Dreamcatchers are one of the most visually stunning artifacts used widely as home décor and gifts, making them one of the best-selling items of any gift shop.
However, even after garnering so much popularity, there is a lot to these ornaments that people are unaware of. This article will take you through 9 fascinating facts about dreamcatchers that are sure to make you fall in love with these mysterious objects.
9 Fascinating Facts about dreamcatchers
1. Dreamcatchers Come from a Native American Tribe
Looking at the dreamcatcher’s design and purpose, it may appear to some that it originated in a major metropolis where people enjoy inventing new things, telling new stories, and interacting with artists and inventors.
Surprisingly, the dreamcatcher comes from a tribe of aboriginal Americans known as the Ojibwe, who lived deep within the jungles. Dreamcatchers have been around for a long time, rooted in custom and culture.
However, there is a certain amount of confusion among people regarding whether it was the Ojibwe tribe or the Lakota tribe that first invented the emulate. Both tribes seem to have their own tales as to the origin of the dreamcatcher. Even so, the popular belief leans towards the Ojibwe tribe.
2. There Are Two Different Legends as to the Origin of the Dreamcatcher
As mentioned above, there are people who are divided between two different aboriginal American tribes that are believed to have invented the emulate, and both the tribes have their own legends regarding the origin of the device.
According to the Ojibwe tribe, legend has it that they had a guardian protector in the form of an old lady known as the “spider woman” who looked after the tribe’s people, particularly the children.
However, as their population rose, they dispersed over North America, making it harder for her to care for them all. And so, to protect all the tribe’s people, including those far away, the spider woman wove the dreamcatcher.
On the other hand, the tale of the Lakota tribe is worlds apart from that of the Ojibwe tribe. According to the Lakota tribe, their spiritual leader was on a mountain where he had a vision.
In his vision, the spiritual leader saw Iktomi in the guise of a spider and so he started weaving a web using a red willow hoop with beads and feathers. During this moment of apparitional interaction, the spiritual leader was informed that the device would help protect his people from negative forces that obstruct his people from progressing.
3. The First Artifact of a Dreamcatcher was Discovered in Minnesota
The first dreamcatcher artifact was discovered in Minnesota. The dreamcatcher featured a spider web-like structure, possibly due to the intermarriages between the tribespeople, and so different types of their skills were merged, and new varieties of dreamcatcher were created.
As a result, it is impossible to determine who created the first dreamcatcher. The artifacts discovered from the Lakota tribe are more akin to modern-day dreamcatchers, whereas those discovered from the Ojibwe tribe resemble spider webs.
Anthropologists who devoted their entire lives to researching different aboriginal American cultures, such as Frances Densmore, say that they were unable to uncover a natural dreamcatcher easily because these devices were constructed out of natural materials.
Dreamcatchers traditionally consist of natural feathers and leather covering the hoop. If not used, the devices would decompose, leaving no trace behind. A rope, thread, or sinew is the closest thing a person can find to an original early dreamcatcher.
4. The Belief That Dreams and Nightmares Linger in The Air Led to the Creation of the Dreamcatcher
We know that one of the legends behind the origin of the dreamcatcher is a spider woman wanting to protect her people from negative energies and dreams. But where did this idea come from?
It was believed that dreams, energy, and thoughts linger in the air and can easily infiltrate a person’s mind when they are in a state of deep slumber. This belief bore the idea of a dreamcatcher to trap the negative energies and dreams floating in the air.
5. A Dreamcatcher Consists of Several features, All Serving Their Own Specific Purpose.
The main function of a dreamcatcher is to trap the negative dreams and energies while allowing the positive ones to pass through. And so, to achieve this, the device has a variety of features which are as follows:
- The Center Hole or The Circle
This is the central part of the device, the main body of a dreamcatcher. The circle shape symbolizes the never-ending cycle of life, which begins anew when one ends. The central hole in the circular web acts as a filter allowing positive dreams to pass through.
- Spider Web
Traditionally, the dreamcatcher is crafted in the shape of a spider web. In the Native American Culture, numerous animals are considered sacred and symbolic of a certain aspect of life.
Spider webs are considered to represent the cycle of life and the infinite possibilities of creation. And as such, the dreamcatcher is crafted in the form of a spider web to symbolize the said attributes.
