Dream catchers are sacred circles. Being that I am Ojibwa, also known as Chippewa, dreamcatchers have always been a party of my life. Growing up, there were dream catchers hanging on every wall, in every window, and in the car. We even had dream catcher earrings and christmas tree ornaments. I remember growing up making dream catchers in school and sunday school. Though I don’t remember being taught exactly where they came from. I simply remember that they catch bad dreams and let the good dreams go through.
So as I got older I started reading and researching dream catchers and found that they were believed to have been created by the Anishnabe tribe, which is where the Chippewa began. The Anishnabe people originated on the east coast, but migrated west after a prophecy about a disaster. When they traveled west, there were groups of people who wanted to stay and adapt to the places they were. So there became different bands of tribes. My tribe is the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewas, in North Dakota.
So, there was said to be a time in Anishnabe history when the people were being tormented by nightmares. There was an elder who had a vision of a spider’s web in the morning dew, and knew each drop of dew was a bad dream the spiders web had caught the night before. As the sun rises in the dawn, the bad dreams are transformed by the light and evaporated. The people began crafting these beautiful ornaments to clear their space of bad dreams. Over time grandfathers and grandmothers created them for newborn children and were hung above the cradleboard to give the infants peaceful, beautiful dreams.
So now we know a little more about the dream catcher paintings we recently made! It was such a blast! Thank you four for a wonderful evening! Your dream catchers are truly unique and each of you did an awesome job!