“I used to have a dream catcher when I was really little. I went to a summer camp and for one of our projects we made dream catchers. I believe it was in relation to um Native American folklore. So the dream catcher was made of a stick bent into a circle and twine wrapped around the hoop to make a spider web like pattern and feathers dangling off of the hoop by more twine. It is used to ‘catch your dreams when you are sleeping.’ The center usually had beads and so the bad dreams would travel towards the center and disappear.”
When else have you heard talk about this object?
“Usually they appear at craft fairs”
What do you see as the significance of the dream catcher?
“To ward bad dreams and spirits away.”
While this material object does not directly connect to the informant’s personal culture, her story demonstrates that dream catchers have spread throughout American folklore. People from different ethnicities and backgrounds have picked up this historically Native American good luck charm. Growing up, my family and I visited a Native American reserve and had the chance to make dream catchers, so it is clear that these objects offer good luck for more than just the Native Americans. I think that the craft aspect of the dream catchers makes them a common childhood activity and has spread their popularity around the United States.
For a deeper understanding of America’s adoption of the dream catcher, please visit:
Jenkins, Philip. “Dream Catchers: How Mainstream America Discovered Native Spirituality.” Google Books. Oxford University Press, 2004. Web. 26 Apr. 2016.