192 Fresh from Boracay with Love
My cousin Stephanie had her internship in Boracay this year. For those of you who have never heard of this famous island, read here. Going back, since it’s typical for a Filipino to bring some pasalubong when visiting other places (whether in or out of the country) she excitedly asked me what I want her to bring back home to me. Without any hesitations, I replied, “I want a dreamcatcher“
Item #192 of 325
To know more about my bucket list, click here
And of course because she loves me so much (not to mention she misses me a lot too), she delivered. She bought me a dreamcatcher. A dreamcatcher is a handmade object based on a willowhoop, on which is woven a loose net or web. The dreamcatcher is then decorated with sacred items such as feathers and beads.
Dreamcatchers originated with the Ojibwe or Chippewa Native American Tribes and were later adopted by some neighboring nations through intermarriage and trade. Native Americans believe that the night air is filled with dreams both good and bad. The dream catcher when hung over or near your bed swinging freely in the air, catches the dreams as they flow by. The good dreams know how to pass through the dream catcher, slipping through the outer holes and slide down the soft feathers so gently that many times the sleeper does not know that he/she is dreaming. The bad dreams not knowing the way get tangled in the dream catcher and perish with the first light of the new day. Traitional Ojibwe use dreamcatchers only for children, as they believe that adults should be able to interpret their dreams, good or bad, and use them in their lives. (source)
There are two legends about the dreamcatcher’s beginning. One is from the Ojibwe tribe and the other one is from the Lakota tribe. (source)
A grandmother watched patiently each day as a spider spun his web above her sleeping place until one day her grandson noticed the spider and tried to kill it.
“Don’t hurt him,” she told the boy in a soft tone, surprising him.
“But grandmother, you should not protect this spider.”
When the grandson left, the spider thanked the woman for her protection and offered her a gift. “I will spin you a web that hangs between you and the moon so that when you dream, it will snare the bad thoughts and keep them from you.”
At this, grandmother smiled and continued to watch the spider spin his web.
While receiving a spiritual vision high on a mountain, a Lakota leader met Iktomi, a trickster who also held great wisdom. Appearing to the leader in the form of a spider, Iktomi made a hoop of willow and spun a web inside of it.
He told the aged Lakota man that many forces, both bright and dark would attempt to enter peoples’ dreams and that the dream catcher he was making would catch the bright forces and allow the dark ones to slip away and burn up. Iktomi instructed the old man to make dream catchers for his people so they could all achieve a bright future by capturing the good dreams that are blown about by the winds of the night.
As you can see, in the Lakota version, dream catchers trap good dreams, just the opposite of the Ojibwe belief.
Every part of the dreamcatcher had a meaning.
Hoop: The wooden hoop was either circular or teardrop shaped. It served primarily as a frame for the web, but some believe it represents the circle of life.
Web: The web, traditionally patterned after a spider’s web, was to catch bad dreams (good for Lakota) and keep them from entering the dreamer’s head.
Feathers: Numerous purposes are assigned to feathers that hang from the hoop. Many believe they provide a soft ladder for the good dream to glide down and gently enter into the dreamer’s mind.
In more modern times makers have added other items to dream catchers.
Beads: A single bead often represents the spider that made the web. Many beads or hanging beads can represent good dreams that trapped during the night.
Gem Stones: Because it is illegal for most people to posses certain types of feathers, gem stones are now used to replace the symbolism feathers once held.
Arrowheads: For increased strength and protection, some makers add arrowheads. For other, arrowheads point to the four corners of the earth, directions from which the wind blows.
In the past years, dreamcatcher caught the hearts and attention of the modern world. A lot of bloggers, trekkers, youngster, etc. post their share of DIY instructions on how to make your own dreamcatcher. I found this really easy and fun video, and it really motivated me to make one.
Do take note that if you are planning to sell your creations, please be aware of The Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990
The Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990 (P.L. 101-644) is a truth-in-advertising law that prohibits misrepresentation in marketing of Indian arts and crafts products within the United States. It is illegal to offer or display for sale, or sell any art or craft product in a manner that falsely suggests it is Indian produced, an Indian product, or the product of a particular Indian or Indian Tribe or Indian arts and crafts organization, resident within the United States.
Read more about it here
Hey babe! Thank you so much for helping me tick-off one item on my bucketlist. You know I love you and you know that I’ll always be here for you. Bonding time soon!
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