I think it’s fairly obvious, but for those of you who didn’t know, dream catchers are a Native American creation. Originally created by just one tribe, the dream catcher quickly spread throughout the Native American communities.
Due to this origin the dream catcher has become a symbol of unity among all of the Native American cultures. Having said this, there are some individuals that now believe the dream catcher has been commercialized to the point where they can no longer identify with it as a symbol of their culture.
The original tribe that created the dream catcher, The Oijbwe, said that there was a spider woman who took care of the children and the people on the land. When the Oijbwe spread across North America, she could no longer reach all of the people she needed to. So the women of the tribe made dream catchers to catch the children’s negative thoughts during the night. Side note: traditionally the web was usually dyed red and the hoops could be either tear drop shaped or circular.
The most popular explanation for how the dream catcher is supposed to work is that the bad thoughts or dreams are caught and then disappear in daylight. It was also said that the good dreams would be caught and pass down the feathers to the person sleeping below. The other way some people say they work is that they let the bad thoughts pass through and catch the good thoughts and again, pass them down to the person sleeping below. Either way, it’s all good stuff.
Something that makes dream catchers a good tattoo design is the fact that the web areas in the center have no set structure. This enables you to add hidden meaning to the design. For example you can add a certain number of strings to represent a number such as an age or something more obscure like the house number of the house you grew up in for example. Some people also put geometric animal designs in the center using the stings too. The possibilities are endless!