Dream catchers are one of the most fascinating traditions of Native Americans. Using a hoop of willow, and decorating it with findings, bits and pieces of everyday life, (feathers, shells, beads, etc) the dream catcher is believed to have the power to catch all of a person’s dreams, trapping the bad ones, and letting only the good dreams pass through the dream catcher.
The dream catcher has been a part of Native American culture for generations. One element of Native American dream catcher relates to the tradition of the hoop, because it symbolizes strength and unity.
With synthetic Sinew, we made our own dreamcatchers. Click for simple instructions. Willow is the traditional wood used to make them as it is deemed sacred for many reasons. Any vines or flexible branches will work. I cut, stripped and fashioned 35 hoops from the ever- giving Red Trumpet vines growing in my backyard.
Between the Native American Picture books from my library and those brought by other parents, the kids enjoyed a few rounds of great stories and some more understanding of the cultural traditions of Native Americans from the Sioux of the Great Plains, the Zuni from the Southwest, Klamath from the Northwest and Cherokee from the Southeast.