Wolves in Culture

Wolves in Popular Culture

Wolves definitely don’t have a good place in the hearts of people when you consider popular culture. Stories go very far back into history about them being villains against man. What is so ironic about that though is that they very seldom will ever attack a human.

Yet since the beginning of time the wolf has been found in stories that link them to evil. They are said to be the Hounds of Hell in many of them. The fact that wolves are known to howl at the moon has given life to the stories of werewolves – those that can transform from men to wolves based on the full moon. In reality, wolves don’t howl at the moon. They just need to position their head that way in order to make the howling sounds come out.

The Indians though have a very different view on the wolf. They view this animal as one that has been sent to protect them. The power and courage of the wolves are traits that they want to have in their individuals. The community of the wolf pack is something they want to bring to their own tribe. This is why you will find that Indian ceremonies of early days often includes appreciation towards the wolf.

Early medicine men often carried the skins of the wolf along with them. Many of their supplies were wrapped up in them as a way to bring faster healing to those in need. Today the Eskimos of Alaska are very caring and considerate towards the wolf. They are respectful of their nomadic life.

Both the Indians and the Eskimos see the wolf as an ally, one that they can use for food and for skins if they need to. The killing of these animals is for their own survival but not out of ill feelings or the desire to take part in hunting for the thrill of it. They continue to try to implement the balance of nature and humans into their lives. The way in which they treat the wolves is just one way that connection is made.

One of the earliest stories out there about wolves is the story of a boy that was raised by a pack of them. Yet there are many sayings that go into what wolves mean in popular culture. The moral of these stories is to tell people that if you count false stories, one day that you want to tell the truth, no one will believe you. No one is going to come to help you.

The saying a person is a wolf in sheeps clothing means they are a person that doesn’t show their true self. What you see on the surface is one thing but the negative aspects of that person are lurking underneath. Asking someone if they were raised by wolves indicates that you feel they have no manners or etiquette at all.

One of the most well known bedtime stories is that of the Three Little Pigs and the big bad wolf. In this particular story the pigs have to unite in their efforts to escape the wolf as he tries one by one to get to them by destroying the homes that they have built. The same type of story unfolds in Little Red Riding Hood. Here the little girl must outsmart the wolf in order to save her grandmother.


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