Dream Catcher.In some Native American and First Nations cultures, a dreamcatcher (Ojibwe: asabikeshiinh, the inanimate form of the word for ‘spider’) is a handmade willow hoop, on which is woven a net or web. It may also be decorated with sacred items such as certain feathers or beads. Traditionally, dreamcatchers are hung over a cradle or bed as protection. It originates in Anishinaabe culture as “the spider web charm” – asubakacin ‘net-like’ (White Earth Nation); bwaajige ngwaagan ‘dream snare’ (Curve Lake First Nation) – a hoop with woven string or sinew meant to replicate a spider’s web, used as a protective charm for infants. Dream catchers were adopted in the Pan-Indian Movement of the 1960s and 1970s and gained popularity as a widely marketed “Native crafts items” in the 1980s.
What does a dream catcher really do?
Their purpose was to protect sleepers, especially children, from bad dreams, nightmares and evil spirits. Native Americans believed that at night the air was filled with dreams, both good and bad. They would hang the dream catcher over their beds.