. Most people claim that a spider appeared to an elderly medicine woman. The woman befriended the spider. One day the woman’s grandson entered her lodge. He saw the spider and was going to kill it. The woman said “no, you will not hurt my friend.” The spider in return for her kindness, wove a web for her. The spider told her how to make one for herself. The spider said that if the web, or dreamcatcher, was hung above infants cradle, the good dreams would pass through the center hole, and the bad dreams would be caught in the web. At the first of dawn, the sun would destroy the bad dreams. The dreamcatcher would remain above where the child sleeps until he became of age.
However, the stories have been changed or altered thru the centuries. The purpose of the dreamcatcher has remained the same. Traditionally, dreamcatchers were constructed by tying sinew strands, or animal tendons, in a web around a small round or tear-shaped frame of willow. A small bead would be placed in or near the center of the web. This was to make the good dreams slide through the hole in the center much easier. Next the feathers would be added to the bottom of the ring. The good dreams would slide down the feathers to the sleeping child below.
Dreamcatchers today are still made with the tradition of the ancestors in mind. Dreamcatchers are now made with artificial sinew and real leather, beads, and willow are used in a variety of colors and feathers.
Do dreamcatchers really work? I have only found that it is in the individual opinion. Of those who own dreamcatchers say that they indeed work. However, like all sentimental charms, if you believe that they work, and you tell yourself that they work, then in all reality they must work.
In households today, you may find one dreamcatcher or several. As they have become more of charms and collectables. Dreamcatchers come in various sizes and colors. Others have even had them tattooed on their bodies.
Regardless of how you use your dreamcatcher, or where you use them, dreamcatchers are one of the most beautiful of the Native American artifacts. When you give a dreamcatcher to someone as a gift, you pass on the legend to them. As people visit that person, they can pass the legend and so forth. The legend will continue to live on.