Dream catcher is a part of the rich cultural heritage of the Indian American Ojibwa (Chippewa) tribe. Native Americans have always believed that dreams have a lot of mysteries hidden in them. They think that the air in the night is rich with good dreams and bad dreams.
A dream catcher is generally hung above sleeping children to shield them from any nightmares. A feather is put in the middle of the dream catcher. Traditionally, an owl’s feather is placed for wisdom and an eagle’s feather is placed to give courage. The feather to be used depends on the gender of the person. An owl’s feather is used for females, and the eagle’s feather is used for males. When hanging, the dream catcher can sway in the night breeze and thereby it can catch hold of any dreams that are floating nearby.
The good dreams know which path to take when they enter the dream catcher. They make their way out of the dream catcher through the hole in the center ever so softly that the sleeping under the dream catcher does not figure out that he or she is dreaming. Since the bad dreams do not know which path is to be taken, they get caught in the dream catcher and then they disappear as soon as the sun comes out. The dream catchers for adults do not make use any feathers.
They are also believed to bring good luck to the sleeping person. These days we can find them hanging in places other than a baby’s crib like on a car’s rearview mirror or in the living room. It is a holy tool and not a decoration article. Using it for any other purpose just reduces its power. For some Indians it is a cute little tradition while others believe it to be a sign of native unity. If a person wants to buy a dream catcher, he or she should ensure that they deal with trustworthy businesses dealing in genuine dream catchers made by original Indian artisans.
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