Dream Catchers: Legend, Lore and Artifacts

Category: Book
By (author): Oberholtzer, Cath
Subject:  ART / Native American
Publisher: Firefly Books
Published: February 2017
Format: Book-paperback
Pages: 152
Size: 10.00in x 8.00in x 0.50in
Our Price:
$ 19.95
Availability:
In stock

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*

"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.

  • Part 1: Legend and Distribution -- Origins; Algonquian Cultures; Dreaming
  • Part 2: Net Charms -- Power in Lines and Knots; Non-Algonquian Cultures; Dream Catchers Today
  • Part 3: Scale -- Fascination with "Indians"; Marketing; Artists and Manufacturing; The Future.
  • 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.

    Review Quote*[Review of hardcover edition:] This book...explores the appropriation of dream catchers by Native Americans of different nations, as well as the New Age movement.
    Review Quote*[Review of hardcover edition:] Crafted traditionally of a bone-and-feather-festooned wood circle that's netted with marrow, the more elaborate specimens are full-fledged works of art.
    Review Quote*[Review of hardcover edition:] A stunning presentation.
    Biographical Note

    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.