8 Fascinating Facts About Dreamcatchers
Originally created by the Native Americans of the Great Plains as a protective charm for their children, dreamcatchers have since managed to catch the attention of the world. They have been incorporated into everything under the sun - you can find earrings, necklaces, t-shirts, keychains, dreamcatcher wall decoration, and many more!
It is not hard to see why - they are aesthetically pleasing. Apart from that, people are also fascinated by the lore surrounding them and enthralled by what they represent. Here are 8 facts about dreamcatchers that you may not know before:
Dreamcatchers are believed to have originated from the Ojibwe Chippewa tribe. The Ojibwe word for dreamcatchers, ‘asabikeshiinh’ means ‘spider’. While spiders may have been detested in many cultures, the Ojibwe people view them as a symbol of protection and comfort.
The Ojibwe people believe in the mystical spiritual protector called the “Spider Woman”. As the Ojibwe people started to roam across the Great Plains, it got more and more challenging for the Spider Woman to safeguard the tribe, especially young children. Why was what led her to create the first dreamcatchers. Soon, mothers and grandmothers of the Ojibwe tribe recreated the protective charms as a way to protect their families even when they were not around.
Also known as the ‘sacred hoops’, the Ojibwe dreamcatchers were traditionally hung in the tepee or on a tree branch outside to keep children from having nightmares. Believing that the air is filled with both good and bad dreams, the dreamcatchers filter out the bad dreams, allowing only the good ones to pass through to the sleepers below.
Each part of the dreamcatcher has a meaning. The hoop, which is the outermost circle of the dreamcatcher, represents Mother Earth and the circle of life. The part that filters out the bad dreams is the web, whereby dreams and inspirations are allowed to pass through the smaller circle in the center, and gently flow through the hanging feathers down to the peaceful sleeper below.
The traditional dreamcatchers that the Ojibwe people made were quite small and were able to fit in the palm of the hand. They were made using willow hoops and cords made from plants. Decorations such as feathers and beads were mostly sourced from personal and sacred item belonging to the makers.
For a girl’s dreamcatcher, owl’s feathers were used as decoration as they represent wisdom. As for a boy’s dreamcatcher, eagle’s feathers were used instead as they represent strength and courage.
The belief and tradition were later passed on to the Lakota tribe through intermarriage and trade, though with slight variation compared to the Ojibwe tribe. The Lakota tribe believes that the web merely holds the good dreams and at the first sign of sunlight, releases them to the sleepers so that they can wake up and follow the dreams. For the Lakota tribe, the dreamcatchers hold the destiny of the future.
During the Pan-Indian movement during the 1960s and 1970s aimed to unite different American Indian groups in America regardless of tribes, dreamcatchers served as the unity symbol and the renewed pride of Native Americans.
A dreamcatcher, especially a large one, is a great decorative element to add some bohemian vibe to your home. The turn of the perfect circle hoop with ropes strung within it to create a web of repetitive and asymmetric pattern, when hung on the wall makes for a calming view. Though they are previously reserved as bedroom decorations, with variations in colors and sizes, they can now also make a great wall centerpiece in your living room. Browse our Boho Realm shop for a carefully curated selection of dreamcatcher wall decoration to inject the feels of a bohemian paradise in your home!