Although the caribou feeds the wolf, it is the wolf that keeps the caribou strong.

The Wolf and the Caribou-myth and legend has more truth to it today than ever before! In this time of mass extinction we must heed the wisdom of indigenous peoples.

The Inuit, the people of the North, take a different view of the wolf than western cultures.

The Inuit have their own idea of why the wolf was created. In the beginning, the Inuit creation story tell, there was a man and a woman, nothing else on the Earth walked or swam or flew. So the woman dug a big hole in the ground and she started fishing in it. She pulled out all of the animals. The last animal she pulled out was the caribou. The woman set the caribou free and ordered it to multiply. Soon the land was full of caribou, and the people lived well and they were happy. But the hunters only killed those caribou that were big and strong. Soon all that was left were the weak and the sick, and the people began to starve. The woman had to make magic again, and this time she called Amorak, the spirit of the wolf, to winnow out the weak and the sick, so that the herd would once again be strong. The people realized that the caribou and the wolf were one, for although the caribou feeds the wolf, it is the wolf that keeps the caribou strong.” ~Inuit Creation Story

Photograph of caribou by John E Marriott

The people realized that the caribou and the wolf were one, for although the caribou feeds the wolf, it is the wolf that keeps the caribou strong.”

Wolf In Snow Shoshone NF Amy Gerber In Snow Shoshone NF

Art Instalation entitled ‘Wolves are Back’ Slanders the Wolf’s Image

Advocating for wolves at times will involve speaking up and educating the public against social media, television, commercial ads, and fine art work, that perpetuates the myth of the big-bad-wolf. This art Instalation  perpetuates the age old myths. 

This video (in German) shows, 66 wolf statues erected in Dresden to protest far right, and misrepresents the wolf’s image yet again as a big-bad-wolf. The artist uses these age old stereotypes of the wolf ready to attack in a statement against hate. 

Making a strong statement against hate is ideal, but  playing upon age old myths to do so is wrong. This art Instalation clearly perpetuates fear of wolves. 

Image: “It’s an ominous sight: 66 wolves fill Dresden’s main square, poised to attack. For artist Rainer Opolka who erected them, the metal statues are a strong statement against hate and xenophobia.”  (Source)

The artist explains why he created the statues, read on:

Titled “The Wolves are Back,” artist Rainer Opolka says the 66 metal statues of wolves that he’s created serve as a symbol for the “hate, arsons, neo-Nazis, angry Pegida followers and members of the AfD, who want to shoot refugees.”  (Source)

Wolves are far from evil beasts full of hate ready to attack and kill human-beings.  Wolves are quite the opposite of of this grotesque art Instalation. 

Wolves are highly social, caring and they look out for each other as witnessed by Gordon Haber in his field research in the following example, read on : 

“One example of the social connection of wolves is wonderfully documented in a series of Haber’s photos. An alpha female had birthed nine pups and she and another female nursed them. It’s August, and time to move the pups, but there’s a river in the way and the pups are wary of crossing. Their mom isn’t too worried about them, perhaps because she knows the yearling female will take care of the situation. And she does, playfully urging the hesitant pups along, and at one point, using her mouth to lift one of them to safety. When it appears the strong current will carry a pup away, the yearling jumps in the water and blocks it from flowing downstream so the soaked pup is able to climb up the bank.”  (Source)

I give this art Instalation a thumbs down.