Native American Wolf Art

Want to know more about Native American Wolf Art? Find out about the depiction of the wolf in Native American art and their relationship with the Natives…

Native Americans were greatly inspired by the wolf. They looked at the animal with great admiration and carefully observed its character and way of life to develop symbols. Due to the great attachment that the Native Americans had with the wolf it found itself represented on many different works of Native American art.

Native American Wolf Symbolism

Unfortunately the wolf has been subjected to many false stereotypes. However for the Native Americans it was an animal with many great qualities. Intelligence and cunningness are amongst the foremost qualities to be found in the wolf.  It is also known for its advanced communication skills. The wolf is also taken as a symbol of loyalty due their natural habit of mating for life. They are generous and compassionate creatures as well. By nature the wolf is a very social creature and quite capable of developing good relationships with man.

The wolf makes use of body language to communicate. It is also known for making eye contact to express its feelings along with which it makes complex vocal and facial expressions.

Wolf totem symbols were assigned to individuals with similar inclinations. This means people who are expressive both vocally as well as physically used to make wolf totem symbols for themselves. Native Americans would go on a special spiritual journey of up to three days to discover their totem come to them in the form of a vision or a dream. Hence those with deep faith and a high level of intellect would be assigned wolf totems by the medicine man.

Native American Wolf Art Forms

Totems were not the only work of art on which the wolf was featured. Rather the wolf has been a popular theme in many Native American art paintings. The natural association of the Natives with wolves has led many modern artists to depict Native Americans alongside wolves. It is well known that the Natives used to develop personal relationships with wolves and were frequently followed by wolves familiar to them. This is why they would often paint scenes of wolves alongside Native Indians.

The symbol of the wolf was also used in artwork exchanged as gifts between men and women. This was primarily because wolves are known to mate for life. Hence art work featuring the symbol of the wolf would be suggestive of the individual’s intent to commit for life.

The image of the wolf was held in high reverence by the Native Americans. This is why it was also prominently featured on ceremonial art work as well. Pottery and basketry are foremost amongst the sacred art forms which frequently bore the symbol of the wolf. Similarly you had dancing sticks and medicine bags which carried the symbol of the wolf.

In modern times the wolf is one of the identity forming symbols of Native American culture. It is a mysterious animal that truly reflects the culture and wisdom as well as the mystique that is found amongst the Native Americans.

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