The Native American Dreamcatcher is made by hand and contains a hoop and a woven net or web going through it. The dreamcatcher may also have feathers or beds. They are hung over a bed for protection.
The Ojibwe tribe used the dreamcatcher and they called it Asibikaashi. This was used to watch over women and children. Mothers or grandmothers would make them and it was used as a charm while they slept.
Dreamcatchers are can be tied in many different ways. The number of points that are tied around the circle on the dreamcatcher will determine what meaning the specific dreamcatcher is trying to convey:
- A dreamcatcher tied with 5 points represents the star
- A dreamcatcher tied with 6 points represents an eagle or courage
- A dreamcatcher tied with 7 points represents the seven prophecies of the grandfathers
- A dreamcatcher tied with 8 points represents the number of legs on the spider woman of the dreamcatcher legend
- A dreamcatcher tied with 13 points represents the 13 phases of the moon
There are some modern uses for dreamcatchers. Many display them as a symbol of Native American culture and to honor the native people. These can be found at craft shows and people have an interest in the legend behind them. There are different types of dreamcatchers and the design varies from tribe to tribe. Some of the Native Americans see the modern dreamcatcher as a symbol of hope for their culture while other tribes are not happy with the commercialization of the modern dreamcatcher.
Legend has it that if a dreamcatcher is hung over the bed while someone sleeps it will catch all the persons bad dreams in the web and will let only the good dreams flow through the center.