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Métis Culture

The Dreamcatcher

 

An ancient Chippewa tradition, the dream net (or dreamcatcher) has been made for many generations. Where spirit dreams have played, hung above the cradle board or in the lodge up high. The dream net catches bad dreams, while good dreams slip on by. Bad dreams become entangled among the sinew thread. Good dreams slip through the center hole while you dream upon your bed. This is an ancient legend since dreams will never cease. Hang a dream net above your bed and dream on and be at peace.

A dreamcatcher is a Native American good luck talisman reputed to bring good dreams. A knot, or "mistake", is intentionally woven into each dreamcatcher to trap any bad dreams. Only good dreams would be allowed to filter through. Bad dreams would stay in the net, disappearing with the light of day.

Traditionally, the Ojibwa construct dreamcatchers by tying sinew strands in a web around a small round or tear-shaped frame of willow. The resulting "dreamcatcher", hung above the bed, is then used as a charm to protect sleeping children from nightmares.

Dreamcatchers made of willow and sinew are not meant to last forever but instead are intended to dry out and collapse over time as the child enters the age of adulthood.

 

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Did You Know?

Dreamcatchers that are made of willow and sinew are not meant to last forever. They are intended to dry out and collapse over time as the child enters the age of adulthood.