The Dream Catcher

Have you ever had dreams that frightened you? Have you ever had dreams that you enjoyed? Native Americans believed dreams were important. Dreams play an important role in Native American spiritual and religious beliefs. Native Americans believe dreams come from the spirit world. The dream catcher is said to have originated with the Ojibwa/Chippewa tribe. It was created to catch and separate the good dreams from the bad.

Dream catchers are usually made from wooden hoops that are about three and a half inches in diameter. The hoops were originally made from willow branches. The inside of the hoop is strung in a spider web-like design with twine or sinew. The webbing was originally made from plant fibers or sinew string that had been dyed red. One or more feathers was always hung from the netting. The feather is a symbol for breath or air.

Originally grandmothers or mothers made the dream catchers for each new child. Dream catchers were hung on the baby's cradleboard or at the head of the bed. The Ojibwa believed that good dreams passed through the hole in the center of the web. Like a spider's web traps insects, dream catchers were created to catch and hold bad dreams. The web traps the bad dreams. When Father Sun rises in the morning, the bad dreams vanish.

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