Dream Catchers: How Do They Work? Rheanna Jackson 2-24-10 Period 5 Dream catchers have been on this Earth for many years so far and will be on this Earth for many years to come. It is a tradition to hang a dream catcher over top of your bed and let it catch your dreams as you sleep. To get to the sleeper the dream must pass through the catcher. When you have a good dream it passes through the hole in the center of the catcher and glides down the feathers. On the other hand, when you have a bad dream it gets tangled in the web of the catcher. When the sun comes up it shines on the catcher and all of the bad dreams caught in the web will expire or disappear. ” (Michaele,http://www. support-native-american-art. com) There are many different legends that are known to lead to the existence of the dream catcher. The most familiar legend tells about a spider that was spinning a web as Nokomis watched it each day. Then, Nokomis’ grandson went over to the spider and went to hit it but she said no. The spider thanked the grandmother for saving his life and told her that he will give her a gift. The gift was the web that he had been spinning for many days.
The spider explained that this gift to the lady will entangle bad dreams into the web. Also, the good dreams that she has will go through the small hole in the center. Another story being told about the dream catcher is the Lakota Legend. The story about this legend started out with an old Lakota spiritual leader that had a vision up on a high mountain. Iktomi, the teacher of wisdom appeared in the form of a spider in this vision. “Iktomi took Elder’s hoop which had feathers, horse hairs, beads, and offering on it and began to spin a web. ” (Unltd, http://www. cynaunltd. com/dreamcatcher_legends. htm. The Lakota leader passed his vision on to some people and the Sioux Indians use dream catchers as the web of life. They thought the dream catcher was the destiny to the future. The decor to a dream catcher was a very traditional thing that is still going on today. The earliest sacred hoops were in the shape of the Earth, sun, and moon which meant unity and strength. It was also traditional to put a feather in the middle of a catcher because it meant breath or air. On a dream catcher for a girl there was usually a feather from an owl which stood for wisdom. For a guy’s dream catcher, a feather from an eagle signifying courage.
A lot of common things are known about dream catchers but there are many things that people wouldn’t know about them. For example, the dream catcher originated with the Ojibway tribe. Also, adult catchers don’t have feathers on them. “Night terrors are most common in children, and their frequently decreases as the child grows older. ” (Van De Castle, 347) Another fact that not many people would know about is that dream catchers for infants usually dry out because they aren’t meant to last. Finally, there are eight connections from the hoop to the center of the catcher because a spider has eight legs. Work Cited