I went through a phase when I was in the early years of marrige that I collected dream catchers. I loved them. They were very expensive at the time so I did not have many of them. I always wondered what the legend of the dream catcher was. I knew there was a legend that the Native Americans believed.
This is what I found out:
An ancient Chippewa tradition. The dream net has been made for many generations. Where Spirit dreams have played. Hung above the cradle board or in the lodge up high, the dream net catches bad dreams while good dreams slip on by.
Bad dreams become entangled among the sinew thread. Good dreams slip through the hole while you dream upon your bed.
This is an ancient legend.The Legend of the Dreamcatcher
"A spider was quietly spinning his web in his own space. It was beside the sleeping space of Nokomis, the grandmother.
Each day, Nokomis watched the spider at work, quietly spinning away. One day as she was watching him, her grandson came in. "Nokomis-iya!" he shouted, glancing at the spider. He stomped over to the spider, picked up a shoe and went to hit it.
"No-keegwa," the old lady whispered, "don't hurt him."
"Nokomis, why do you protect the spider?" asked the little boy. The old lady smiled, but did not answer.
When the boy left, the spider went to the old woman and thanked her for saving his life. He said to her, "For many days you have watched me spin and weave my web. You have admired my work. In return for saving my life, I will give you a gift."
He smiled his special spider smile and moved away, spinning as he went. Soon the moon glistened on a magical silvery web moving gently in the window. "See how I spin?" he said. "See and learn, for each web will snare bad dreams. Only good dreams will go through the small hole. This is my gift to you. Use it so that only good dreams will be remembered. The bad dreams will become hopelessly entangled in the web."