1. Religion & Spirituality
Send to a Friend via Email
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Dreamcatchers

Native American Legend of the Dreamcatcher

By

dreamcatchers

Dreamcatchers

Grant Faint / Getty Images
...good dreams slip through the web and into the sleeper during the night

...bad dreams become caught in the web and are perished by morning light.


The legend of the Native American dreamcatcher varies somewhat from tribe to tribe, but the basic theme or intention was to allow good dreams to slip through the web and into the sleeper during the night while the bad dreams were caught in the web and would be perished at morning light. The Lakota Legend has the opposing belief that the web will catch your good ideas and the bad ones will go through the hole.

Sacred Hoops

The earliest dreamcatchers, commonly called Sacred Hoops, were crafted by parents to protect their children from nightmares. Newborns were given charms that were woven in the form of spider webs to protect their dreams so their innocence would not be harmed by the tricksters of the night. The dream catcher charm would be hung from the hoop on the cradle.

How Dreamcatchers Were Made

Dreamcatcher hoops were originally made out of willow and covered with sage, the web was made from deer sinew. Modern dreamcatchers are made with wood or metal wrapped in leather strips, artificial sinew replace the now forbidden use of deer sinew. The decoration of the web along with the shape, size and colors used is left to the artisan's imagination. Feathers attached to the dreamcatcher are meant to assist the flight of good dreams.

More Native Healing Traditions

More Healing Amulets

  1. About.com
  2. Religion & Spirituality
  3. Holistic Healing
  4. Shamanism
  5. Native Healing Ways
  6. Dreamcatchers
  7. Dreamcatchers

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.