Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Lombard migration in North America: Part II

I had been meaning to post the article from part one, but I had misplaced it. The translation was the best that I could do. I suspect that I misinterpreted several sentences, but the main gist of it was clear I believe. The history of Lombardians in North America is a subject which is extremely difficult to outline and put the pieces together. I don't believe that the interview even scratched the surface of the subject! Any article about Lombardian-Americans should always mention Paolo Busti, Giacomo Beltrami, and Mother Cabrini. There were other well-known settlers and missionaries in places like Wisconsin. Joe Montana and Yogi Berra are at least half Lombardian.

From the article:

The main destinations to which this emigration was focused are St. Louis, Missouri, Herrin and Rockford, Illinois, Barre, Vermont, Iron Mountain, Michigan, Walla Walla, Washington, and then in Texas, in San Francisco (in particular in the area of San Rafael), in New Mexico and Arizona.

I'm well aware of "The Hill," which was a Milanese-speaking district in St. Louis after the Civil War. I once had a great article about The Hill that I had posted in one of my early websites, but I somehow lost the text. I'm not familiar with Herrin, Illinois, but I know there is a Lombard club today in Rockford. Barre, Vermont--from what very little I know--sounds like an extremely interesting history. There is some type of festa Italiana there during Memorial Day, for a week, each year. We've covered Iron Mountain in Upper Michigan, close to where my family settled when they came to this country. There were a few Lombard clubs in other parts of Yooper country (Upper Michigan/northern Wisconsin). The Ironwood-Hurley area and Duluth, Minnesota are two other areas where there existed Lombardian community.

From my own research, I have found quite a number of Camunian surnames in Washington state, and of course, we can't forget the Camunian history of Monongahela, Pennsylvania. I had posted a video here regarding Lombardian-Americans in Walla Walla, Washington; which is interesting in that it was an obscure far west location when they first migrated there. There isn't much to draw from as far as Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico in terms of information at this time. I know that there is some type of Lombard club in San Rafael that I wanted to look into. I had posted a little information about Lombardians in San Francisco before, and there was once a "Societa Lombarda of South San Francisco" long ago.

Of course, there is also the presence in northern California--southern California and northwest Nevada as well--of Ticinese descended people that once formed Swiss clubs in various locations. A few are still around, in particular in Marin County; also Imperial County in southern California. Ticinesi are Lombardian by language and culture. I've covered some ground here that I had covered before, but this article draws a wider perimeter to look at; and it should all tie-in at some point. There is at least some interest in our heritage, but it seems to be so fragmented and not placed under the umbrella of "Lombardian-American" as it should be.

Awhile back, I recall reading a few segments of what was I think a fairly new but obscure book about Italian immigrants in western Canada in the early twentieth century. The part that I read was regarding laborers in southeast British Columbia and southwest Alberta. It didn't mention much about where this community originated. Now I can see that this is another area that needs to be looked at. It was very interesting, much like the wild west. A century ago, western locations like this, or Walla Walla, were rural and very far from Lombardy.

I know that there is a sizable Bergamask club in Toronto, and apparently there is a more recent Brescian-Bergamask emigre community in Ontario. Sometimes I just wonder... how come I feel like the last to know? Ontario isn't very far from where my family settled in Upper Michigan, and it's part of the same "Great Lakes Region" I believe. That's part of the function of this blog. To make at least some attempt to put the fragmented pieces--separated by time, distance, and other factors--together in one reference. Apparently, I should state the obvious. We would like to have contact with Lombardians from around the world. It's like a greater family clan, scattered across the globe. Sadly, even though there is indeed some organization, we're not part of it yet.

I suppose that it might be said that the St. Ambrose Church in St. Louis is the symbol of the Lombardian existence on this continent. There is some type of organized Ambrosian church here, but I just don't know much about it. There are other Ambrosian churches around in different states. The Ambrosian Rite is from Lombardy, and is also called the Milanese Rite. It is part of the Catholic Church, but I don't think it's quite Lombardian-identity in the same way as the Greek Orthodox Church is "Greek."

What does all of this really mean? We would like to form a "Lombardian-American Society" of some type. Naturally we would like to see an equivalent in Canada as well. It can't merely be some P.O box in some out of the way location, and nobody ever hears from it. It must be brought about in a way that it creates some interest, and encourages people to put some energy into it. When all facets of Lombardian culture, especially as they have existed in some form in North America, are put together and examined; then the endeavor begins to take form. There is a "Lombardian-American endeavor," but when will all of it's bricks come together to form our citadel?


