Nowadays Dreamcatchers are bought as souvenirs or decorative items for the home, but to Native American peoples, they had and have much more significance. The basic story and idea behind the dreamcatcher is that they catch negative and bad thoughts and dreams in their web and thereby help a person have a peaceful and restful sleep.
The materials used in their manufacture are very important as well. The various feathers, stones, gems and plants used, have different qualities and are used to help the person they are made for.
What is a Dreamcatcher?
The dreamcatcher (or dream catcher, dream whisperer) is a hanging decoration made from a variety of materials. It usually consists of a hoop with a fringe around the outside. The inside is a net or web, where bad dreams or fears are caught.
How did the Dreamcatchers Originate and Spread?
It is not known exactly when dreamcatchers became a tradition among Native American tribes but it is thought to have originated with the Ojibwe people. The dream catcher tradition then spread to other tribes and has now spread more into the curio and souvenir trade.
Materials Used in their Manufacture
Feathers: These feathers can come from anywhere, and they can be gathered from anywhere. Duck feathers are common.
The Web: Traditionally made from sinew or gut, but most are now made from nylon.
The Hoop: Traditionally made from twigs, usually willow, but most are now made from metal or plastic.
The Covering and Fringes: Traditionally made from soft deer leather.
Other Materials: Gemstones and beads are used in the web as well as in the fringe decoration.
When buying a Dream Catcher always choose the best quality and traditional products that are made by Native American Indians.