“Who Speaks For Wolf?” – Our Ancient Ancestors’ Tale

“Some people talk to animals.
Not many listen though, that’s the problem.”

A.A. Milne

The Wolf Song Nordic Lullaby Vargsången (courtesy of Jonna Jinton):

 

Courtesy of the Wolf Conservation Center:

 

“Wolf Speaks:
I wander mountains high
and river pathways
I seek cover in deep forests
from hunters’ cruel knives
Yet my cousins warm your
hearts with love and loyalty
Love me also even though
you do not command my freedom path.”
Ramon Ravenswood

Dances with Wolves theme by John Barry, performed by Andre Rieu (courtesy of 1912-kaos):

 

Prehistoric humans dealt with the hardship and difficulties of their daily lives against the backdrop of the seismic changes taking place on Earth. We know that the survival of humans often depended on their close relationship with animals. They have evolved at the same time and together shared green plateaus, developing mountains, active volcanoes, rainforests, waterfalls, rivers, snow, and air during their travels in search of a suitable place to settle.

There are drawings of animals in caves and the footprints of a wolf and a child in the 32,000 years old Chauvet Cave in France. The nomadic tribes that lived in Asia, Southeast Asia, and who travelled as far as Siberia, lived between 200,000 and 50,000 years ago. A few years ago, the discovery of fragments of bone and teeth that had been frozen for 50,000 years provided the DNA of a young girl. Recently, scientists, using a sophisticated new technique, were able to extract information about the size and shape of her facial features. Using this data, scientists reconstructed the face of this girl, below.

ancient

What did ancient teens look like? (courtesy of Inside Edition):

The conclusion of the research was that these ancient humans in some traits resembled us, but in others they were unique. One thing is certain, to survive they had to develop a partnership with animals, most likely with wolves as their hunting methods were similar, and they were friendly and adaptable, especially as they were sharing the spoils of the hunt.

These cave paintings illustrate the human need to communicate, although cave art may have been created for various reasons. Hunting was critical to early humans’ survival, and animal art in caves has often been interpreted as an attempt to influence the success of the hunt, exert power over animals that were simultaneously dangerous to early humans and vital to their existence, or to increase the fertility of herds in the wild.

Cave Art 101 (courtesy of National Geographic)

 

Some of the best-preserved prehistoric art has been found at the Chauvet cave (courtesy of BBC Newsnight):

 

Werner Herzog muses on his film “Cave of Forgotten Dreams” (courtesy of Scientific American):

 

A tantalising glimpse into the “Cave of Forgotten Dreams” – The Paintings (courtesy of Charlie Collier):

 

As wolves are tribal, being a part of the ancient humans’ tribe was even better as there was greater safety in numbers. To ancient humans, wolves would offer protection against much larger prey. Women, in particular, had a close rapport and security with the presence of wolves. Those relationships were part of thousands of years old lived experiences, and have to be remembered as an important reflection of our shared lives on Earth, not as primitive but primal; a known part of tribal culture.

A man among wolves (courtesy of maximebarber):

 

“Crying Wolf” by Enya (courtesy of takis053):

 

Doghunt

The ancient nomadic tribes had the saying: ‘Your name is honoured among the wolves’, as a sign of being accepted and elevated among them. When the grunts of the tribe people were later developed into simple words-sounds, the wolves, their earliest companions, were praised in their first rituals, involving dancing.

“Ly-O-Lay Ale-Loya” (The Counterclockwise Circle Dance) by Sacred Spirit (courtesy of Celeste Miss):

 

Later still, in recalling the past adventures of journeying across the globe, while sitting around the fire, the wolves were always included as in this poem-chant of one ancient tribe:

“There was one among the People
to whom Wolf was brother
He was so much Wolf’s brother
that he would sing their song to them
and they would answer him.
He was so much Wolf’s brother
that their young would sometimes follow him
through the forest and it seemed
they meant to learn from him.
They listened to hear which place
might be drier in rain and more
protected in winter; they spoke of the hills
and trees, of clearing and running water.
So it was, at this time that the People
gave That One a special name
They called him Wolf’s Brother.
They listened until they reached agreement
and the Eldest among them finally rose
and said: ‘So be it- for so it is’.
‘But wait’, someone cautioned –
‘Where is Wolf’s Brother?’
Who, then speaks for Wolf?
Until at last someone would rise
and ask the old, old question
to remind us of things we do not
yet see clearly enough to remember:
“Tell Me Now My Brothers
Tell Me Now My Sisters
Who Speaks For Wolf?”

