The legend of the Dream Catcher (Cheyenne)

A long time before the white man arrived in a Cheyenne village there lived a little girl called “Fresh Cloud”.
One day the child told her mother, whose name was “The Last Breath of Night”, that often at nightfall a black bird arrived to feed itself and it ate pieces of her body and continued until Fresh Cloud’s mother arrived, light as the wind and threw the bird out.

With motherly love “The Last Breath of Night” to reassure her child told her that the things she saw during the night were called “dreams” and the black bird was only a shadow which came to save her.
“Fresh Cloud” answered that she was afraid and she wanted to see only the white shadows which are good.

So the wise mother, to help her child to overcome the fear, created a round net “to fish the dreams in the lake of the night”, then she gave it a particular magical power: to recognize good dreams which were important for Fresh Cloud’s spiritual growth from bad dreams deceptive and without meaning.
“The Last Breath of Night” created a lot of Dream Catchers and placed them on the cradles of the Cheyenne village.
Growing, the children made their Dream Catchers more and more beatiful with objects that they liked very much and its power grew with them.
Each Cheyenne keeps his Dream Catcher for life as a sacred object carrier of strength and wisdom.

Today this tradition still preserves its importance.
Everytime a child is born, the Indians construct a Dream Catcher and put it on his cradle.
They use a special wood, very flexible, they mould a circle which represents the universe and interlace inside a net like a cobweb which has to catch and keep all the dreams that the child will have: if they are positive, the Dream Catcher will entrust them to the pearls (the force of nature) and the dreams will come true; if they are negative, it will be handed over to the feathers of a bird which will take them far away dispersing them in the sky.

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