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What are Dream Catchers?
Dream catchers are among the most popular and interesting practices used by the Native American people across North America. They are often hanging from car back view mirrors on bed frames of Native homesteads, and even as tattoos. Although tradition of dreamcatchers is designed to protect against negative thoughts, they also allow positive thoughts to enter the dreamer.
Dream catcher’s design features an elongated center and feathers that hang down to allow positive energy and good wishes to be absorbed into the mind of the dreamer. Native tribes like the Ojibwe describe this dreamcatcher the Bawaajige Nagwaangan which means “spider” as it catches bad or evil dreams in webs. The sun rises in the morning and will release the negative energy kept within the web.
Dream Catcher Folklore
Native Americans believe that the night air is full of fantasies that are both positive and negative. They place the dreamcatcher on the top of the bed and let it move effortlessly in the night air. The positive energy and the good dreams will flow effortlessly through the dream catcher passing through the holes on the outside and then slide through the feathers that are soft. It happens so quietly that often the person sleeping is unaware that he or she is in a dream.
The Ojibwa tribe’s grandparents created smaller dream catchers that they hung on the crib boards of their grandchildren. Every time they moved the feathers when a child slept they believed that a positive dream would fall upon the child.
Interesting Dream Catcher Facts
1. 1. The Dream Catcher was created by Chppewa (Objiwe) Tribe. It was inspired by the myths, legends and the story of creation that the tribe had.
2 2: The Ojibwa people would wrap sinew strings around the bent frame which was of a small tear drop or round shape. The designs of the dream catcher could be similar to the way they Native Americans tied the webbing to make snowshoes.
3 3: 3. The Chippewa (Ojibwe) People have a dreamcatcher based on the myth of Asibikaashi, The Spider Woman who took care of children and tribe’s people.
4.: Grandmothers and mothers were able to mimic Spider woman with her amazing webs, and make webs for children with willow hoops and sinew or cordage made out of plants. The traditional dream catchers were not larger than the width of the maker’s hand.
5 Dream Catcher was put up by a sleepy child as a charm to ward off nightmares or night terrors, as well as other nightmares.
6.: Dreamcatchers were later used by other tribes that after the introduction of the horse, moved into the Great Plains to hunt buffalo. The Plains tribes were able to adapt to the new way of life and mixed with other tribes by trading and incorporating not just ideas about clothing but also some of the diverse cultures, including the dreamcatcher.
7. 7: Sioux tribe built their Dreamcatchers on the myth of Iktomi a great teacher of wisdom , who was also a skilled trickster and was portrayed in the form of the spider. Iktomi offered a dreamcatcher to an elder of the tribe telling that while asleep, the web would capture good thoughts and dreams, and that nightmares and bad thoughts would be swept away. If a person awoke, the great ideas and dreams were kept in mind.
If the purpose of dream catcher is to keep us from having negative dreams, and instead bring us positive dreams, then what’s the purpose of finding out what our dreams are then?
While I don’t like my nightmares and bad dreams, there is a message coming from unconscious that needs to be unraveled. If we’re not paying attention to our flaws in daily life, what better than a frightening dream to provide us with an opportunity to wake up.
The Naskapi tribe who live in the eastern part of Canada are very attentive to their dreams in order to discover their significance, and to examine their beliefs to enter into a deeper relationship to God the Great Man. There is an incongruity there, so I’d rather not sleep with one at the moment.
Nowadays, this symbol is being used too often for tattoos on the back or arms of people without much thought about the meaning behind it. The attempt to stand out ends with appearing as if they are sheep, when asked them what the meaning is. I’m guessing it’s as the all-seeing eye tattoos and tribal tattoos that are unnecessary. I would like to see us not lose the meaning behind what it means. the meaning behind it.