Author(s): Cath Oberholtzer
"The more elaborate specimens are full-fledged works of art." -- Globe and Mail Christmas List 2012 "A stunning presentation." -- Winnipeg free Press Back in print with a new design. Considered the definitive book on dream catchers, this book is for all readers that want to learn about these important symbols in Native American tradition. It features close-up photographs of dream catchers; covers their history, legends, lore and cultural symbolism; and presents a stunning collection of dream catchers that are at once craft and high art. The text is suitable for a popular audience while also thorough, rigorous and valuable in research. This edition has been redesigned with a new jacket. The exact genesis of dream catchers is unknown and origin stories vary as do beliefs about how they work. One legend has it that a medicine woman made a circle from a willow branch and used sinew to weave a spider-web pattern across the hoop. The circular talisman was hung over the bed of a sick child where it would "catch" bad dreams and protect the child, or it would catch good dreams to bless the child. However it worked, the child would recover by morning. Purchasers of dream catchers might find such a story attached to it. Dream catchers made by artists and artisans vary in their design and decoration, and range from craft to high art. Making dream catchers is a popular project for craft groups; conversely, dream catchers are exhibited at museum and galleries where they can fetch a high price. Each element of a dream catcher carries a meaning and function, and these are discussed in the book.
More than 40 color photographs feature contemporary dream catchers and artifacts with captions that identify and comment on the different patterns and their significance. The book features original works by Nick Huard, who creates dream catchers in his studio in Kahnawake near Montreal.
Cath Oberholtzer was an anthropologist who taught at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, and published many academic articles about dream catchers, their origin and meaning.