Dreamcatcher Creation Myth
A long, long time ago, at the beginning of time, a Lakota tribe leader climbed to the top of a mountain and brought with him a hoop made of willow branches which he had carefully adorned with objects which were meaningful to him - horse hair, beads, feathers and other small offerings. On this mountain, he had a vision. In it appeared the god Iktomi, a trickster-god who is also the creator of the world; he who weaves the web of life as he has the shape of a spider. This spider-like deity addressed the leader in a sacred language and, as he spoke, took his willow hoop and started weaving his web inside it. While Iktomi worked, he spoke of the cycle of life which is a cycle in the real sense of the word; man is born, grows from a baby to a child, from a child to an adult and then grows into old age during which his loved ones take care of him as if he were a newborn again. Thus the cycle of life continues. But, Iktomi warned the wise leader that, regardless of a person's age, both good and bad forces can influence him. Good forces lead to good things, whereas bad forces lead to bad things. Both types of forces can change the natural course of events. Iktomi then finished weaving his web and gave the willow hoop back to the Lakota leader with the following words: "This web is a perfect circle with a hole in the center. Use it to help your people to properly use their ideas, dreams and visions and thus achieve their goals. If you believe in the Great Spirit, this web will filter good ideas, while the bad ones will remain trapped inside it and will not be able to pass through". The leader conveyed this vision and the wise words that were held within it to his people. Since then, the dreamcatcher protects the bed and mind of every person so that only good ideas, good visions and good dreams may reach him.
The Role of the Dreamcatcher
Materials, Shapes and Colors
|The most common dreamcatcher|
How To Make a Dreamcatcher
- materials for the hoop (willow branches/grapevine/and wooden or metal hoop)
- materials for wrapping the hoop (suede leather/wool/thread)
- materials for the web (animal hair/sinew/thread/wool)
- decorations (feathers, beads, crystals...)
- a needle
1. Make the Hoop
2. Wrap the Hoop
3. Make the Web
Stitch the first circle of the web
- Pull the thread behind and over the hoop (pictures 8 and 9). You have just created a "hole".
- Pull the needle through the "hole" you just made (pictures 10 and 11).
- Pull the thread until it's straight. Just take care not to pull it too tight so the hoop bends. You want the hoop to keep its shape. You have now made your first "stitch".
- Continue repeating steps 1-3 always leaving the same space between knots (the distance depends on your preferences). Keep in mind that it will be easier for you to weave the web if you leave more space between knots (picture 12).
- When you come close to your first knot (which was tied next to the loop) and start tying your last knot, leave at most half the space you did between the previous knots (pictures 13 and 14). For example, if the typical distance between knots was 4cm, then do not leave more than 2cm between your first and last knot.
|Picture 13: the finished "first circle" of the web|
(notice the small distance between the first and last knot)
Stitch the other circles of the web
- Repeat steps 1-3, but instead of pulling the needle behind the hoop, pull it through the first "stitch" of your first circle (pictures 14 and 15). Take care to place your knots in the middle of each stitch and that the new stitch is nice and tight.
- Repeat step 6 until you get to the middle of the hoop where you will leave a hole. When you come to your last stitch (which will be at the bottom part of your dreamcatcher), just tie a double knot to secure the construction.