Traditional:When babies are born, I make a Dreamcatcher to protect them from bad dreams. I wait for an image to appear then I create it. The last one I made had two hoops for my nieces baby and the one before that was made from a turtles shell for my nephew.
Artwork:When I make Dreamcatchers as art, I let the wood tell me where the web should be. I use driftwood and other natural materials like leather, feathers, and metals along with glass beads.They can be for inside or outside displays. The last one I weaved was custom made for an outside garden. The piece of driftwood was the owners and called for two webs and a little drum. The wood is unique all in itself, pale brown with dark spots. It was originally part of the roots of a large tree. One of the webs is made from a cooper wire and the other is sinew. There are glass beads, a Seagull feather, and a little rawhide drum in the back. The piece of art is made to sit on the ground or on a rock. Picture to come when summer rolls around.The other dreamcatcher is for outside display and has two webs too. It was made to hang off a balcony or a porch. There is a crescent moon made from bone in one of the webs and hawk feathers hang from it's bottom. It is from my personal collection. Above
Below is one of my most beautiful dreamcatchers. Is it piece of triangular driftwood wrapped in black leather and little bits of white leather on the bottom. The web is weaved with black-and-white glass bugle beads. There's a woodpecker feather and it's dimensions are quite large. It belongs to my good friend Marnee. She took this picture as it hangs high in her window.
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Dreamcatchers:The Short Story
I am Ojibwe. It is our custom to only tell creation stories when there is snow on the ground. So, I am going to tell you the jist of the story.
Long ago, when people lived in wigwams a deal was made between two grandmothers. One was a spider and the other human. Grandmother Spider proposed they help each other out. If the human grandmother promised to protect the spider's web she would give humans a gift to protect their babies. They made the deal and dreamcatchers came to be.