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Lombard migration in North America: Part 1

[Translated from the article on the Lombardi nel Mondo website

The Lombard migration in North America

Interview with Ernesto Milani, historian and scholar of the Lombard migration in North America.

A wide-ranging interview with Ernesto Milani, historian and scholar of emigration from England to the United States and Canada: from Missouri to Vermont, from Illinois to Ontario, keeping Lombard roots alive.

What is your training under the Lombard immigration historical research in the United States?

I wrote my thesis on Italian mutual aid societies in the United States, in particular research work on the Lombard Association in Boston, Subalpina Mutual Society. Then I commenced to collect books, postcards and other material on the subject.

The first important work I've done has been on the Italian emigration (in particular, Marchigian and Venetian southern plantations of the Mississippi). From that date onwards, I have done a lot of research on the topic.

Also attended by 1976 the Hague, Italian-American Association and I have contacts with historians who make up this important Association.

How is the map of the Lombards in the United States?

The Lombards who arrived in the United States in the years of mass emigration were mostly miners and laborers. The main destinations to which this emigration was focused are St. Louis, Missouri, Herrin and Rockford, Illinois, Barre, Vermont, Iron Mountain, Michigan, Walla Walla, Washington, and then in Texas, in San Francisco (in particular in the area of San Rafael), in New Mexico and Arizona.

In Canada, however, focused in Ontario, in coal mines on the border between Alberta to British Columbia, and along the railway linking Montreal to Victoria.

The strongest emigration was from 1880 to 1920. Just to give you an example that gives the measure of the importance of the phenomenon, from Cuggiono left toward New York Harbor about 1,700 people in an era when this country had approximately 4000 people (Lombards?).

In Canada, emigration has been strong even after the war, especially from the province of Brescia and Bergamo.

How organized are Lombard associations in the United States?

There is a certain organization, but is less than elsewhere. My experience tells me that most organized associations are those of St. Louis and Harrin, where the presence of Lombard miners was very strong. St. Louis was indeed a "little Italy," and often associations were born to create mutual aid institutions, so as to share a doctor in town for example.

In what form is the Lombard identity within these communities?

The Lombard tradition in any form is maintained: for example in St. Louis there is a church dedicated to Saint Ambrose. Lombard values are family values that are conserved. Often there remains a certain knowledge of the dialect, perhaps there remains nicknames that you give people. In addition, today these are often found in Lombardy, in their region of origin, and this helps strengthen ties. This is even more true if we consider that today, rediscovering Lombardy is no longer a negative, but is part of their lives.

In Canada the preservation of identity is more relevant, since the Lombards were always less in number.

What is the social and economic situation of our emigrants?

It's hard to generalize. In any case, in St. Louis, for example, the integration was very slow, the Italians were workers until the end of World War II. Since then, things have changed and the Italians today work in all different occupations.

Of course, our communities are very engaged in catering, according to the Italian tradition in general.


Were there prejudices (positive or negative) in relation to our communities, when they arrived and began to integrate into the local social fabric?

Maybe there was, and it was more in the American South, otherwise the Lombards were not affected that much by this factor. For example, Ellis Island (the island that functioned as sorting station for immigrants in New York) the Italians on arrival were divided between southerners and northerners, and also within the north (Italy) there were differences, whereby for example the Trentini were sorted along with Tyrol.

The Lombard migration to the United States is a topic that seems to have been insufficiently studied by academia. Could more studies be carried out to give a more complete picture of this subject?

Studies are numerous but more at the individual level and provincial staff. There is also the problem of saving accounts, and this information is being lost to the point that it is now too late to intervene. The obvious reason for this is that these stories are lost when people disappear that handed down orally.

And the Lombard migration today in the United States?

It's totally different. This is an emigration of professionals, researchers, teachers or people who have implanted. There is also the emigration of those who want to change his life and put to the test in completely new environments. We are not talking about large numbers, but it is in any case a phenomenon as well.

