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  In Native America the dream catcher is a renowned symbol and nowadays it’s a tattoo design that became a commercial appeal and has caught on by many people, mostly women. Nevertheless, there is a deep meaning behind this Indian symbol, which one ought to point out.

 

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It is believed that the dream catcher also known as the Spider Web Charms, goes back to the Anishinabe that are known as the Chippewa (Ojibwe) tribe in America whereas this symbol’s literal translation is “dream snare”. These Indians believed in a mythical spider woman who would visit the cribs of newly born infants and spin a web for their protection. Over time she could not visit all infants and thereby the women of the tribe began to make the dream catcher themselves out of a band made of willow with a bunch of tense in a circle, feathers and beads, to protect their newly born children. Hence in some tribes the dream catcher is produced with eight points to represent the eight leg

s of the spider. All of the materials used to decorate them have a specific meaning.  A single bead in the middle represents the spider that is on the web, scattered beads throughout the web represent the good dreams caught throughout the night and each feather either of an owl (a woman’s feather kept for wisdom) or an eagle (a man’s feather kept for courage) represents a symbol of breath or air.

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Soon after the dream catcher was used as a protection spell over the crib of the sleeping children as they believed that the dream catcher would catch the infant’s nightmares in the same way a spider catches its insects in it’s web and bad dreams would disappear at dawn with the first light whilst permitting the good dreams to reach the hole in the web and slide down the dream catcher’s feathers onto the sleeping children.

 

 Nowadays, the Dream Catcher represents several meanings such as; having a dream catcher tattoo can guard you from evil and keep you protected. It is also believed to represent the pure freedom that nature can give and the amalgamation of man with things from the nature like the trees and the animals. Nevertheless, all legends involved hold the same core meaning of blocking the negative dreams and harmful thoughts whilst retaining the positive characteristics.

After this rich cultural history peek one cannot but feel drawn to a dream catcher tattoo design. If you are getting one make sure you appreciate the meaning behind it. Some popular sites for such ink include the back of the neck, the thigh, the arm of the shoulder, the wrist and although painful, on the rib bones. Moreover, Dream catcher tattoos look good in both grayscale and colored ink although the web is often done in more muted colors.

 

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Author: Alexia Micallef

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