Grandfather Stalking Wolf
Grandfather Stalking Wolf was raised free of the reservations in the mountains
of northern Mexico. Born in the 1870's during a time of great warfare
and violence, he was part of a band of Lipan Apache that never surrendered.
He was taught the traditional ways of his people and excelled as
a healer and a scout. When he was twenty, a vision sent him away
from his people, and for the next sixty-three years he wandered the
Americas seeking teachers, and learning the old ways of many native
Stalking Wolf traveled the height and breadth of the Americas,
living on his own as a free man. He never held a job, drove a car,
paid taxes, or participated in modern society.
When he was eighty-three
years old, he encountered a small boy gathering fossils in a stream
bed. He recognized that boy as the person he would spend his final
years with, teaching him all that he knew.
That boy was Tom Brown,
Jr. Tom became the recipient of not only all that Stalking Wolf had
learned during his travels, but the distillation of hundreds of years
of Apache culture as well. These teachings are what Tom teaches at
his famous Tracking, Nature, and Wilderness Survival School.
The paragraph above comes from Tom
Brown's website. The
rest of this page is made up from shortened versions of quotes from
the biographical book about Grandfather Stalking Wolf by
Brown, Jr., "Grandfather".
Survival, Tracking, and Awareness
Grandfather's first mission in life was to try to learn, preserve,
and pass down as many of the old skills of survival, tracking, and
and do so by living with the earth with as little as he could.
It was not just the practical and physical skills of his own people
that were important to him, but of all peoples that lived close to
the earth. He sought out anyone with any primitive skill, no matter
if it came from the Native American culture or some old hermit living
in the bush; everything interested him and he wanted to learn everything.
He wanted to learn skills that could be used in any environment,
in any weather condition, and in any topography. Most of all, he
wanted to know what skills would become universal to all places and
Grandfather could see that these ancient skills were being lost
to modern man. To him, they were the doorway back to the earth and
the ultimate freedom from society's strangling grip. They were a
way to fulfill one's purpose for being born to the earth; to make
better for future generations by caretaking creation. The survival
skills were a tool that would end the struggle between man and nature,
where there was no longer any clash, only a perfect balance and harmony.
It is through these skills that man can make a home in wilderness,
a real Garden of Eden, where all struggle was finally ended. (Pages
Grandfather journeyed frequently, for weeks at a stretch and without
any man-made tools, into the harshest lands. He honed his survival
skills until they became instinctual. He came to look upon even the
most violent and lonely of places as home, and found comfort and
security where other men would find only death. He learned to survive
easily in the hottest deserts, on the mesas, on the plains, in the
coldest snows, and in the depths of the deepest
forests. Survival and the
ability to face any environment without the need of any supplies
were skills essential to the scout. Thus, the many skills of survival
and the philosophy behind them became Grandfather's first priority.
Once the survival skills were mastered, he was then led to the arts
of tracking, stalking, and awareness. Absolute proficiency in these
skills—the ability to move, silent and unseen, across landscapes
with little cover, the ability to observe all things at a glance—were
essential to a scout. These skills, coupled with the ability to survive,
made of the scout a shadowy ghost, mystical and shrouded in an air
of secrecy and legend. (Pages 12-13).
Children of the Earth
There began to form at the outskirts of the city a small village
of people, comprised of Paul, Grandfather, and an assortment of tramps
and derelicts. Little by little, Grandfather began to wean these
people from the city altogether.....
They decided to move the camp farther up north and deeper into the
woods..... they needed the protection of the woods from the storms
and from the eyes of the city dwellers.....
It was far easier to live in the northern camp than in the old location.
They could freely move about in the day, food was more plentiful,
and people grew strong and healthy. Throughout the cold winter, everyone
was comfortable and well fed, thanks to Grandfather's teaching and
ability to store food away. Here people began to work together even
more. They no longer relied on finding discarded clothing in the
city but began
ever use things that were manufactured. Instead they preferred to
make everything themselves. So too did their understanding of the
philosophy of living with the earth grow strong.
Grandfather continued to teach these people throughout the entire
winter and into the next spring. They learned quickly, not only the
skills of survival, tracking, and awareness, but also the spiritual
teachings. These people had tasted the insanity and prisons of the
city and now hated that way of thinking and living. They wanted the
riches of freedom and purity. Many would have rather died than go
back to the way their lives used to be.
It was on the way back to the main camp that Grandfather told Paul
of his plan to leave..... Finally on the last night together, the
people held a feast in Grandfather's honour, and to honour the first
child born to the tribe. Grandfather felt so at peace and so satisfied.
Not only was everything taken from the earth, but no tools of the
white man were seen. They feasted well into the night..... There
was dancing and singing, and the night air reverberated with laughter
and shouts of joy.
These people were now more Indian than white.....
He loved these people of his new tribe
and knew without a doubt that they were children of the earth. He
understood that it was not the colour of the skin that made a person
one with the earth, but what was in his heart.....
It was not the colour, race, religion, or economic
status of a man that took him away from the earth, but a way of
thinking. What became
very apparent to me was the fact that once the skills of the wilderness
were learned, man could regain his self-respect and take charge
Without waiting for Grandfather to speak, Coyote Thunder said, "You
must teach anyone who will listen. The things of truth and spirit
will never pass away, but prevail in the end. They will always be
part of those who seek the earth and walk close to the spirit. Teach
all who seek the earth, no matter race or belief, for those who seek
the earth will become the new children of the earth. Our ways will
not die. In the final days, man will seek again the things that we
Source: Tom Brown Jr.'s Book about Grandfather Stalking Wolf — entitled "Grandfather"
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