This morning I was window shopping in Nancy’s Doll Closet, an eCrater on-line store. Nancy specializes in carrying clothes and accessories for the 18 inch American Girl Doll. My granddaughter loves those dolls and has at least two of them. Nancy is also a member of our ESN scavenger hunters club. We scavenger hunters look through each others store and try to find an item to blog about. The item must fit a theme, a theme that changes weekly.
The theme this week is “feathers” and while shopping in Nancy’s store I came across this cute little dream catcher sized for the 18 inch doll. It is complete with faux feathers.
I think most everyone knows the Native American dream catcher. While most all Indian tribes have some form the of the dream catcher in their culture, the dream catcher originated in the Ojibwa culture. Originally, dream catchers were small, only a couple of inches across. They were made by bending a thin willow branch into a circle and then using sinew to secure the circle and fabricate a web inside. It was then decorated with small feathers.
Hung on an infant’s cradleboard, it gave the infant something to focus on and play with. It also, as the legend goes, protected the sleeping baby from bad dreams. Bad dreams would be caught in the web while good dreams would pass down through the feathers. The legend changes a bit from tribe to tribe.
Today, the dream catcher is produced in every form one can think of. Some are large and hung on the wall or in a window. Small ones are hung from rearview mirrors or made into key ring embellishments, or, even used as Christmas ornaments. They are made into shapes like squares, triangles, or stars. They are used in jewelry as earrings, pendants, or bracelet charms. You find them embroidered onto T-shirts or sweatshirts. Some even tattoo them onto their skin.
I am always a bit amused that this little Ojibwa infant’s toy has become such a widely used element of artistic expression. The dream catcher in Nancy’s store is really cute. Take a look. Just click on the links above.