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Catching Bad Dreams
In Ojibwa (Chippewa) culture, a dream catcher is a handmade object
based on a willow hoop, on which is woven a loose net or web. The
dream catcher is then decorated with personal and sacred items such as
feathers and beads.
The resulting "dream-catcher", hung above the bed, is then used as a
charm to protect sleeping children from nightmares. Dream catchers made
of willow and sinew are not meant to last forever but instead are
intended to dry out and collapse over time as the child enters the age
of adulthood (ours are not made of willow and sinew so will last
The Ojibwa believe that a dream catcher changes a person's dreams.
"Only good dreams would be allowed to filter through . . . Bad dreams
would stay in the net, disappearing with the light of day."