When the Plains Indians went on horse stealing raids or revenge raids, they would send out scouts in advance to reconnoiter and find the enemy camp. These scouts wore wolf hides which provided them with camouflage and gave them, they believed, the power to hunt with the keeness of a wolf. In fact, these men came to be called “wolves.”
In “Scout’s Report” a “wolf” stands center. On the far right is a warrior holding a simple telescope which the Indians called a “far-seeing glass.” The man beside him holds a lance decorated with sacred eagle feathers. On the far left, with his back to the party, is the “helper” who tends the horses and fetches food and drink. By taking on these menial tasks, he leaves the warriors free to watch and listen for the enemy. And some day, after he has served many hunting parties, the helper may wear the powerful hides of the wolf.