Dreamcatchers

Blue Dream Catcher
A dreamcatcher. (modern)

In Native American culture, a dreamcatcher (or dream catcherLakotaiháŋbla gmunkaOjibweasabikeshiinh, the inanimate form of the word for "spider" or Ojibwebawaajige nagwaagan meaning "dream snare") is a handmade object based on a willow hoop, on which is woven a loose net or web. The dreamcatcher is then decorated with personal and sacred items such as feathers and beads.

While dreamcatchers originated in the Sioux Nation, with relics found dating as far back as 700 AD, they were adopted by Native Americans of a number of different nations. Some consider the dream catcher a symbol of unity among the various Indian Nations, and a general symbol of identification with Native American or First Nations cultures. However, other Native Americans have come to see dream catchers as over-commercialized. Non-Indians have also used the dreamcatcher for their own purposes.

 Origin

American ethnographer Frances Densmore writes in her book Chippewa Customs (1979, pg. 113):

Even infants were provided with protective charms. Examples of these are the "spiderwebs" hung on the hoop of a cradle board. These articles consisted of wooden hoops about 3½ inches in diameter filled with an imitation of a spider's web made of fine yarn, usually dyed red. In old times this netting was made of nettle fiber. Two spider webs were usually hung on the hoop, and it was said that they "caught any harm that might be in the air as a spider's web catches and holds whatever comes in contact with it."

Traditionally, the Sioux 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 children from nightmares. As dreamcatchers are made of willow and sinew, they are not meant to last forever but are intended to dry out and collapse as the child enters the age of wonderment.

The Sioux 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.

Another version from the same article was, "good dreams pass through the holes and out of the window. The bad dreams are trapped in the web, and then go out of the window at the first bit of sunlight feathers to the sleeping person."


Popularization

Dreamcatchers

In the course of becoming popular outside of the Ojibwa Nation, and then outside of the pan-Indian communities, "dreamcatchers" are now made, exhibited, and sold by some New age groups and individuals. According to Philip Jenkins, this is considered by most traditional Native peoples and their supporters to be an undesirable form of cultural appropriation.

The official portrait of Ralph Klein, former Premier of the Canadian province of Alberta and whose wife Colleen Klein is Métis, incorporates a dreamcatcher.]

The idea of a dream catcher was used by Margaret Salinger, daughter of J. D. Salinger, in her book of memoirs about her father, Dream Catcher: A Memoir

Native Americans have been handcrafting jewelry since they first drew inspiration from their natural surroundings and transformed shell and stone into wearable jewelry. Some of the oldest discovered pieces date from over 10,000 years ago. The skilled artisans at Alltribes continue the age-old tradition and create captivating works of art that will surpass your expectations!

Alltribes is one of the rare workshops that you can actually come in and visit, and see Native Americans creating extraordinary pieces of jewelry. We are conveniently located near Scottsdale, Mesa and Phoenix, AZ in the historic town of Gilbert. Alltribes Native American Art and Jewelry blends ancient history, natural beauty, and unparalleled expertise flawlessly.

Our Jewelry

The design and quality of our Silver and Turquoise jewelry are unmatched and stand far above the rest. Turquoise conveys a special meaning as it has for centuries and in populations across the globe. Turquoise signifies healing, spirit and good fortune. The masterful techniques, our artisans incorporate this semi-precious stone into beautiful and intricate designs, draws customers from around the world.

You can own a piece of Native American artistry without spending a fortune. Alltribes provides deep discounts because we don't purchase our jewelry elsewhere. Our in-house artists and silversmiths create custom pieces without the extra expenses of middlemen, shipping and tariffs.

Our Local History

Gilbert, AZ provides the ideal location for crafting our Native American jewelry. The Navajo and Hopi Indian tribes have inhabited nearby lands for many thousands of years. Their eternal respect for natural beauty and their innate talent shines through in every handcrafted piece of jewelry.

Our dazzling, Sleeping Beauty Turquoise comes from a nearby mine in Globe, AZ. This unique and exceedingly rare turquoise is renowned for its hardness, durability, and gorgeous color. Our artisans preserve the natural beauty of this precious stone, so you can admire its elegance for years to come. A hand buffed polish protects the stones and heightens its natural beauty.

Our Tradition

In addition to Native American jewelry, Alltribes upholds the ancient traditions of Native Americans by offering more than remarkable jewelry. You can also own Hopi Kachina dolls, pueblo pottery, hand-dyed leather belts, dreamcatchers, tomahawks and other Southwestern and Native American artifacts, to beautify your home and your life. It is our pleasure, to help spread knowledge about the Native American culture to the general public.

As part of our continuing effort to inform and inspire, we offer a vast array of in-depth knowledge for those who want to learn more about Native Americans and the Southwest. Our online knowledge center is free for all and includes some of the most interesting and complete information available online.

Alltribes has been serving our valued customers for over 50 years, so you can rest assured that when you have a question or concern, we'll be right here, ready to help. When you purchase something online today, you never know if the company will still be there, next week or next month.

Alltribes' reputation and longstanding experience ensure you get more than just jewelry – you get a wealth of seasoned knowledge and exceptional service…..that you can count on! We consider our customers to be part of our extended family and we're proud to say that our family now spans continents. We'd love to have you join us!

In addition to our local Native American products, we offer distinguished wares, sourced from Native American tribes across the U.S. Navajo, Hopi, Zuni and other Native American artists provide one-of-a-kind items that we proudly offer to you, at direct to you prices!

Alltribes is much more than just a manufacturer, store and knowledge center. We keep a jewelry workshop on site. If you want a custom design, our silversmiths will work with you to turn your dream into reality. Have an idea for something new? Talk with our artisans and discuss how to bring it to fruition. And should your beloved jewelry ever need to be repaired, we help with that, too.

Whether you're a Native American enthusiast, a collector, a designer or simply someone who loves beauty, Alltribes showcases a diverse collection of superior artifacts, sure to satisfy even the most selective customer.