as there was food and fire at night. Man got closer to wolfs and started to feed them. Soon, humans and wolfs were sleeping together as the wolf maintains a warmer temperature than humans. Humans discovered that having a wolf in a bed pack with them was much like what we would consider an electric blanket today. Wolfs are loyal creatures and highly protective. As man evolved, wolves became man's best friend and evolved into the dog. The moral of the store is that the wolf, like the dog is also man's best friend and not an enemy.

Wolves are likely one of the most misunderstood animals of the world by many peoples. Often seen as an aggressor, the wolf is really a very loving and very social animal with a great deal of intelligence. We have created this page out of love for the wolf which will include great videos, links and some of the wolf related products presented by Tribal Impressions.

 

Blackfoot

According to the legend, a wolf accompanied the ancestor of the Blackfoot tribe, a man named Napioa. In another story, wolves save a man from a trap set by the man's two evil wives. After taking him back to live with their pack, an old wolf in a cave uses magic to transform the man into a wolf-man. While retaining the body of a normal human, his hands and feet became like the paws of a wolf.
Pawnee

The Pawnee revered the wolf as a symbol of craftiness, trickery and hunting skills. However, despite being a respected figure,the wolf is also blamed for much of the hardship in the world. In a Pawnee legend, the wolf is credited for introducing death to mankind. Sent to earth by "Coyote" to cause mischief, "Wolf" opened a sacred sack he stole that contained death, and unwittingly unleashed it unto the world.

Shoshone

Like the Pawnee tribe, the Shoshone people believed that the wolf was the initial cause or instigator of death on earth. According to their mythology, the wolf and the coyote got into a fight about the rebirth of humans, with coyote claiming that overpopulation of humans would result if the dead were brought back to life. Wolf agreed with Coyote and caused the first human to die to be the son of Coyote. Coyote begged wolf to bring back his son, but was reminded by wolf that Coyote was the one who originally argued in favour of death.

Quileute

The Quileute are a tribe of Native Americans from Washington state who believe their people descended from wolves. Q'waeti' or Q'wati was a god or spirit with a magical ability to transform animals and people. According to the story, Q'waeti came upon two wolves and turned them into the first two Quileute Indians. Q'waeti instructed the two new humans in the traditions their tribe was to practice, and became the spiritual protector of the Queleute people.

 
                       
 
 
HOW THE INDIANS OBTAINED DOGS
 

 

There lived alone one winter a hunter, his wife and their only child, a little boy of four years. Deep snow covered the ground, and game was scarce. One day the hunter discovered the track of a buffalo and followed it but he failed to overtake the animal. Late at night he returned to his tipi and, before entering, stopped to scrape the snow from his moccasins. But as he stood outside in the snow, he heard his little boy crying from hunger within the tent, and the voice of his wife trying to comfort him.

"Don’t cry, my son", she said. "Perhaps your father has killed a buffalo. That may be why he is late in coming home."

Resolutely the man turned back into the night and prayed for help as he resumed his hunting. Just before dawn he came upon other buffalo tracks and followed them. Suddenly a wolf ran up to him, and said, "My son, why are you weeping?"

"I am in sore need. My wife and child are starving."

"Hide behind these bushes here", said the wolf, "and use my bow and arrows. I will drive the buffalo toward you. But be sure to use my bow and arrows, not your own."

The wolf disappeared, and the hunter examined the bow that had been given him. It was much smaller than his own, and seemingly much inferior. Yet he remembered the wolf’s instructions and when he heard it driving the buffalo toward him, he took up the small bow and shot six animals, one after another. When the seventh and last buffalo approached him, however, he took up his own box and shot. The animal escaped. Now the wolf returned.

"What luck did you have?" it asked.

"I killed six with your bow and arrows. For the last one I used my own bow, and it escaped."

"I warned you not to use it", the wolf said. "However, we have meat enough."

Together they butchered the animals, and at the wolf’s request the hunter set aside portions of two buffalo for his companion’s children. He then carried as much meat as he could pack on his back to his starving wife and child.

That same evening, after they had satisfied their hunger, they dismantled their tent and moved to where the carcasses lay. There the wolf joined them with all its family and lingered fearlessly around their camp. The woman fed the animals with waste cuts of meat until they became quite tame. They would even allow her to harness travois to their backs. Thereafter they always remained with the Indians and became their Dogs.

 
THE BEGINNINGS OF THE DREAM CATCHER

 

 

One day a warrior was moving things around in his home, getting ready to go on a raiding party. But as he was putting together his arrows, he looked up and saw a spider building a web above his bed.

