Bear is a jovial character, and the abstract symbolism on his paws is a version of Salmon that the Tlingits use. The face on his back represents Sam McGee, a man that he becomes very close with in the story.
Wolf, although a protagonist in the story, acts as a Hades-like creature to the humans. The people are greedy and corrupt both to the land and each other. Wolf governs their consequences. He is Eagle's opposite (represented on his back), and therefore his ovoids are upside-down(negative). The 3 "U-forms" between his eyes are potlatch rings that will be translated into a hat when he is in his human form.