The dreamcatchers were originally created by American Indians. Today dream catchers come in a variety of different sizes and styles. They usually consist of a small wooden hoop covered in a net or web of natural fibers, with meaningful sacred items like feathers and beads attached, hanging down from the bottom of the hoop.
Real authentic, traditional dreamcatchers are handmade and crafted only from all natural materials, measuring just a few small inches across in size. The hoops of the dream catcher are usually constructed of a bent Red Willow branch covered in stretched sinews. Wrapping the frame in leather is another common finishing touch for “real” dream catchers.
Dream catchers have made a comeback. No longer an exclusive Native American icon, dreamcatchers can be seen on phone covers, necklaces, clothes, tattoos and a number of other products. Aesthetically it’s understandable; they’re attractive, they involve dreams and have beautiful beads or feathers attached to a round intricate woven net. But what is the real meaning behind dream catchers and should consumerist culture be profiting from Native American culture?
Authentic dreamcatchers are made with a wooden hoop, usually made out of willow, and often have sacred objects (beads, feathers) hanging beneath the center of the circle. Some have leather wrapped around the wooden portion which is often an indication of its authenticity. The Ojibwe tribe is responsible for the creation of the spiritual item and their inspiration originates from spiders, which is why the woven thread in the center of the dream catcher resembles a spider web. The thread often connects to the hoop in eight points as a tribute to the eight legs of a spider.
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.