Fabio Veneri


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Our pets: Reunited with lost friends in the Summerlands

Just the other side of death's curtain are the Summerlands. All the pets who have died go through this curtain and though they can still watch us, we can't see them. Sometimes the curtain is thin in places and we catch a glimpse of our lost companion waiting on the other side. Sometimes the curtain twitches as they look through at us and we can feel them or feel a sudden draft as the curtain falls back into place. 

The Summerlands exist in the long, lazy late afternoons of an eternal golden summer of remembered childhood; the time when everything seems most alive and sweetest smelling. Our animals are young again and turned to perfect health. There is always space and time to play and love, places to be with others and places to be alone together. 

When our time comes, the curtain is lifted from our eyes and we can see the Summerlands ourselves. Waiting there for us are the animals and people we loved in life and we can see them clearly at last. The has come for us to move away from the curtain and renew these interrupted friendships. Sometimes we can't help but take a peek through the curtain just to see how our own loved ones are doing before they come to join us. 

--Sarah Hartwell


Monday, June 17, 2013

Italy's summer solstice

Strega Bella YouTube Channel

Midsummer/Summer Solstice
Midsummer is the period of time centered upon the summer solstice, and more specifically the European celebrations that accompany the actual solstice or take place on a day between June 21 and June 25 and the preceding evening. The exact dates vary between different cultures. Midsummer is especially important in the cultures of Scandinavia, Finland and the Baltics where it is the most celebrated holiday apart from Christmas and New Year's Eve.


Sunday, June 16, 2013

Church of Balder Rising - Ritual for Success

This a video from an Odinic group called the Church of Vrilology, based in New Jersey, which we have covered before. Its founder Robert Blumetti has authored a number of books, but I would like to see more on YouTube from him, or more audio interviews and lectures. There is a Vrilology channel, but there's not much there.

I am not an Odinist, but ancient traditions have a history of their own, beyond individual tribes and nations. I would loosely refer to myself, as far as direction, as a native believer in "Alpine Stregoneria." Something from the most ancient spiritual traditions of that region, and something akin to Dianic traditions.


Saturday, June 15, 2013

Edict of Milan

The Edict of Milan is considered one of the top 100 most significant events in world history. It was supposed to have paved the way for "religious freedom" within the Roman Empire. The defacto end result was really that it set the stage for a Christian Europe in the centuries that followed.

Edict of Milan (Wikipedia)

The document known as the Edict of Milan (Edictum Mediolanense) is found in Lactantius' De Mortibus Persecutorum and Eusebius of Caesarea's History of the Church with marked divergences between the two. In February 313, Emperor Constantine I, who controlled the western part of the Roman Empire, and Licinius, who controlled the Balkans, met in Milan and, among other things, agreed to treat the Christians benevolently. Whether or not there was a formal 'Edict of Milan'  is debatable. The version found in Lactantius is not in the form of an edict; it is a letter from Licinius to the governors of the provinces in the Eastern Empire he had just conquered by defeating Maximin later in the same year and issued in Nicomedia.


Friday, June 14, 2013

The Ancient Pentagram – A Christian Symbol

The Ancient Pentagram – A Christian Symbol

By Bryce Haymond - (LDS) - February 4, 2008

One of the more well-used and worn-out attacks from our critics has been the Church’s use of the symbol of the pentagram (a 5-pointed star) on some of our temples, most particularly on the early temples of this dispensation such as the Nauvoo Temple. In an sweeping gesture they pass these symbols off as absolute proof that Mormonism is a Satanic organization. They cannot imagine why a so-called Christian faith would even think to use such symbols when it is so clear to them that they are evil and of the devil.

Why do these critics always assume the worst, and ignore the simple evidence? It didn’t take me more than a few minutes of Googling to find the following information on the symbolism of the pentagram from several different sites:

During the times of the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament), the pentacle was the first and most important of the Seven Seals – an amulet whose seals represented the seven secret names of God. It was inscribed on King Solomon’s ring, which is often called Solomon’s Seal in error. Each point of the pentagram was also interpreted as referring to the five books of the Pentateuch – the first five books in the Hebrew Scriptures; the Torah.

To the Hebrews the five points of the pentagram were tied to the Pentateuch (the first five books of the bible) and represented as a whole the concept of truth.

There are many connections between the pentagram and Christianity. Before the cross, it was a preferred emblem to adorn the jewelry and amulets of early Christians (followed by an ‘x’ or a phoenix). The pentagram was associated with the five wounds of Christ, and because it could be drawn in one continuous movement of the pen, the Alpha and the Omega as one.