The young man desided to put the spider outside, and as he was moving to the door, the spider spoke to him. "Please let me stay in your home, and I will give you a great gift."

The warrior asked what a spider would have that he wanted. "I know that the spirits of the night have been to visit you, and that they play pranks on you and won't let you sleep at night. They can be a very bad thing for a warrior. I know how to get rid of these pesky spirits," said the spider.

The warrior gratefully agreed to help, and went about his business to go on the raiding party.

When he got home later that evening, the spider had built her home above his bed. She told him that all would now be well with the spirits. He went to sleep that night wondering if the spider was really there to help him, but was willing to accept her for the time being.

That night, when the spirits came to play their tricks on him, they got caught in the little spider's web.

In the morning, when he opened the flap to his home, the morning sun burned the spirits away. The warrior thanked the spider for her help and told her that she could stay with him as long as she wanted.

She explained to him that sometimes good spirits would be by to visit him, and they would go through the hole in the center of her web and would not be caught.

Since that day, the spider is the Keeper of the Dreams.

 
HOW THE RAVENS BECAME BLACK

 

In the days long past, when the Earth and the people on it were still young, all the Ravens were white as snow. In those ancient times the people had nither horses, firearms, or weopons of iron. Yet they depended upon the Buffalo hunt to give them enough food to survive. Hunting the big buffalo on foot with stone-tipped weopons was hard, uncertain and dangerous.

The Ravens made things even more difficult for the hunters, because they were friends with the buffalo. Soaring high above the Prairie, they could see everything that was going on. Whenever they spied the hunters approaching a herd of buffalo, they flew up to their friends and pearching between their horns and warned them "Caw, caw, caw cousins, the hunters are coming. They are creeping through that gully over there, they are coming up behind the hills, watch out! Watch out! Caw, caw, caw!" Hearing this, the buffalo would stampede and the people would starve.

The people held a council to decide what to do. Now, among the Ravens was a large white one, twice the size of the others, and he was there leader. One wise old Chief got up and made this suggestion, "We must capture this big white raven and teach him a lesson, it is either that or go hungry." He brought out a large buffalo skin, with the head and horns still attached. He put it on the back of a young Brave and said, "Nephew, sneak among the buffalo. They will think you are one of them, and then you can capture the big white raven."

Disguised as a buffalo, the young man creapt among the herd as if he were grazing. The big shaggy beasts paid him no attention. The hunters marched out from their camp after him, their bows at the ready. As they approached the herd, the ravens came flying in, as usual, warning the herd. "Caw, caw, caw cousins, the hunters are coming to kill you. Watch out! Watch out! Caw, caw, caw!" And as usual, the buffalo stampeded away, all that is, except the young hunter in disguise under the shaggy skin, who pretended to go on grazing as before.

Then the big white raven came down and pearched on his horns and said to the 'buffalo', "Caw, caw, caw brother, are you deaf? The hunters are close by, just over the hill! Save yourself!" But the young brave reached out from under the buffalo skin and grabbed the raven by the legs. With a rawhide string, he tied the big birds feet and fastened the other end to a stone. No matter how the raven struggled, he could not escape.

Again the people held a council. "What shall we do with this bird, who has made us go hungry time and again?" Was the question on everyones lips.

"I'll burn him up!" answered one angry hunter, and before anyone could stop him, he yanked the raven from the hands of his captors and thrust it into the fire, string, stone and all. "This will teach you!" he cried to the bird.

Of course, the string that held the stone burned through almost immediately, and the big raven managed to fly out of the fire. But he was badly singed, and some of his feathers were charred. Though he was still big, he was no longer white. "Caw, caw, caw!" he cried, flying away as quickly as he could. "I'll never do it again; I'll stop warning the buffalo, and so will all the Raven Nation. I promise! Caw, caw, caw."

Thus the raven escaped. But ever since, all ravens have been black.

 
 
 
 

In India, Attacks by Wolves Spark Old Fears and Hatreds

 

When the man-eating wolf came to this tranquil village toward dusk on an evening in mid-August, it was every child's worst nightmare come true.

The wolf pounced while Urmila Devi and three of her eight children were in a grassy clearing at the edge of the village, using the open ground for a toilet. The animal, about 100 pounds of coiled sinew and muscle, seized the smallest child, a 4-year-old boy named Anand Kumar, and carried him by the neck into the luxuriant stands of corn and elephant grass that stretch to a nearby riverbank.

When a police search party found the boy three days later, half a mile away, all that remained was his head. From the claw and tooth marks, pathologists confirmed he had been killed by a wolf -- probably one of a pack that conservationists believe has been roaming this

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 






 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


            








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