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In Plains Indian terminology the scouts who rode reconnaissance ahead of the main war party were "wolves." Often these scouts wore a wolf skin, partly for camouflage but more importantly for symbolism, drawing to themselves the cunning and hunting ability of the wolf. The young man at left is an apprentice, holding the horses while the more experienced men creep up close to observe the enemy. His turn will come when he is adjudged to have acquired enough experience.
The wolf was important in plains culture. To kill one was taboo in many tribes, for the wolf was regarded as having special powers. The Comanche believed it could not be killed by bullets but only by an arrow. Thus a warrior fortunate enough to acquire wolf medicine was impervious to the white man's rifle fire.
This Piece has been Signed by Howard Terpning