A ‘point down’ pentacle is nothing new, nor is it necessarily Satanic when it appears as such. Historical depictions of the pentagram were as likely to be points down as point up; a distinction between one or the other was rarely made by the ancients.

Perhaps most curious is the pentagram as it relates to early Christianity. Constantine the Roman Emperor who converted to Christianity chose to use the pentagram on his seal and amulet. Up until medieval times, the five points of the pentagram represented the five wounds of Christ on the Cross. During these times the pentagram carried no evil implications at all and in fact, in a lesser way than the cross, was symbolic of the Savior.

Up until medieval times, the five points of the pentagram represented the five wounds of Christ on the Cross. It was a symbol of Christ the Saviour. This is in stark contrast to today where the pentagram is criticized by modern Fundamentalist Christians, as being a symbol of evil. The church eventually chose the cross as a more significant symbol for Christianity, and the use of the pentagram as a Christian symbol gradually ceased.

The adoption of the pentacle as a Satanic emblem is quite recent, dating only to the latter half of the twentieth century.

Eliphas Levi (born Alphonse Louis Constant), a former Roman Catholic priest, in 1856 turned the previously harmless Jewish and Christian pentagram into a ridiculous Satanic symbol.

In the nineteenth century Eliphas Lévi, an Occultist, was the first to adapt the inverted pentagram as symbolic of evil.

Probably due to misinterpretation of symbols used by ceremonial magicians, it later became associated with Satanism and subsequently rejected by most of Christianity sometime in the twentieth century.

It’s amazing what a few minutes of Google will do. For most of human history the pentagram has symbolized good things – the heavens, stars, health, scriptures, truth, and even the Savior, Jesus Christ. The adaptation of the pentagram into a Satanic symbol is a modern invention, another attempt of the Adversary to turn everything that is good into evil (Isaiah 5:20).

FAIR also has gathered some good research on this subject.


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Sanctuary of Straw

A few evenings ago, I found myself in a location which I had never been before. You could live your whole life in a locale, and still find a place that has somehow escaped you. So much so that you need to integrate it into your internal mapping. This location was in an industrial area, mostly between a fairly steep mountain range and the warehouses along the streets. Along that area were once trains that carried goods to and from the manufacturing locations apparently. It may have been active at late as the 1950s. I was very familiar with that old railtrack system, but just not in this location which extended into some heavy wood and brush at the base of the mountain. The tracks were torn out about ten or fifteen years ago, and only a few heavy timbers alongside the trails are a reminder of what was once there.

Oddly, I had always seen one opening from the street where the tracks once crossed, but it was so overgrown that I never bothered with it. It was like a trail to nowhere, with a chain and reflectors in front of it. It was from a different entry point that I discovered this pathway though. At first it was twilight, and I stopped to take a water break in a parking lot. I noticed a trail in the distance, so I took a look. When I reached the opening to the trail behind a large warehouse, it was a sight to behold. Some lights from the industrial park illuminated the trail somewhat. The freshly cut dry grass of the trail seemed to almost glow in the darkness, and disappeared in the distance; into the trees, with the black mountain and the dark blue sky with a thin crescent moon in the backdrop.

As I looked at this almost too-good-to-be-true sight, somehow it occurred to me that my entire life was about "this place." Somehow everything made sense, and it grounded me. For some reason, ironically, I thought about what I have seen in myself and others in life; always searching for "something" along life's path. My mind was so clear that I was easily able to regress many interests and fads that I have had in my life. Some legitimate interests were never really explored, and had long disappeared among related and perhaps immature interests. Even before the information age, things just sort've came and went for a lot of people I think. Ultimately, especially for an obscure endeavor, it takes a person or people to breathe life into something to make it relevant. I think everyone has some regrets, and can think of some silly notions that they once held. Still, even in the maze of one's life--especially their youth--there are a few lost gems that can be brushed off and quickened.

