Catching a Dreamcatcher


I moved into this tiny apartment in a Kuala Lumpur suburb in 2001. The apartment was bare of any trace of the previous occupant, except for one little thing.

It was curious little contraption of wire, frame, thread and feathers that hung on my window grille. It sways and makes little noises whenever the wind blows in from my perpetually open window. It looked something like this.

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Never once was I curious to know what it was. In fact, when I moved to another cubicle of an apartment, I left it behind.

Six years after catching numerous dreams as I slept blissfully unaware, it came back to haunt me. In a way that took my breath away. So I read, and found magic.

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Dreamcatchers are Native American in origin. It is a spider-like web woven inside a usually circular frame. Comes is many many variations. These beautiful creations are usually hung over a child’s bed to ward off bad dreams. Protective by intention, it sometimes acquires the quality of a talisman, to those who believe. More of dreamcatcher lore here.

The Ojibwa/Cheppewa tribe north of Mexico were the first to be credited with the use of dreamcatchers in their culture. It soon spread to the rest of the American Indian culture. The whimsical quality and their beauty has made dreamcatchers a popular object, not just collected physically but also serve as inspirations for other types of art, including paintings, books and movies. Here’s a stained glass version.

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Stephen King’s Dreamcatcher is a disturbing story that went into the realm of viruses and such stuff. It was made into a movie in 2003. Talk about macabre derivatives.

Dreamcatchers, I found, are also favoured as tattoo subjects, especially among Americans. 

Saw a beautiful one this year. Still haunts me. Since then, little words, suggestions, signs, sights I’ve seen all point back to the dreamcatcher. Well, I know the great fates are trying to tell me something. Maybe I’m not meant to ignore it any longer.

So here I come.

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3 thoughts on “Catching a Dreamcatcher

  1. Hi! Ive a cuz who digs all this Red Indians… since she was three. She is 28 now, been to US to visit their settlement and her house is almost a tepee! Its a culture with amazin history, man’s special connection to earth and appreciation of forces of nature. Great wisdom!

  2. The more you read about these people, the more you are amazed over their wisdom. I have a personal reason for this affinity and interest. My kindred spirit belongs there.

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