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The gray wolf as a symbol or a subject of science

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Wolves have always slipped easily into the part of the human brain that processes symbols and metaphors. In the Inferno from his Divine Comedy, Dante (~1265–1321) used wolves to represent greed and fraud. In the Middle Ages Europeans called famine, and anything else that made their lives more difficult, “the wolf”. The Secret History of the Mongols states that Chinggis Khan (~1160–1227) was born from a blue wolf and a fallow doe, with the blue wolf symbolizing the heavenly masculine spirituality, the Eternal Sky. Nunamiut people describe the wolf as part of the universe where some things are known and other things are hidden. To the first European colonizers of North America, wolves represented a “howling wilderness” that needed to be tamed. Take a walk through any museum and you will find an image of or reference to wolves on a shocking number of artifacts, portrayed both in a positive and negative light. In the complex Homo sapiens brain, a wolf is so rarely just a wolf….

Document: Frontiers-in-Ecol-Environ-2022-Cassidy-The-gray-wolf-as-a-symbol-or-a-subject-of-science.pdf  PDF icon


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