In some Native American cultures a dream catcher means an inanimate form of the word “ spider”, or means “ dream snare”. It is a handmade object based on a willow hoop onto which is woven a loose net or web. The dream catcher is almost always decorated with beautiful, sacred items of feathers and beads.
Legends and Beliefs
Dream catchers began with the tribe of Ojibwe people and were later incorporated by other neighboring nations through intermarriage or by trade. After a pan- Indian movement they were adopted by Native Americans of many different nations. They have become the symbol of unity among Indian nations and a symbol of identification with our first native American Nations cultures. However many Native Americans have began to see dream catchers as over commercialized, offensively misappropriated and misused by non-natives.
There is an Ancient Ojibwe legend about the origin of the dream catcher. Storytellers began with a spider woman named Asibikaashi and she takes care of the children and the people of the land. The Ojibwe nation spreads to the corners of North America and it becomes difficult for Asibikaashi to reach all of the children. So mothers and grandmothers would weave magical webs for the children using willow loops and cords made from plants. The dream catchers would filter out all bad dreams and allow only good thoughts into our minds. When the sun rises all bad dreams disappear. Even in the cradle of infants dream catchers hung as protective charms. These wooden hoops were imitation of the spiderweb with red dyed yarn. It was said that these spiderwebs caught and held any harm that came its way.
Traditionally the Ojibwe constructed these dream catchers with willow frames and the webbing was similar to snowshoe wedding. They also believe that dream catchers change a person's dream. Only good dreams are allowed to filter through the dream catcher, bad dreams would stay in the net and disappear in the light of day. Please check dreamcatchers at eBay. Many skillfull American Indians sell their creations on etsy or eBay. Sometimes they can be pretty expensive so try to find working promotion codes for ebay before maiking purchase.
When dream catchers were originally made the Ojibwe people used willow hoop and plant cords. The shape of the dream catcher was in a circle because it represents how the sun, moon, and month travel each day across the sky. There is meaning to every part of the dream catcher from the hoops to the beads to the feathers.
In the course of becoming so popular outside of the Indian nation many varieties of dream catchers bear little resemblance to traditional style. They are now made exhibited and sold by new age groups many traditional native American people find this an undesirable form of cultural appropriation.