I believe that you cannot force your mind to be this clear, even if you visit a special place. It will happen when it's ready to happen. The conflicts and troubles of the day usually prevent the mind from opening up. However, it does happen; and you should take advantage of it when it does. For some reason, this new sanctuary amid a location of which I was very familiar, somehow opened this door for me. You will know it because time will be compressed, meaning that something from long ago in your life will feel close. Time is suspended, and negativity is kept at bay. In other words, you can see the positive that existed; and the negative isn't allowed to get in the way of bringing it forward for reflection. That's what I experienced. Usually the mind blocks out negative periods in life, and it blocks out the interwoven positive aspects of them as well.

Needless to say, I was able to clearly see some old unique positive aspirations of mine which had long been buried in the darkness of some negative periods. I don't know if this place opened this doorway, and/or if some spirit guide led me there for some knowledge that I needed, or if it was all just mere chance? It is rather odd indeed that some positive endeavor in our lives--much like this pathway I found--can be lost in the dark corners our minds. When I say "dark," I mean the negative experiences that the mind blocks out; but is still in our memory. Not blocked out entirely, not the subconscious mind (although that can happen with trauma), but just enough of a block to repress it and the gems that may be within. It could be bad time periods, or just the common troubles of youth that the mind represses.

For some reason the city had the dry grasses and overgrowth cut along this trail, and the ground was very soft to the step, and looked like straw. It was so soft that you could comfortably roll around on it; and in a few parts you could practically sleep on it. Although there was no moonlight or urban cloudlight, the surrounding lights of the area were enough to illuminate the "straw" a bit. As I saw this glow-in-the-dark pathway disappear into the darkness, into the mountain, I felt that I had to explore it. After walking for a short while, the bright lights of a large trucking company parking lot broke through the trees. As its rays lightened the path for a stretch, I could faintly hear a few trucks and noises. My father was a truck driver for many years, and this particular spot reminded me of rural truck stops; as though his spirit was also present. Soon the trail turned dark again. The straw made it easy to see my way.

It's not a great idea to hike in a remote area at night by yourself, but I was so eager to see what was "just around the next bend." The darkness plays tricks on you sometimes. Natural features can appear to be a person or an animal. Sometimes, for brief instants, fear can overcome you. A flashlight is always a must, if for no other reason than to signal to a person that you might encounter. However, this sanctuary of straw was all mine on that night. When I got to a slightly higher elevation, there was a small break in the wood and brush, and I could see some dry grassy hillsides in the opposite direction. Amid the slightly illuminated ash-blonde hills was the freeway and some lights. At night, from this vantage point, nothing looked familiar. Just from that angle, it reminded me of rural parts of California Interstate 5; and from my location, it seemed like a lost highway, just as I was on a lost pathway.

I stopped to soak in this view of a familiar place that the night had made look so different. The dry grassy hills reminded me of the hills around the Concord Pavilion and concerts from years before, when I hanged around with a group of guys who were pretty much only interested in heavy metal music and drinking. I think sometimes people can long for the simplicity of their youth or young adulthood. It also reminded me of the grassy hills around the Shoreline Amphitheatre in the South Bay, and how we used to arrive early and wander into the thick nearby eucalyptus groves to hangout, talk, laugh, and drink. Now those groves are all gone, and police and security make certain that concertgoers park, attend, and leave in a proper manner. I could hear my old friends' voices and laughter as I gazed upon the night view.

Finally, I made it to the earlier mentioned ending point, the street. The tracks had once crossed at this point, only to continue behind another passageway of which I was familiar with. Indeed this stretch of road was also empty at night, and I walked into the wide, well-lighted, empty street for a moment. I had come full circle from one familiar location to another, like connecting the dots by finding out what is between them. Then I headed back to where I had started, with the glowing pathway of straw and the spirits as my guides through the darkness.


Sunday, June 9, 2013

Strege/native pagan values/symbols incorporated into early Catholicism

I left his post at the Traditional Stregheria forum at Yahoo Groups a couple of days ago.

Strege/native pagan values/symbols incorporated into early Catholicism

There are a lot of examples from mostly Odinic or other northern European traditions, and a lot of other places, which are well documented, but I wanted to focus on ancient central Italy and outward.

1) "Mary as a Goddess" - Clearly, many Catholics wish her to be a goddess. So
many are very devoted to this idea. She is referred to as the "Queen of Heaven," I think, pretty obviously, based mainly upon the Goddess Diana. They were so spiritually imbalanced that it's not so difficult to see how this developed over time.

