Indigenous Crafts: Dream-catchers

Indigenous Crafts: Dream-catchers
Dream-catchers

Dream-catchers

The Lakota hang dream-catchers where they sleep or over the cradles of babies. Good dreams go through the hole in the center of the dream-catcher while bad dreams are caught in the webbing like flies in a spider web.

MATERIALS:

6 inch embroidery hoop or large metal ring

2 yards of string or yarn

Beads, wood, feathers

Scissors

Glue

PROJECT:

  1. With a pencil make 8 equidistant marks around the embroidery hoop. If using a metal ring, make the marks with the black marker.
  2. Knot one end of the string or yarn on one of the marks. Leave about 3 inches hanging.
  3. Tie the yarn to the next mark and so on until there is yarn looped to each mark.
  4. Tie and loop the string from the middle of one loop to the middle of the next. Do not pull the string or yarn tightly. Continue to loop in this way making three or four rows of loops while occasionally stringing a bead. This is optional.
  5. When only a small “hole” is left in the center, pull the string tightly and knot the end of the string to the previous row. Tie a second knot to prevent unraveling. Trim excess string. A bit of glue will reinforce the knot. This is optional.
  6. Take the original 3 inch piece of string and tie it to the inside of the web. Tie a second knot and trim any excess. A bit of glue will reinforce the second knot.
  7. Tie a piece of string about 5 inches or more to the bottom of the dream-catcher. Toward the bottom half of the string loop two or three (or more) beads and tie a knot. Leave enough string to tie around the tip of a feather. You can make as many as two or three of these but vary the lengths to make a more interesting design.
  8. Reinforce the knots if necessary with glue. Insert feathers into the web of the dream-catcher. This is optional.
  9. Tie a loop of the string or yarn at the top of the dream-catcher so you can hang it up.

NATIVE AMERICAN ART – A BRIEF INTRODUCTION

Native Americans imbued art into everyday objects: baskets, textiles/weaving and pottery. They placed all their hopes and fears into their art. Colors, patterns and symbols reflected their views of the creator and the inner spirit of people and animals.  These colors, shapes and symbols held different meanings for different tribes but some general meanings apply.

Colors:

Blue: female, moon, sky, water, thunder, sadness

Black: male, cold, night, disease, death, underworld

Green: earth, summer, rain, plants

Red: war, day, bold, wounds, sunset

White: winter, death, snow

Yellow: day, dawn, sunshine

Shapes:

Curves and spirals

Parallel lines

Flowing lines, i.e. plants and flowers

Birds, fish and human faces

Triangles, rectangles, squares and other geometric shapes

Bibliography

Haslam, Andrew. Make It Work! Native Americans. Minnetonka, MN: Two Can Publishing, 1995.

Gooch, Randall and Temko, Florence. Traditional Crafts from Native North America. Minneapolis, MN: Lerner Publications, 1996.

Share Button

About marion

I first wrote and sketched as a child growing up in Pittsburgh, PA and Brooklyn, New York. I received her first recognition for my creativity when I won the New York City Schools Art Award and participated in my first art exhibit in downtown Manhattan.

I was fourteen and a half when I moved to Cyprus with my family. I experienced culture shock but I continued to write about and sketch the sights and sounds of another country and many other things.

I am a creative person. I write children’s and Young Adult fiction and nonfiction. I write historical and Coming of Age Young Adult novels. I also write picture books and art books for elementary school children.
I am in the process of writing a fictionalized biography of a member of the Belgian Resistance who also fought for the US Army during World War II.

I worked as a freelance editor for two local companies: College Prowler and SterlingHouse Publisher. I also worked as an assistant literary agent for Lee Shore Agency. I was attending Seton Hill University’s Writing Popular Fiction Program at the time and the experience was invaluable. My course work toward my Master of Arts degree in turn helped me at work.

As an assistant literary agent, I reviewed all incoming manuscripts, cultivated a relationship with the writers we contracted and marketed our books to book publishers for sale.

I “freelanced” my editing skills which included working with the manuscript acquisitions editor, selecting book covers with the art department, writing the book jacket blurb, reading film scripts and executing general office duties as assigned.

Oh, by the way, I edited books, too. I even utilized Adobe InDesign for the editing that I did for College Prowler. I’ve also reviewed published books and conducted research.

I have published nonfiction articles and books online and in print.
As an artist, I have exhibited my mixed media drawings and collages nationally and regionally and have worked as a freelance designer and calligrapher.

I have a BA in Studio Arts from the University of Pittsburgh and a MA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University.

Comments are closed.