Dream catchers are often hanged to keep little children from having nightmares. It is also believed that dream catchers are intended to slowly dry out and come apart as your child grows older. According to the belief, it is said that the air is filled with all kinds of dreams. These dreams are either good or bad. There are different types of dream catchers. Every dream catcher has a hole in its center. The bad dreams get caught in the web in the center while the good dreams flow down the feathers to the person on which it is hanged. There are many theories for dream catchers. One theory says that good dreams get filtered through the net in the center. Yet another theory explains that the good dreams get caught in the center while the bad ones flow away from the central hole.
Whatever the theory, one thing is sure about dream catchers; they surely do no harm. The very idea of preventing nightmares is quite compelling. They are also very beautiful and that is why they have become very popular.
Throughout time, dreams have had a high importance for people. Our nightly visits to another world are peculiar, often unexplained, pleasant at times and really scary at times. Whether these dreams actually happen in reality or not, we do get some satisfaction hanging a dream catcher above our beds before sleeping.
Dream Catchers Origin
We have all seen dream catchers hanging from a porch or a tree or even in a souvenir shop, but have we ever wondered about is origin and history?
Dream catchers were originally created by the American Indians. But some believe that they have originated from the Ojibwa Chippewa tribe. According to some researchers, dreamcatchers were passed on from the Ojibwe through trade and intermarriage. In the Ojibwe language, ‘dreamcatcher’ means ‘spider’. This spider could refer to the web which is woven over the hoop. The web patterns of a dreamcatcher is similar to snowshoes made by the Ojibwe people. Even Lakota nations along with the Ojibwe and Native American tribes, have shown the existence of dream catchers in their cultures. Spider as a symbolism of comfort was first used by these people contradictory to what the world believes them to be: creepy crawlers.
According to a famous story from the Ojibwe tribe, it was believed that a mysterious ‘Spider Woman’ acted as the spiritual protector of their tribe, especially for the young children and new born babies. As the tribe grew and flourished, the woman found it difficult to protect and watch over all the members. She then created the dreamcatcher following which, many mothers and grandmothers recreated the hanging to mystically protect their own children.
Today they come in a many different colors and types. A typical dream catcher is made of a small wooden hoop in the centre covered in a web or net made of natural fibers and some meaningful and symbolic items like beads, feathers and shells are attached to the bottom of the hoop.
Whatever theories or versions of the dreamcatchers we come across from history, the underlying symbolism and purpose remains the same. Dreamcatchers have a protective purpose. They direct good dreams and deflect bad dreams from the person.
There are various patterns and designs made in dreamcatchers and all have different meaning. Dreamcatchers also come in different colors, all with a different meaning. Traditional dreamcatchers were made with eight points where the web is attached to the hoop. These eight points are regarded as the eight legs of a spider. The spider symbolizes learning, wisdom and energy.
Native Americans believed dreamcatchers to be much more than catching good dreams. They also believed them to be totems representing good energy. According to them, dreamcatchers help to neutralize bad energy.
Dream catchers come in many different types and colors. The various attachments on the web of the dreamcatcher also symbolize different things. According to the Native Americans, the beads in a dream catcher symbolize the spider. Spider is a web weaver. According to another theory, the beads symbolize good dreams which cannot pass through the web and remain immortalized as sacred charms.
Real and authentic dream catchers are hard to find. Today these handmade crafts come in varied colors and types and have become objects of decor. The authentic ones were very small in size and had sacred charms like feathers and beads.
Whatever be their type and color, they sure are adorable and when only goodness reflects from these pretty hangings, then why not hang one above your head!