American Indian Dream Catcher

The story about Native American dream catchers says that the web will capture all of the good dreams and let the bad dreams go out through the hole. Dream catchers were thought to have originated with the Ojibwe tribe, also known to many as the Chippewa Indians. And there are many stories about how the. Our authentic Native American Indian dream catchers are hand made by Native American Indian and Mayan artists. They all come with legend. The Dream Catcher Legend - Native Americans believe that a night is full of dreams, good and bad both. When the dream catcher is placed above where you sleep it catches the dreams as they drift.

The sacred circle shape of the mandala has been used in cultures around the world as a form of spiritual practice. While some of the most common examples come from Asia, there is a rich history of the use of mandalas in Native American culture.

Historical Use

The Aztec cultures of Central and South America used the shape of the mandala to create their grand calendars and to record religious principles. However, many tribes throughout the Northern American landscape also used mandalas as ways to connect with the gods. These were often circular forms made from the skins of animals that were hunted, and incorporated feathers and other found objects.

The meaning of the mandala is in many ways the same found in other cultures. Native Americans believed that the shape represents:

  • The circle of life, and the path from birth to death
  • The unification of man, nature, and the spiritual in a cyclical form
  • A way to connect with the creators

While mandalas are used as physical forms of design in many Native tribes, the circular pattern is also essential to ceremonial practices and rituals. It is found in many dances, both in individual movements and as a greater movement around a central point, often a fire or important figure.

The Symbolism of the Labyrinth

Indigenous people in the region of northern Mexico and the Southwest United States have long used the pattern of a labyrinth. This shape is often woven into baskets and used to decorate pottery. Amazingly, it is believed that this pattern began to be used in the Americas around the same time the Greeks started to do so.

While many people often equate labyrinths with mazes, the labyrinth is not meant as much as a trap as it is a series of geometric shapes radiating out from a single point. This center represents an internal connection with self and is often seen as the way to connect to the creators.

The Shield of Protection

The symbolism of protection in the shape of a shield is a typical form of Native American mandala. In many tribal cultures, the shield is not only meant for safety, but it is also a totem of good luck. Real paying apps 2020.

Tribes who lived in the Plains are perhaps the best examples of how the mandala shield is found throughout Native American culture. Since shields are round, they could be decorated with geometric patterns that symbolized everything from strength to protection. Particular colors would indicate a carrier’s age, or blessings for military success would be added to ensure victory.

The Medicine Wheel

A number of different Native American tribes use the circular shape to represent health and life, and the medicine wheel is the best example of this. Because it is round, it incorporates all four directions, which allows for ritualized use in ceremonies connecting man, nature, and the creators.

The artwork of the medicine wheel can vary, but reflecting other Native American practices like dance it emphasizes circular movement. The wheel is traditionally moved clockwise, following the pattern of the sun through the sky.

American Indian Dream Catcher

Navajo Sand Mandalas


While sand mandalas are essential to the practice of Tibetan Buddhism, they are also used by Native American Navajo tribes in sacred rituals performed in honor of the creators.

The center of the mandala typically contains four separate designs that are radiated out through geometric patterns to complete the piece. For the Navajo creators, each level has a different meaning based around the fundamental concepts of the underworld, the gods, and the sacred in nature.

As with other sand mandala traditions, the Navajo pieces are ritually destroyed. Typically black lines and corn pollen are placed around the design, meant to represent strength and fertility, and then it is systematically dismantled.

Dream Catchers

Perhaps the most known form of Native American mandala today is the dream catcher. Used by Ojibwe (Chippewa) and Lakota tribes, thee typically consisted of spider webs draped over a round hoop. This form of artwork now serves decorative purposes for many Westerners, but the belief was that they protected sleepers from the influence of bad dreams.

by K Shabi PUBLISHED 14 July 2016

What is the true meaning and history behind the Native American dreamcatcher? Where do dreamcatchers really come from? You've probably seen a dream catcher hanging from a tree, a porch or even in a souvenir gift shop and wondered about its purpose and meaning. Read on to learn more about the story, legend, and origins of authentic Native American dream catchers.

