November 17, 2011

Dreams and weavers

Driving to our New Hampshire place recently, I passed a gift shop near Fitzwilliam, NH that sold Native American crafts and spiritual items. Several giant dreamcatchers were attached to the shop's front porch beams. Less than an hour later I pulled onto our property and saw a stunning spider web, nearly three feet in diameter, attached to our cottage's front porch beams.

The Ojibwa made the first dreamcatchers, fashioned to resemble spider webs, from willow hoops and dyed yarn or plant fiber, and hung them above their babies' cradles. Like a spider web, made to catch and hold, the manmade webs caught harm or evil that might float above an infant's bed and also captured the child's good dreams, letting bad ones slip through the net and into the night.