The wolf cult is spread across the globe wherever the animal existed or continues to hunt. Romanian folk beliefs thus receive echoes from various cultures of the world, proving that Canis lupus is feared and respected at the same time. The article makes use of unpublished data from The Folklore Archive of Moldavia and Bukovina to argue that Christian holidays have overwritten previous cultural practices that pursued a harmonious life together with wild animals, and the wolf in particular. Connections with numerous mythologies are invoked to suggest that the image of the “big bad wolf” is recent, while as its statute of an ally runs much deeper. Current strategies on biodiversity raise awareness on the benefits brought by traditional knowledge about the universe.
Keywords: magic thinking, wolf cult, holy days, offering, taboo.
Cuvinte-cheie: credinţe magice, totemul lupului, sărbători, ofrandă, tabu.