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Native American Wolf Gods

July 8th, 2010 § 19

With Twilight being as popular as it is there has been an incredible amount of interest in everything Native American and wolf related. The thing is, Stephenie Meyer barely grazed Native American history, and her supposed facts aren’t exactly accurate. So here’s a small look into the expansive world of Native American wolf gods and spirits.
But first, please keep in mind that every tribe shares their own legends, that not all Native Americans have the same beliefs.

Chibiabos: This being is Lord of the sky and wolves, as well as Lord of the Spirit Realm. His brother is Manabozho, the trickster rabbit god.

Malsumis: In Abenaki his name means “wolf.” It is said by some that Malsumis is Glooskap’s evil twin, that he was responsible for putting thorns on plants and giving the insects their sting. But many tribe elders disagree, it is likely that the legend was twisted by Anglo corruption. Afterall, there is also the Algonquian hero, Nanabozho, who does have a twin brother that is a wolf, though that being is Nanabozho’s closest friend, not an evil creature.

Rhpisunt: A woman that married a bear and gave birth to human-headed bear cubs. This obviously has nothing to do with wolves, yet she is the protector of the Haida Wolf Clan.

Coyote: This god is (you guessed it) a coyote, yet through my research I came across countless sites that labeled him as a wolf god. Now, after reading about him I can’t see why they would do so, but I’ll write about him either way and maybe you guys can discover what makes him wolf-like.

There are countless stories about this trickster god. It is believed that he is not only the creator of the Milky Way, but he is also responsible for the diversity of mankind.

One of my favorite Coyote stories is the one about how he was made the replacement moon. At first everyone felt that he made a fantastic moon, but from his elevated position he could see everything, and being bored in the sky he couldn’t help but watch people and tell on them when they were doing something wrong – this got him kicked out of the sky. Unfortunately, they couldn’t stop him for long, because one day while he was juggling his eyeballs, he threw one so high it got stuck in the sky and became the star Arcturus. Which means that even now he’s keeping an eye on everyone.

– Moonlight

About the Author

One of the writers for werewolves.com, as well as vampires.com.

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19 Responses to Native American Wolf Gods

  1. Paul says:

    This does not answer the coyote wolf issue above but it is interesting to note that coyotes in eastern north america carry wolf genes and vice versa as the two have intermingled creating an animal that tends to take the best of both. So now we have wolves with greater adaptability and coyotes who are better able to take larger prey. Many other behaviours are already shared making a new breed better able to contend with human encroachment. They are also unofficially called brush wolves. Many people including myself at one point may have loved wolves but did not give the coyote his due. For me that is not longer the case as even the smaller western coyote is an awesome creature worthy of equal respect with the wolf. It may be for this reason as well as the fallibility of western interpretation of native belief that is the cause of the coyote/wolf mix noted in the article.

  2. Mel Wolfbitten says:

    I think coyotes and wolves are about on the same level. In Patricia Briggs’s Mercy Thompson Novels the main character Mercy is half native american and inherited a shapeshifting gene that turns her into a coyote. She is not as strong as the werewolves in that novel but is still very cool.

  3. i think i may need too research more into native american lore also i am tired of being told i no longer have a will of my own

  4. Silver Fox says:

    You’re missing one…

    Amaguq

    According to Inuit mythology Amaguq is a trickster and wolf god.

  5. Rolay says:

    Except Stephanie Meyer wrote a fiction series, so its completely fine that her facts weren’t straight.

    • moonlight says:

      I agree, and I never said she was in the wrong

      • Dionte says:

        @alfreda hart ebci how did you become a part of the wolf clan and how did you become a member of eastern cherokee indians I reall y want to know because I’m part cherokee and I want to know more about my ancestry

    • Koven says:

      Except the problem with fiction is that it has to make sense. Incidentally, I am also a fiction writer (Which is why I’m looking on here in the first place) Stephanie Meyer did little to no research on ANYTHING in twilight. Who says that Brazil doesn’t have a west coast, amirite?

  6. alfreda hart ebci says:

    im enrolled member eastern band of cherokee indains. and a member of of the wolf clan on the reservation.

  7. eric says:

    I need help. I’m 11 years old .and sometimes I wake up in the wood around 5:00 in the morning and for some reason I have got really strong and it’s like when I get mad I get stronger. I don’t believe in werewolfs but I just won’t to make sure . on a full moon do werewolf change or do the have to see the full moon?

  8. FaylinOrren says:

    I’m reading the books that Patricia Briggs wrote about the wolves/coyotes. I love the fact that she doesn’t make the wolves seem goofy, in love or out of control. They are intelligent, work at reputable jobs and live in society.

  9. Cherokeekid says:

    Im sorry but twilight destroyed how people look at wolves. Wolves are not how they are dipicted in that movie. Im cherokee and my grandfather cared for two wolves. And by spending time with him and them, i learned much about them and their orgins and their spritual place in native history. Wolves are very intelligent pack animals and they are great spritual guides for those few. The wolf gods are amazing creatures and they are noble and wise just like the owl. And they are caring and compassionate if they arent hungry lol.

  10. LightShines says:

    Wolves and coyotes have only one thing in common…they are both canines.

  11. LightShines says:

    And realize that at best,90% of all the “Native American” websites that exists on the net are so inaccurate and/or misinformed. And those people seeking accurate Native American information have no clue what websites are crap.

    The only websites that can offer the information you seek are the official websites of whatever Tribe you’re interested in.

  12. Andre says:

    What are your sources?

  13. Karliee says:

    @Eric I’m 11 too. And I have the same thing happening. It’s making me crazy :-/ I keep getting stronger and sharper teeth and more hair and waking up in places I didn’t fall asleep. Ugh, sucks right?

  14. Christie Leigh says:

    I am schooling to be a writer and my first two assignments were fiction. My facts did have to be straight. So Stephanie should have done more research on the Native American culture.

  15. Dyan says:

    I too am writing a fictional novel on werewolves. Hopefull my facts are straight due to the resarch material I obtained from my local library.

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