The World Wolf Made
This chapter explores the historical relationship between Indigenous Americans and wolves illustrated through the stories of Indigenous peoples of North America, especially on the Great Plains and the Intermountain West. Tribal accounts have not been previously employed in scholarly examinations of the origins of “dogs” or studies of domestication. All the Plains tribes examined closely (Cheyenne, Lakota, Blackfoot, Pawnee, Shoshone) have stories characterizing wolves as guides, protectors, or entities that directly taught or showed humans how to hunt, creating reciprocal relationships in which each species provided food for the other or shared food. Indeed, evidence from tribes suggests a coevolutionary reciprocal relationship between Homo sapiens and American Canis lupus that existed until at least the nineteenth century.
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