A Native American folktale, told through shadow puppetry (courtesy of Nite at the Puppet Asylum):

 

“Ashokan Farewell” by Jay Ungar, performed by Borealis Wind Quintet:

 

“Spirit of the Wolf” (courtesy of Lucy O’Sullivan):

 

Courtesy of Wolf Conservation Center:

 

egyptiangeesehuntercat

Throughout ancient history wolves, and then dogs, entered into a relationship with people.  The ancient Egyptians regarded animals as their equals. From prehistoric times wolves and then dogs, which originated from wolves, were evident on steales. During the Middle Kingdom dogs were helping the members of the desert police to patrol the Western Desert in search of fugitives. Dogs were so loved that the masters often included a space in their own sarcophagus for their dogs. The evidence seen on numerous steales substantiates the esteemed position of dogs, the ancient humans’ faithful and earliest companions, throughout Egyptian history.

dogcavepainting

How did wolves evolve? (courtesy of National Geographic):

 

The evolution of dogs explained by Neil deGrasse Tyson (courtesy of Entrance Help):

 

Moreover, human evolution was aided by dogs (courtesy of BBC):

 

Over the millennia wolves were replaced as human companions by wolfhounds and then other dogs.  Today dogs are as important to us as once wolves were. Many are indispensable to those who are disabled, blind, deaf, autistic or in a wheelchair. Others help police officers to apprehend criminals or are greatly valued dogs of war tracing hidden mines. Dogs are excellent at tracing hidden drugs. They help firefighters to find the cause of fires. They rescue people that are lost in avalanches, buried deep in snow.  But above everything else, they bring unconditional love, companionship, and entertainment to those of us that are fortunate to have a dog as part of their family life.

A very happy ‘wolf’! (courtesy of Sarah and the Wolves):

 

“The earth does not belong to man, man belongs to earth.
All things are connected like the blood that unites us all.
Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it.
Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.”
Chief Seattle

“The Frozen Call” (courtesy of Jonna Jinton):

 

50 thoughts on ““Who Speaks For Wolf?” – Our Ancient Ancestors’ Tale

  1. What a wonderful post! The relationship between humans and animals has always been sacred. The fact that prehistoric humans, (homo erectus onwards) who were our relatives, were very close to wolves, the relatives of dogs is oddly heartwarming. Dogs are such an important part of our lives now. It’s like a loop of strong bong connecting the canine species and us. We are connected in more ways than one to our ever so faithful companions. I was intrigued by the research done on the teenage girl’s remnants. How they recognised her to be exactly 13 years of age so accurately astonishes me. I thought the 3-D image of the girl resembled myself a little bit. 😉🙈

    Liked by 1 person

  2. An interesting read as always, dear Joanna! Stay blessed. ❤️❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi, looks like my comment ended up in spam. 🙂

    Like

  4. Thank you, SanSahana, for your wonderful comments!! I have always loved dogs and thought it is time to write about them, thank you for being the first to write about your views.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you again, SamSahana. Greatly appreciated.

    Joanna

    Like

  6. Fascinating , Joanna. I loved the poem/ chant. The picture of the half submerged wolf is incredible . The explanation of the evolution of the dog is fabulous. Thanks for sharing .💕

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you, Diana, for your kind comment. All the best to you too!

    Joanna

    Like

  8. Thank you again. Greatly appreciated.

    Joanna

    Like

  9. Thank you, Grace, for your generous comment! It is easy to write about animals and nature because I find this the most interesting and inspiring
    subject!

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I absolutely agree.My pleasure.💕

    Like

  11. Hi. As you point out, dogs can be incredible, such as those who guide and enable blind people — it’s hard to believe what they do.

    Like

  12. Thank you for you kind comment. They do indeed, and in fact much more.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Thank you again. Greatly appreciated.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Great read, thank you for sharing Joanna!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Thank you, Sam, for your kind comment.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Always a pleasure Joanna 🙂 Great post as always!

    Like

  17. Thank you again. Greatly appreciated.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  18. This post has beautifully depicted the human-animal relationship and interdependence. This is so natural, as homo sapiens are believed to be a species of hominid family. But the way you have dealt with the issue with incredible pieces of videos is really appreciable. The quote that the earth doesn’t belong to man, but man belongs to earth is so appreciate.

    Like man, wolves were considered social, and more sociable and caring about their packs than dogs, though there have been some misgivings about wild wolves. What is liked most about dogs is their sense of empathy and faithfulness.

    I feel that there are a number of similarities between Egyptian and Indian cultures. If they have sphinx with lion’s body and human head, we have Ganesha with human body and elephant’s head. They also worship elements of nature like Sun, as we do. As per Hindu traditions, all gods and goddesses are believed to have animals as their carriers.

    While your posts give beautiful illustrations about facts and stories, these also give enough food for provoking thoughts and introspection. Thank you, Joanna for such fascinating posts week after week. I appreciate your time and efforts!!

