Dreamcatcher – Concept, History, Features and How to Make It

We explain what a dreamcatcher is, its history and what its characteristics are. Also, how to do it according to different versions.

dream Catcher
Dreamcatchers were designed to hang from a thread over the head of the bed.

What is a dream catcher?

It is known as a dreamcatcher or dreamcatcher to a certain type of Hand-made talismans, consisting of a decorated wooden ring with feathers, stones, seeds or other hanging objects, and woven as a net inside. According to popular tradition, its function is to capture nightmares and promote good dreams during rest.

Today, dream catchers are very popular as a form of tribal decoration, as a lucky icon or even as key chains, but originally these objects were intended to be hung from a thread directly above the head of the bed, or in its immediate vicinity. . This is because they had to act as dream filters, capturing the sleeper’s nightmares so that they “burn” in the sunlight of the next day.

Dreamcatcher features

dreamcatcher features
Dream filtering is carried out in the center of the dreamcatcher.

Dreamcatchers are characterized as follows:

  • They consist of a hoop, usually of willow or some other wood, whose interior is woven with fibers (and sometimes beads on the fibers) like a spider web, according to various patterns and shapes that can be more abstract or figurative. At the center of the network is the “heart” of the talisman, which is where the dream filtering work is supposedly carried out.
  • They tend to hang in strategic locations, and decorate with feathers, seeds, and other colorful items, which can be found in a variety of colors and patterns. Their sizes can vary between about fifteen centimeters and other large ones of almost one meter in dimensions.
  • They are usually made by hand, and follow a certain mystical, religious or mythological imaginary, associated in their contemporary versions with the New age and the imaginary of pagan cultures. However, its origins are Native American (Ojibwa).
  • Your interpretations may vary greatly, but it is generally accepted that its original sense was to serve as protection during sleep, and that it mimicked the patterns of the web.

Dreamcatcher history

Dream catchers They are the creation of the North American native peoples, it is thought that the Ojibwa ethnic group, one of the main ones along with the Cherokee and the Navajo. However, it is difficult to specify these issues, due to the loss of the cultural heritage of these peoples at the hands of the European colonizers.

Initially, the Ojibwa dreamcatchers were woven from plant fibers dyed red, and it was they who gave them their ritualistic meaning as a filter for bad dreams. However, this type of handicraft was soon adopted by other neighboring peoples and adapted to their particular motives, imagination and legends.

Two of these founding myths survive to this day:

  • In the original Ojibwa myth, the dream catcher alludes to the legend of Asibikaashi or the spider woman, responsible for placing the sun in the sky every morning, and who instructed the grandmothers and mothers of the numerous human tribes in the art of weaving, given that the increasing number of people made it very difficult for him to bring the sun’s energy to everyone.
  • In the Lakota mythInstead, it tells the story of a tribal leader who ascended to the top of a mountain, seeking enlightenment, and was greeted by a deity named Iktomi, who in the form of a spider taught him about the cycles of life. and how individual decisions affect the world around them. To do this, he wove on a wooden circle with his own cobweb, and in the end he gave the man the first dreamcatcher, so that he could instruct his people with it.

The dreamcatcher became popular in the 1960s and 1970s as a symbol of the pan-Indian movement, that is, the attempt to unify and organize the surviving Native American peoples into a single great social and political force. However, since then their manufacture for commercial purposes has distorted their original meaning for many, turning them into a trinket to sell to tourists.

How to make a dream catcher?

dreamcatcher how to do it
Dream catchers can be decorated with feathers, seeds, and other colorful items.

The following are some guides on how to make a dream catcher with our own hands:

  • How to make a dreamcatcher in Talleres Infantiles Barcelona. An easy guide to using few inexpensive fabric materials.
  • How to make a dreamcatcher at Tortuga Art Academy. In this case, it is aimed at a product with a better finish, but more elaborate tools and products are required.
  • Perfect Dream Catcher (English) in Globe Studio One. Step-by-step guide designed to knit at home, with high-quality results.