What is a dream catcher? In some Native American cultures, especially the Ojibwe people and neighboring nations, the dream catcher is regarded as a protective charm often hung over the cradles of infants.
Legend has it that Asibikaashi, the Spider Woman, was a protector of the Ojibwe Nation, especially its children. As the people multiplied and spread across the land, Asibikaashi could not be everywhere at once to protect everyone. In her absence, mothers and grandmothers crafted spider webs out of plant fibers or animal sinews, supported by hoops of willow wood, and hung these over the cradles of the children. The hoops were often decorated with other sacred objects, including beads and feathers. According to ethnographer Frances Densmore, “It was said that they ‘caught any harm that might be in the air as a spider’s web catches and holds whatever comes in contact with it.'”
Today, dream catchers are created and sold by many “new age” artists. However, many Native Americans find this to be an offensive misappropriation of their religious item.
Would you like to draw a dream catcher? This easy, step-by-step drawing tutorial will show you how. All you will need is a writing implement, such as a pen or pencil, and a sheet of paper. You may wish to use crayons, paints, colored pencils, or markers to shade your finished drawing.
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Step-by-Step Instructions for Drawing a Dream Catcher
1. Begin by drawing two circles, one within the other. This will form the hoop of the dream catcher, usually made out of wood.
2. Begin to draw the flower-like design in the middle of the dream catcher. For each “petal,” use two curved lines. Enclose a shape that is pointed on both ends, with one point in the middle of the circle and one point on the edge of the hoop. Repeat until you have completed half the flower design.
3. Complete the flower design. Continue to enclose pointed shapes, using two curved lines for each.
4. Draw the decorations of the dream catchers. From each side of the hoop, extend several sets of long, curved lines, varying the length and design of each. From the bottom of the hoop, extend one set of curved lines. Enclose the lines by drawing three small circles at the bottom. These circles represent beads decorating the dream catcher.
5. Draw feathers hanging from the dream catcher. Enclose the strands with circular beads. Beneath the beads, extend a long, curved line to form the central vein of the feather. For the sides of the feather, use short, curved, connected lines that meet in jagged points. Enclose the feather by allowing these composite lines to meet in a sharp point pasts the end of the vein. Repeat to form a second feather.
6. Draw a third feather dangling from the central ribbon. Again, draw a long, curved line for the feather’s vein, and outline the feather using composite lines with jagged points. Draw another beaded ribbon extending from the hoop, using pairs of parallel curved lines and circles for beads. Add beads to the ends of the other ribbons as well.
7. Texture the hoop. Draw many diagonal curved lines across it.
8. Draw more ribbons dangling from the hoop. For each, use long, curved lines that meet in sharp points at the end.
9. Add more beads to the ribbons. Draw another small feather, using a long, curved line for the vein and jagged lines for the outline. Texture the feathers by drawing short, curved lines outward from the vein.
10. Color the dream catcher. Traditionally, the central strands were stained red.
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