Native Americans have often held timber wolves in the highest esteem in their culture. In truth, they are many times seen as a sacred animal and featured significantly in ancient songs, dances and stories that have been handed down for generations. Their role in Native American life was a given and often revered and welcomed.
Timber wolves played a big part in the ecosystem and delicate balance of the land and the Native Americans recognized that role. Many Native Americans credit the wolves in teaching them about the importance of family and how to hunt and forage for food. In other words, they were credited with the livelihood of the tribe. Other tribes believed that the timber wolves were spiritual beings that could impart magical powers.
Think about the native jewelry, artwork and other cultural items you have seen. Timber wolves are featured prominently, howling at the moon. As much as they are revered in Native American cultures, they are feared in others. A lot of old children’s stories and fables have wolves portrayed as the bad guys. The “Little Red Riding Hood” and “The Three Little Pigs” stories are just two of the many. These stories got their start, thanks to the settlers in the New World killing the timber wolves and painting them as the bad guys for dwindling livestock and wild game. However, it was the settlers who were interrupting the delicate balance of the land that the Native Americans held dear.
While the population of timber wolves and other species has severely dropped over the years, their numbers are slowly picking up, in part due to the efforts of the government protecting them as well as environmental groups. As numbers increase, these timber wolves will be re-introduced back into their native homelands where they had lived, roamed and hunted for centuries.
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