The feathers are suspended from the main body, presumably as a pathway leading good dreams and ideas into the sleeping person’s mind.
Between the web of the dreamcatcher, there are several kinds of stones in place. The stones represent spiders which in turn depict the varying characters of different weavers.
Furthermore, the stones were also believed to serve as a storage stocking up the good dreams that get tangled in the webs.
According to the traditional beliefs, in order for the dreamcatcher to fulfill its purpose and perform its intended function, it needs to be placed near the bed of the person to be protected.
Moreover, the position should be such that come morning, the device is bathed in direct sunlight.
6. dreamcatchers Are Also Believed to be a Good Luck Charm
Dreamcatchers were also commonly employed as good luck charms due to the notion that they could ward off evil and negative energies. Initially, dreamcatchers were used for the protection of children.
However, as time passed, they became increasingly popular among adults as well. They are kept in houses as charms for good luck. To bring good fortune, some people even carry dreamcatchers in the form of jewelry and keychains. Dreams aren’t required for any of these activities; all that is required is a little faith!
Dreamcatchers have considerably risen in popularity over time. So much so that they have become the foundation for the design of many necklaces, earrings, keychains, photography, and home décor. This is mainly due to their unique aesthetic charm coupled with their image as advocates of positive vibes and dreams.
7. The Function of a dreamcatcher Can Vary with its Colors
Depending on the color theme of the dreamcatcher, its attributes and function can vary. Below are some of the colors and their meaning in regards to a dreamcatcher:
A white dreamcatcher symbolizes cleanliness, meditation, and soothing.
A black dreamcatcher’s purpose is to balance the energy in a space.
A red dreamcatcher stimulates a person’s mood and appetite. Therefore, it is ideal for spaces where frequent socialization occurs.
Blue dreamcatchers serve as advocates of strength, success, and diligence.
8. The Merchandizing of Dreamcatchers has Become a Controversial Matter
In the accessories and home décor sector, the rate of product sales of dreamcatcher has risen dramatically. As a result, several controversies have erupted around the issue of cultural appropriation.
Some people consider that a non-native in possession of one’s cultural items is grounds for cultural appropriation. When asked, locals have differing perspectives; some believe it is insulting, while others believe otherwise.
Furthermore, because the dreamcatcher’s design was thought to have been invented by native American tribes, legal complications arose, as the native Americans claimed it to be their original artwork.
Some native dreamcatcher weavers say that the device is missioned to spread positive vibes and dreams and does not qualify as a sacred item. Also, some natives appreciate the fact that their culture is spreading all around the world.
9. The Modern-Day dreamcatcher has Been Modified to Look More Aesthetic
The dreamcatcher was first introduced into western culture during the late 20th century. Many people feel that it aids in filtering out negative energy, all the while helping the home absorb positive energies.
And so, people have adopted the device into their home décor, jewelry, tattoo designs, and other decorative methods. This resulted in gradual evolution in the design of the dreamcatcher as slight hints of western culture were being mixed with its traditional looks.
The dreamcatcher that you see nowadays is made from less expensive, mass-produced materials and is relatively larger than its predecessors. A large variety of colorful elements are added to the design of the modern-day dreamcatchers to make them prettier and more eye-catching.
Although the improved design makes dreamcatchers an excellent item for decorating your home, it also takes away the originality and genuineness of these devices.
Interesting Facts about DREAMCATCHERS
Mesmerizing and intricate, dreamcatchers are a beautiful addition to your home, garden, or rearview mirror – but how much do you really know about them? Here are 6 interesting facts about these magical items.
The 9 mind-boggling facts about dreamcatchers listed above leave much to be wondered about these magnificent and mysterious devices.
Do dreams really linger in the air? Can dreamcatchers really filter out the negativity? Can these devices really bring about good luck?
Well, the simple answer is that these devices are everything you believe them to be. Therefore, it’s up to you to decide what dreamcatchers really are.
I’m Natalie Garcia and I started this website to share my love of trivia, facts and fun knowledge tidbits. We cover things like celebrity gossip, historical facts, tv shows, world leaders and just odd and random fun things. I started this site to have some fun with my hobby and share some useful information with you, our community. Please feel to send me your suggestions and feedback through the contact form. And if you have suggestions for things to write about, please shoot me a message!