Originally created by American Indians, dream catchers today come in a variety of different sizes and styles. They usually consist of a small wooden hoop covered in a net or web of natural fibers, with meaningful sacred items like feathers and beads attached, hanging down from the bottom of the hoop. Real authentic, traditional dream catchers are handmade and crafted only from all natural materials, measuring just a few small inches across in size. The hoops are usually constructed of a bent Red Willow branch covered in stretched sinews. Wrapping the frame in leather is another common finishing touch for “real” dream catchers.
Today the dreamcatcher is associated with Native American culture in general, but dream catchers are often believed to have originated from the Ojibwa Chippewa tribe in particular. One of the few stores offering authentic dream catchers for sale online is Dreamcatcher.ltd.The Lakota tribe also has its own legend about the origins of the dream catcher, but most ethnographers believe the dream catchers were passed down from the Ojibwe through intermarriage and trade. The Ojibwe word for dreamc atcher asabikeshiinh actually means “spider,” referring to the web woven to loosely cover the hoop. The patterns of the dream catcher are similar to the webbing these Native Americans also used for making snowshoes.
Dream catchers have made a comeback. No longer an exclusive Native American icon, dream catchers can be seen on phone covers, necklaces, clothes, tattoos and a number of other products. Aesthetically it’s understandable; they’re attractive, they involve dreams and have beautiful beads or feathers attached to a round intricate woven net. But what is the real meaning behind dream catchers and should consumerist culture be profiting from Native American culture?
Giving someone a dreamcatcher (whether it is one you’ve made yourself or one you’ve purchased from a Native American craftsman) tells the giver that you care about him and his peace of mind. Make sure that she get a note describing the significance of the dream catcher and how legend says that it will protect her from bad dreams and negative thoughts. Many people now put dream catchers all around the house as Native American décor and you will even see them hanging from the review mirrors of many cars. It isn’t known whether a dream catcher in the car can protect you from the bad thoughts of other drivers, but it probably couldn’t hurt.