Wolves, as we all know, are famous for their special way of communication through howling. The lesser known fact is that it was also used as an emblem to various clans of tribes. The icon differed in various tribes. But the message it conveyed was all the same.
It is a common motif of mythologies in Europe, Asia, and America. In several instances, wolves were associated with witchcraft in some parts of Europe and America. In Norse folklore, Hyndla the witch and the giantess Hyrokkin are both portrayed as using wolves as mounts, while in Navajo culture, wolves were feared as witches in wolf’s clothing.
The reference of gray wolf has been done in the epic called Gilgamesh. It was one of the wolf’s first references in literature.
A wide range of people believed wolf to be an association of the warrior class. It was mainly man’s transformation into a wolf to be more brave and ferocious.
Wolves were also called the Sun God by the Greeks. They are called Apollo. A mention of wolves has been done by the people since ages. There has been a mention of wolves in the Indian mythology too. In Rig-Veda, Bhima the strong, son of God Vayu, is said to be ‘wolf stomached’.
Wolf as the emblem or symbol of the tribe can be associated with courage, strength, loyalty, and success at hunting. This was widely seen in Native American cultures.
Other than the tribes, even the religious books have references of these brave beasts. Bible has about 13 references of wolves. Other than the Bible, wolves are mentioned thrice in the Quran.
They are everywhere in the religious books, tribal icons and also in the literature of great authors like John Milton. In his work, Milton has mentioned about wolves. The work ‘Lycidas’ mentions about the wolves as in the following:
“The hungry sheep look up, and are not fed,
But swoll’n with wind, and the rank mist they draw,
Rot inwardly, and foul contagion spread:Besides what the grim wolf with privy paw
Daily devours apace, and nothing said;”
The images of wolves are prominent in the images of tribal songs, dances, and carvings. Their ceremonies are done in significance with the wolves. The wolf has been seen as a source of inspiration by the Native American tribes.
Indeed, one gets inspired by this fierce and intelligent animal.
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