Dream Catchers Origin and Purpose
The Native peoples of the Ojibwe/Annishnabe/Chippewa tribes were the first to make dream catchers to scare away bad dreams. The history of the dream catcher has nearly been lost in the turmoil of cultural mixing and destruction that followed on the heels of the European invasion. Dream catcher history is known with some credibility due to the dedicated field work of Frances Densmore at the beginning of the last century. She conducted a careful and extensive study of many Native American cultures including that of the Ojibwe (also known as Chippewa) living in North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Ontario, Canada. many tribes claim the origin and it's possible that the Dream Catcher has been around since all of the aboriginal Native Peoples of North America have been around. The story is as follows:
Long ago in the ancient world of the
Ojibwe Nation, the Clans were all located in one general area of that place
known as Turtle Island. This is the way that the old Ojibwe storytellers say how
Asibikaashi (Spider Woman) helped Wanabozhoo bring giizis (sun) back to the
people. To this day, Asibikaashi will build her special lodge before dawn. If
you are awake at dawn, as you should be, look for her lodge and you will see
this miracle of how she captured the sunrise as the light sparkles on the dew
which is gathered there.
Asibikaasi took care of her children, the people of the land, and she continues to do so to this day. When the Ojibwe Nation dispersed to the four corners of North America, to fill a prophecy, Asibikaashi had a difficult time making her journey to all those cradle boards, so the mothers, sisters, & Nokomis (grandmothers) took up the practice of weaving the magical webs for the new babies using willow hoops and sinew or cordage made from plants. It is in the shape of a circle to represent how giizis travels each day across the sky. The dream catcher will filter out all the bad bawedjigewin (dreams) & allow only good thoughts to enter into our minds. You will see a small hole in the center of each dream catcher where those good bawadjige may come through. With the first rays of sunlight, the bad dreams would perish.
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