History of the Werewolf
The werewolf is a myth that has been around since the ancient Greeks and is still prevalent in today’s culture. Some websites say that the origins of werewolf’s are in the territory of the Fox tribe today known as Wisconsin. People who have seen a werewolf have described it as a tall, greyish white beast that stands on its hind legs. Some legends say that werewolf’s are the seventh child born, others say they are men that have gone on angry rampages killing entire villages in wolf hides, others say the full moon causes men to change into wolves and become violent.
Before researching this paper I had questions about where the term werewolf may have originated. I also pondered about when the first recorded sightings may have been for werewolves or how to become a werewolf. During my research I found out that the prefix “wer” is Saxon for man, so it means man wolf.
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It is said that the first sighting of a werewolf was recorded in 1550 B. C. near Arcadia. The story is about King Lycaon of Arcadia who supposedly gave an offering of human flesh to the God Zeus. As a punishment Zeus turned him into a wolf.
In Native American mythology it is said that Wisakachek produced the first werewolf. I found out that people can become werewolves through a virus called Lupine Parvovirus or LPV. This can only be transmitted by a wolf bite. Usually a virus takes over a cell and uses it as a factory or host for producing proteins. LPV is different from most viruses in that sense because it transforms the host organism instead of destroying it. The story starts with Wisakachek meeting two boys out hunting for their village.
He gave the hunters the ability to shape-shift into wolves in order to catch deer, but only for catching deer not to kill humans. The one boy named Matchitehew got into a scrum with another boy from the village. In his anger he turned into a wolf and killed the boy. The two hunters Keme and Matchitehew were kicked out of the village. Wisakachek became furious and casted a spell on Matchitehew that turned him into a mindless wolf every night. Keme left knowing that Matchitehew would not be able to control himself.
Matchitehew became known as the father of werewolves. In present times werewolves have more influence than ever. From dominating the screen to books the legend of the werewolf lives on. Movies and books such as Twilight have deep mythical roots. With the books and movies grossing well over three billion dollars we could deduce that werewolves play a role in the world’s economy. Another effect werewolves have on society is they are vicious man eating beasts that may hurt little children.