There are two Kapugens in the story, one human and one animal. The first of them is Miyax' father, Kapugen. Miyax loves her father, with whom she lives at seal camp for many years in between the time her mother dies and she is sent away to school. Kapugen is an Eskimo who is close to the earth and the natural world. He had had a job as a mangaer of a reindeer herd, and was a deft hunter of seals. Miyax has wonderful memories of her father, who taught her the rich culture of the Eskimo. American civilization is encroaching on the Eskimo ways, and most of the natives have both Eskimo and American names. Miyax is called Julie, and Kapugen is called Charles Edwards, but when they are together during the years at seal camp, Miyax insists that they call each other by their Eskimo names, Miyax and Kapugen.
When Miyax is lost on the tundra and befriends the wolf pack which helps her to survive, she gives each wolf a name as she learns their individual characteristics. She names the boldest and strongest of the cubs Kapugen after her father, and affectionately calls him Kapu for short. Miyax tells Kapu that he is "very fearless and very smart...special...wealthy and the leader of the puppies". There is no doubt in her mind that he will grow up to be a great wolf and a strong leader, and so she names him after the man she respects the most in her life, her father Kapugen.