History of the Werewolf

The history of the werewolf has roots in many different cultures, dating back to ancient times. One legend in particular refers to an early Native American tribe in the area that is now known as Wisconsin in the United States of America. It was here that members of the tribe (most likely those who became the Fox tribe) may have been the first to receive the gift of the werewolf.

In this legend, there is a spirit-god named Wisakachek (Native American Mythology).  Wisakachek [pronounced 'Wee-ZA-Kah-Chek'], was a shape-shifter who lived in the woods.  He was a friend to humans whose default physical form was that of a wolf.  



One day Wisakachek was roaming the woods in the form of a man when he saw two brothers from the Fox tribe hunting.  The boys, named Keme and Matchitehew [pronounced 'Match-it-AYOO'], had just caught a deer with their bows and arrows.

Wisakachek walked up to the boys and presented himself as a lost and hungry wanderer from a different tribe.  Keme offered the "stranger" some of the deer meat that they had just caught, and Wisakachek accepted.



About a week later, Wisakachek appeared in the same part of the woods again and saw the same boys again hunting.  Matchitehew explained that ever since they caught the deer a week earlier they hadn't been able to catch anything and were very hungry.

Wisakachek, remembering the boys' previous generosity, told them he had no meat to offer them, but he could share with them his power to shape-shift into a wolf so that they could catch a deer more easily.  At first the boys didn't believe him, but when Wisakachek transformed into a wolf and back in front of their eyes, they excitedly agreed.

The only condition that Wisakachek gave Keme and Matchitehew was that they could not use their wolf-forms to hurt any humans, only to hunt.