Symbolizes protection and happiness, harmony, and luck
The symbol of the Dreamcatcher or Dream Catcher originated with Native Americans. They are typically hung above a bed. The Ojibwe and Lakota tribe originally used the symbol. The Ojibwe and Lakota tribes have different origin stories for the Dreamcatcher.
The Ojibwe’s original name for the dreamcatcher was asabikeshiinh which means spider. They believed that the dreamcatcher was created by the Spider Woman who was a maternal mystical protector of the tribes. The Spider Woman would weave her dreamcatchers as the tribe grew and spread across the nation. That way the Spider Woman would always be protecting the tribe, even when they were far away.
The Ojibwe believed that the ring symbolizes the circle of life. The web inside represents the web of life and catches bad dreams and keeps them away. The feathers help cushion the good dreams as they make their way to the sleeper. The beads are the good dreams that did not make it to the sleeper.
The Lakota nation believes that the trickster shapeshifter Iktomi created the first dreamcatcher while in the form of a spider. He gave it to a tribal elder and told him that it would hold all of the good ideas for the tribe. The good ideas would steer the tribe in the right direction. The bad ideas could interfere with the Great Spirit’s teachings.
The Lakota nation believes the dreamcatchers are the web of their life. They believe the opposite of the Ojibwe nation in that the web catches and holds the bad ideas and the good ideas go through the hole to the sleeper.
Children are given dreamcatchers at birth and carry them throughout their lives. Dreamcatchers are believed to bring happiness, harmony, and luck. They are prevalent in all the tribes today.
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