Dreamcatchers are round. Inside the loop thread is arranged in such a way it resembles a spider’s web.
Feathers are attached to the bottom. Beads are often used.
Some choose to have one bead in the middle representing the spider.
Others prefer to have the hole in the middle empty.
How a dreamcatcher works according to believers
Dreamcatchers are placed in the bedroom.
When a person goes to sleep the dreamcatcher will attract all the dreams.
Nightmares get trapped inside the web.
Good dreams pass through and slide down the feathers to reach the person sleeping.
When morning comes and the dreamcatcher is exposed to light, the bad dreams dissolve and disappear. They cannot survive in daylight.
As the person wakes up he or she feels refreshed after a pleasant and peaceful sleep.
Dreamcatchers belong only near a bed. Very small dreamcatchers have too often been observed dangling inside of cars. That certainly is a ridiculous place to display it. Some people probably only purchase it because it looks nice, but have no idea what it is intended for.
Ojibwa Native Americans
Dreamcatchers originate from the Ojibwa Native Americans. They now mainly reside in Canada and the United States.
They made these small amulets to protect their infants and young children. They were meant to trap all evil spirits that came in the form of nightmares. The small dreamcatcher hung over the cradle or bed to ensure their children were safe and secure during the night.
We can imagine how the slow and peaceful motions of the feathers would be soothing to a baby as the child drifted asleep.
The Ojibwa Native Americans made the authentic dreamcatcher from willow wood. They always used real leather. They wove the web inside using sinew strands or thread. Authentic dreamcatchers can still be purchased today.
The dreamcatcher is associated with Absibikaashi, the Spider Woman. Once all the Ojibwa people lived together at a place called Turtle Island. As time passed all her people had moved to all four corners of the country.
Spider Woman cared deeply for all the children. She found it difficult to visit every single child at bedtime to ensure they were protected from the evil spirits.
All mothers and grandmothers agreed to weave a web inside loops made from the willow tree. These magical webs could catch the spirits lurking around the child at night. Evil spirits would not be able to taunt the sleeping child anymore.
The New Age Era
During the 1960’s and 1970’s the New Age movement adopted many of the traditions of the Native Americans.
They took the ideas and copied the items believing it was the renaissance in Native American belief and culture. They truly wanted the world to know and recognize this deep-rooted and extraordinary culture.
Today dreamcatchers are known and used in many countries worldwide. People are now making their own variations of dreamcatchers using different kinds of material and equipment.
Dreamcatchers found in thousands of homes globally may be a far stretch from the authentic items.
People who make their own variation and people who own an authentic Native American made dreamcatcher do have one thing in common:
They all seem to love their dreamcatcher!
Find out more about spider symbolism
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