    Like

  19. Another amazing post! And especially love this one as wolves are one of those animals that might, just might be re-introduced into Britain! Perhaps Northern Lynx first!
    Great music too, which reminds me, I must add a video link below; Helene Grimaud, the brilliant and beautiful French pianist has a passion not just for music, but for wolves! I hope you can open the link.
    Cave art fascinates me and I’m glad you were able to include many examples here. Once again, your research takes time and effort and we readers appreciate sharing in your passions. Have a great weekend. 💖💝💐🤗🙋‍♂️

    Like

  20. Thank you, Ashley, for your lovely comments ! Please, add the link because I don’t see it here. It is the readers like you who make my work worthwhile!

    Joanna

    Like

  21. Thank you again, Ashley. Greatly appreciated.

    Joanna

    Like

  22. Thank you, Kaushal, for your wonderful comments!! I like your addition about the similarities between the Egyptian and Indian
    cultures. Thank you for taking time to read and listen to music and videos. As you know, I am always waiting for your views about my post, and you never disappoint me!!

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Thank you, Ashley, I got the link!!

    Joanna

    Like

  24. You’re always welcome, Joanna. It’s my pleasure to go through your wonderful posts.

    Like

  25. I love this post. It would be a better world if all of us 2-leggeds would acknowledge the vital importance of animals both now & throughout history. Thanks for sharing, Joanna. 🌞

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Thank you, Lisa, for your wonderful comments! And of course, you are so right!

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Thank you again. Greatly appreciated.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Great post, thank you Joanna for a fantastic share.

    Like

  29. Thank you, Henrietta, for your generous comment.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Thank you again. Greatly appreciated.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Getting welcomed by the wolf hows was special. Where on earth would that happen unless in a forest. And then with a charming image of one half submerged in water like playing at a home pool.

    This post comes at a time when the gene pool of the animals has noticeably started changing. Like recently a study is showing a remarkable change in the behavior of some animals. In Africa, Elephants have learnt or are taking birth without tusks amongst many other species who have changed their pattern in a human world.

    World, which once was for all; going down the memory lane of that era when wolves and the company of dogs was celebrated, even though it still persists but things have changed certainly.

    This is a beautiful post by Joanna that celebrates, love and life alike, man-human, nature-wild and for those ones who easily forget their past; must remember that a wolf might have saved one of our ancestor’s life.

    The research, video and audio’s make us believe that author has a team that works under her, but she is that whole team, who unbelievable dives to bring these diamonds for us. I congratulate her, and thank her for being her.

    Narayan x

    Like

  32. Likewise, i want to thank her for mentioning Werner Herzog’s work. My all time favorite movie directors. And would recommend to watch his film ‘Grizzly Bear’ on the this issue, that bravely, emotionally filled film captures beautifully.

    I thank Joanna again.
    Narayan x

    Like

  33. Thank you, Narayan, for such wonderfully interesting comments! And as always, you never disappoint!
    Even your great telepathic ability is not going to tell you what a change your comments made.

    Joanna x

    Like

  34. Thank you, Narayan, for your interesting addition, as not enough people saw this film.

    Joanna x

    Like

  35. Thank you again, Narayan, your comments greatly appreciated !

    Joanna

    Like

  36. Thank you again, Narayan, Greatly appreciated!

    Joanna

    Like

  37. Thank you again, Narayan, greatly appreciated!
    I just have to admire your perception and wisdom, you will always win,

    Joanna

    Like

  38. what a beautiful post Joanna. Love seeing in the wild and the beautiful cave art!
    The videos are awesome!💖

    Like

  39. Thank you, Cindy, for your generous and kind comments! Cave arts are special; I love the fact that one man started the painting, and the other one who came 5000 years later finished the painting!

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  40. You’re so welcome! They so are and yes that is soooo special and heart provoking. Warms me. 💖💖💖

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Thank you, Narayan, for the words that go to my heart!!

    Joanna

    Like

  42. Thank you so much, you made my day!

    Joanna

    Like

  43. amazing 💓 I love their howling!!! so beautiful and makes me relax 😍

    Like

  44. Thank you for your lovely comment! I do love all animals, and that is why I write about them, as many are misunderstood. I am glad that you like bats too!

    Joanna

    Like

  45. Thank you again, Greatly appreciated.

    Joanna

    Like

  46. Wolves are such beautiful creatures. You post on the history of the wolf is most interesting. I especially love the Enya music. I have watched the PBS programs here about the reintroduction of the wolf into Yellowstone National Park, and how it brought the ecosystem back in sync!

    Like

  47. Thank you, Dwight, for your kind comments. I am happy with your news, at last, we do something right! Here we reintroduced extinct for 400 years badges to some of our rivers.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  48. Thank you again. Greatly appreciated.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  49. You are welcome Joanna. We are learning that we just can’t kill off whatever we choose and think we can survive!

    Like

  50. You are most welcome.

    Like

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