Native American civilisation abounds with ceremony, symbolism and folklore. The dreamcatcher is perhaps one of the most recognised cultural artefacts. The Ojibwe Nation lay claim to the introduction of the dreamcatcher, but the Lakota Tribe also have their own legend.

They speak of a spiritual elder experiencing a vision whilst at the top of a mountain. This vision saw Iktomi, the trickster spirit, appearing as a spider and speaking to the elder in the sacred language of the tribe. As he spoke Iktomi picked up a hoop belonging to the elder which was ornately adorned with beads, arrow heads, feathers and buffalo hair. He began to spin a web within the hoop and thus the first dreamcatcher was created.

Iktomi described to the elder how the cycle of an individual’s life is interwoven with all humans, animals, plants and fish.

Humans are all given choices and these choices are shaped by energies, influences and beliefs. There are those who choose to follow the path of kindness and honesty. And they live in harmony with Nature and the Great Spirit. And those who take a more troubled path and perhaps harm themselves and others in the process.

Although there were many different beliefs and faiths among the Native American peoples, each tribe connected strongly with their inner world. They saw the physical world as an extension of this.

Dreams were engaged with and valued as an enlightened form of reality and as such guided the individual and community as to where their destiny lay.

The Lakota people thought that as night fell the air became full of dreams some good and some bad. A dreamcatcher was placed over a sleeping space to ensure the good fortune of the tribe. Bad dreams became caught in the intricacy of the web. Whilst good dreams filtered down through the feathers to the sleeping person below. The bad dreams would dissolve in the first rays of the rising sun.

Dreamcatchers reminds us of the choices we make in this life. They allow us to connect with the peace and beauty of our inner world.