Authentic Native American Dream Catchers

Originally created by American Indians, dreamcatchers today come in a variety of different sizes and styles. They usually consist of a small wooden hoop covered in a net or web of natural fibers, with meaningful sacred items like feathers and beads attached, hanging down from the bottom of the hoop. Real authentic, traditional dream catchers are handmade and crafted only from all natural materials, in size measuring just a few small inches across. The hoop is traditionally constructed from a bent Red Willow branch covered in stretched sinews. Wrapping the frame in leather is another common finishing touch among 'real' dream catchers.

History of the Dreamcatcher: Ojibwe or Lakota Origins?

Today the dreamcatcher is associated with Native American culture in general, but dream catchers are often believed to have originated from the Ojibwa Chippewa tribe in particular. The Lakota tribe also has its own legend about the origins of the dreamcatcher, but most ethnographers believe the dreamcatchers were passed down from the Ojibwe through intermarriage and trade. The Ojibwe word for dreamcatcher asabikeshiinh actually means 'spider,' referring to the woven web loosely covering the hoop. The patterns of the dream catcher web are similar to the webbing these Native Americans also used for making snowshoes.

Ojibwa Legend: The story of the Dream catcher

What Is An American Indian Dream Catcher

Ancient legends about the history and origin of the dreamcatcher exist among several Native American tribes, but are most common and seem to originate among the Ojibwe and Lakota nations. While many cultures consider spiders to be creepy crawlers, the Ojibwe people saw them in a different light, as symbols of protection and comfort. According to an old Ojibwa legend, a mystical and maternal 'Spider Woman' once served as the spiritual protector for her tribe, especially in concern to young children, kids and babies. As the Ojibwe people flourished and spread out across the land, it was difficult for The Spider Woman to continue to protect and watch over all the members of the tribe as they migrated farther and farther away. This is why she created the first dreamcatcher. Following her example, over the course of generations mothers and grandmothers continued to ritualistically recreate the maternal keepsake as a means of mystically protecting their children and families even from a distance.

What do dream catchers do? Purpose & Meaning of the Dream Catcher

Sometimes referred to as 'Sacred Hoops,' Ojibwe dreamcatchers were traditionally used as talismans to protect sleeping people, usually children, from bad dreams and nightmares. This Native American tribe believes that the night air is filled with dreams, both good and bad. When hung above the bed in a place where the morning sunlight can hit it, the dream catcher attracts and catches all sorts of dreams and thoughts into its webs. Good dreams pass through and gently slide down the feathers to comfort the sleeper below. Bad dreams, however, are caught up in its protective net and destroyed, burned up in the light of day.

Dream Catcher Meaning: Web, Feathers & Beads

All parts of the authentic Native American dreamcatcher have meaning tied to the natural world. The shape of the dreamcatcher is a circle because it represents the circle of life and how forces like the sun and moon travel each day and night across the sky. The dream catcher web catches the bad dreams during the night and dispose of them when the day comes. As for the good dreams, the feathers act as a fluffy, pillow-like ladder that allows them to gently descend upon the sleeping person undisturbed. There is some contention when it comes to the meaning of the beads that often decorate the dreamcatcher. According to some American Indians, the beads symbolize the spider—the web weaver itself. Others believe the beads symbolize the good dreams that could not pass through the web, immortalized in the form of sacred charms.

Dreamcatcher Meaning Today: Authentic Symbol or Cultural Appropriation?

Native American Indian Dream Catchers

Though dreamcatchers are quite common, finding real authentic dreamcatchers is not that easy today. Real handmade dream catchers are usually small in size and feature sacred charms like feathers and beads. Many dreamcatchers for sale today, however, are much more American than Native American, often oversized and constructed from cheap plastic materials. Many Native Americans still consider the dreamcatcher to be a long-standing cultural symbol of unity and identification among the many Indian Nations and First Nations cultures. Sadly, many other Native Americans have come to see dream catchers as just another cultural appropriation, over-commercialized and at times offensively misappropriated and misused by non-Natives.

Real Indian Dream Catchers

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