The power of culture has an ability to bring simple things to international limelight. The wolves might be simply wild dogs in the eyes of some while to some they are seen to hold much significance. Among the Aboriginal people and many native tribes of the USA the wolves are quite significant in their lives: they linger in their conscious and subconscious mind, they have many stories to tell about these animals. The ways of the wolves have been much admired and various attempts have been made by various tribes to imitate the wolves’ way of living. The wolves seem to have some instinct and wisdom which guides them. To some it is seen as a divine animal which indicates seasons and announces the movements of spirits. Their superb hunting skills and hence ability to provide for their families are traits which are longed for. These traits have made the wolves to earn themselves a name among the Aboriginal people and other tribes of the USA.
This is a research paper which examines the role of wolves in the Aboriginal people and other cultures. The paper will focus on the myth of wolves in the Aboriginal culture. This will be accomplished by discussing the origins of Native culture and the wolves with special attention being drawn to the grey wolves. The paper will clearly show how the Indians find their ways of living being connected to the ways of the wolves. The research paper specifically touches on the areas of hunting, providing for the family and acting as a protector of the family and the tribe at large. The paper also brings into the light the symbol of the wolf as a sacred animal which has the ability to communicate with the spirit world. How the wolves are seen to play a role in the native medicine is discussed. The paper will discuss all the relevant facts in order to bring out the true picture of the wolves as seen by the Aboriginal people and other cultures which look up to the wolves as sacred animals.
The methodology used is literature review. This paper uses pure literature review to collect information. There is extensive use of scholarly materials, books and credible websites. Deliberate measure was taken to ensure that the sources from which the data was to be collected is credible and could be reliable on. Different views from different authors writing on the different forums have been integrated to arrive at the fine copy.
Nature (2010) gives a clear description of the history of wolves in Canada and North America. It is shown how at first the wolves were treated well and honored and later how the colonists brought in hostility against these animals. It is said that before the arrival of the Europeans in the North America, the native Americans loved the wolves so much that they were incorporated in their culture, “Native Americans incorporated wolves into their legends and rituals, portraying them as ferocious warriors in some traditions and thieving spirits in others” (Nature 2010, par. 1). However, the arrival of the Europeans brought in a conflict between the humans and the wolves.
The Europeans came along with livestock which consists of cows, sheep pigs and horses. The hungry wolves learnt that cows and sheep were very docile and easily formed an easy meal. Soon the Europeans were losing their livestock at quite an alarming rate to the wolves. This was the beginning of the hatred between men and wolves. The colonists did all they could to stop the wolves and fought the wolves with passion, “colonists found their livelihoods in danger, and they lashed out at wolves, both with physical violence and folklore that ensured wolf hatred would be passed down from one generation to the next” (Nature 2010, par. 2).
What had started on a small scale grew to be a national campaign against the wolves. It spread to amateur and later to professional wolf baiting. As livestock farming gathered momentum so was the pressure on the number of wolves to be reduced. In the 19th century, the pressure from wealthy livestock owners wielded heavily on the policy makers that the government sanctioned wolf extermination programs. Thus what was once revered by the Natives as friends had suddenly turned to be enemies and were facing a possible extinction: “In 1906, the U.S. Forest Service acquiesced to the stockowners and enlisted the help of the Bureau of Biological Survey to clear cattle ranges of gray wolves” (Nature 2010, par. 4).
Later in the 1960s the ecosystem effect of reducing the wolves became to be understood. Other animals which depended on the wolves were equally affected. The birds and other scavengers which fed on the carcasses left behind by the wolves were being starved from hunger. This led to a change in the attitude towards the wolves by the scientific community and nation park services.