Lakota Legend of the Dreamcatcher
Long ago when the world was
young, an old Lakota
spiritual leader was on a high mountain
and had a vision. In
his vision, Iktomi, the great trickster
and teacher of
wisdom, appeared in the form of a spider.
Iktomi spoke to him in a sacred
language that only the spiritual leaders of the Lakota could
understand. As he spoke, Iktomi, the spider, took the elders
willow hoop which had feathers, horse hairs, beads and offerings
on it and began to spin a web.
As he spun, he spoke to the elders
cycles of life . . . how we begin our lives as infants
move on to childhood, and then to adulthood. Finally,
to old age where we must be taken care of as infants, completing
said, "In each season
of life there are many forces and
different directions that can
help or interfere with the
harmony of nature, and also with the
great spirit and all of
his wonderful teachings."
Iktomi gave the web to the Lakota
said, "See, the web is a perfect circle but there
hole in the center of the cirlce. If you believe in the
spirit, the web will catch your good dreams and ideas -
the bad ones will go through the hole.
Use the web to help yourself
people reach your goals and to make good use of your
ideas, dreams and visions."
The Lakota elder passed on his
to his people and now the Lakotas use the dreamcatcher
web of their life. It is hung above their beds or in their
home to sift their dreams and visions. The good in their dreams
is captured in the web of life and carried with them. But the
evil in their dreams falls through the center hole, and are no
longer part of them.