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Dreamcatcher from Indonesia .with shell discs
Diameter of main circle aprox. 17 cm
Dreamcatchers originated with the Ojibwe people and were later adopted by some neighboring nations through intermarriage and trade. Native Americans believed that the harvest would be bountiful that season if the feathers ruffled more than 5 times in one night. It wasn't until the Pan-Indian Movement of the 1960s and 1970s that they were adopted by Native Americans of a number of different nations.
Traditionally, the Ojibwe construct dreamcatchers by tying sinew strands in a web around a small round or tear-shaped frame of willow (in a way roughly similar to their method for making snowshoe webbing). The resulting "dream-catcher", hung above the bed, is used as a charm to protect sleeping people, usually children, from nightmares.
The Ojibwe believe that a dreamcatcher changes a person's dreams. According to Konrad J. Kaweczynski, "Only good dreams would be allowed to filter through... Bad dreams would stay in the net, disappearing with the light of day."Good dreams would pass through and slide down the feathers to the sleeper.