2) "Law and Justice" - I believe that the idea of--within a family--the Father
symbolizing "Law" and the Mother symbolizing "Justice," is a pagan-value which was adopted into the social fabric of the early Christian Church. That concept was, however, cut short beyond the family (Man=Law/Woman=Justice). I once even heard a Protestant gloat about how wonderful that "Christian value" is.

3) "Solar Cross" - This is another obvious one, with the early church adopting
pagan solar wheels as crosses to aid in religious conversions.

4) "Trinity symbols" - There are numerous examples of this, too many to regress off hand...usually variations of the triquetra and triskelion... and also aiding in religious conversions.

5) Misc symbols - The common six-pointed cross is possibly based on the
rosette/sun of the Alps symbol and a lot of other regional hexagram styles (aka "hex signs"). The eight-pointed cross is pretty clearly based on the wheel of the year. The Vatican sun symbol is a no-brainer, and there's even one with a standard Christian cross with an upward-pointing crescent moon under it.

6) Science - There were five-pointed symbols in ancient Europe, just not as
stylish as the Sumerian hexagram (aka Pentagram). The five points ARE science itself! So we have today the Hegelian Dialect of closed-minded religion (anti-nature/knowledge) and closed-minded science (anti-spirit) driving us into the future. Certainly the church feared knowledge as evil for so long and still maintain a "block" to spiritual knowledge, and modern science denies the metaphysical "fifth point" of the Vehme.

Some of these concepts were a deliberate attempt to convert the pagans, while others were crossed over in a cultural manner by officials and concerns lower down in the organization it appears.


Sunday, June 2, 2013

Boudicca: Celtic Pagan Warrior Queen

Even though this is part of English history, I still thought it very applicable since Boudicca was an ancient "Celtic Briton," and apparently fiercely pagan (the Druidic tradition). She was a woman, a leader, a Celt, a warrior, and a pagan to remember.


Saturday, June 1, 2013

Why Wolves Howl at the Moon

This video was produced by the John Mainer's YouTube channel, who is an Odinic Heathen. I'm not always going to put the originating YouTube or other channels in the future since they're easily accessible on the embedded format here. I think that by merely redistributing someone's work gives them credit, a larger audience, and a way for someone to find their channel.

One aspect of the Odinic tradition, which I think is missing in modern folkish magical traditons, is the issue of evolutionary struggle. Life is struggle. That certainly doesn't mean that it wasn't present in ancient times, but that it has been lost from having been forced underground by Christian societies for so long. The wolf perfectly represents evolutionary struggle.

Wolves are comparable to humans in nature within a historical overview. They, for example, mate for life. They form tight kinships and work together to survive. It's not hard to see how the mythology of the "werewolf" came about; and that ties into both the warrior tradition as well as individual, family, or clan struggle

It's interesting how wolves are a big part of other northern peoples (Amerindians, Siberians, Mongolians) who saw the same spiritual qualities and allegorical connections. However, they did not actually incorporate--as far as I know--wolves into their daily clan life... or actually being part of the family or clan as allies (man and dog).

Wisdom of the Wolf (from

For the Strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the Strength of the Wolf is the Pack

I take offense to the image of wolves as only beastly hunters. Not all wolves are fanged beasts waiting in the woods to devour you. We are civilized, orderly beings with laws and leaders. There are some lessons I have learned from my noble brothers and sisters, the wolves.


The Wolf as a symbol of the Wild

The wolf has long symbolized the wilderness in all of us. They roam the lands free of constraints, something that some of us can greatly identify. Wolves are the wild in all of us, and can teach us about the unexplored realms in all of us. Following the wolf, I have found freedom within my heart. The most wonderful feeling in the world is that of running across the plains, the wind ruffling your fur, and a clear moon overhead.


The Wolf and the Moon

The wolf and the moon have long been entwined with each other in myth. The wolf sings to the moon, and in return the moon gives the gifts of intuition and spiritual guidance to the wolf. Silver, the color of the moon, is a powerful color, giving this wolf a special connection to Luna.


Qualities of the Wolf

The qualities of the wolf are many. But most of all there are the qualities of loyalty, love and trust. Wolves are fiercely loyal, protective of those around them. Their pack is everything, family, friends, all are important to the wolf. Wolves are also teachers. They teach the pups so the pack may grow strong. I am proud to say a wolf has been one of my great teachers..