One of my favorite blends of beauty and belief is manifested in the art of the dream catcher.  Though widely incorporated across cultures and in mainstream fashion and decor, let’s not forget the real symbolic nature of these tribal objects.  Today we’re celebrating the history, art, and spirituality that follow dream catchers, while showcasing one company that stands out in the field of dreamcatcher creation and retail: SandSilkSky.

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The Ojibwe Legend of Dream Catchers

The lore associated with dream catchers comes from the Ojibwe Native American tribe (aka the Chippewas), who orignated in what is now Canada and the Minnesota/North Dakota regions of the United States.   Their tradition was to hang a dream catcher over the cribs of newborns for spiritual protection.

As the legend goes, there was a very special woman who was responsible for the children. Her name was Spider Woman.  Her job was to web these dream catchers and hang them above a baby’s cradle board while the infant was sleeping. As its popularity increased, however, it proved too much for Spider Woman to take on because she could not travel from one location to another and try to look after all of the children.

So, at that time, she passed the webbing (technique) down to the aunties, grandmothers and the mothers, to look after the webbing for the children and the young.

– Bev Longboat, the executive director at the Niwasa Head Start Program at Six Nations Reserve near Brantford, Ontario:

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The design of the dream catcher specifically has a small central opening to allow good dreams to pass through and filter down through the feathers and into the dreaming minds of sleeping children.

(Quotes from ammsa.com    All photos from SandSilkSky.com )

Modern Dream Catchers from SandSilkSky

I came across these gorgeous dream catchers online one day, and the photos were so stunning I stopped to learn more.  SandSilkSky is the Los Angeles-based shop of designer Hannah Rothblatt.  In addition to their impressively-detailed styles and rich colors, the dream catchers Hannah makes are crafted from sustainable sources, hand-dyed silks  (160 feet of it!) from recycled saris or discarded fabric from the garment industry in India and sold in female-owned Etsy shops around the world.

 

 

Hannah says that what makes dream catchers special is the process of each one’s creation:

“Building a dream catcher is a meditation, not just a craft. It is a match of the mind against finger-dexterity, problem solving through knots, loops, and symmetry. Imperfection is part of what individualizes each dream catcher, and makes it as special as you are! Don’t be afraid to make a mistake. Try your best, and try again.”

-Hannah Rothblatt, designer and owner of SandSilkSky

 

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Giving Back : The Freedom Story

SandSilkSky believes that every person on this planet is born with the right to dream, and that no one should be able to take away that freedom.

For every purchase of a dreamcatcher kit or workshop, proceeds will be donated directly to The Freedom Story.

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We are people passionate about preventing child exploitation. Our mission is to prevent child exploitation through culturally relevant programs for vulnerable children and to share their stories to inspire creative, compassionate people to act.

www.thefreedomstory.org

 

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All photos on this page are from http://www.SandSilkSky.com

 

*This is not a paid or sponsored blog. There are no affiliate links. Just pretty things with interesting cultural ties.