Let your sleep not be disturbed
How can man gaze upon
and not know
a night sky
there must be a greater being?
DREAM CATCHER LEGEND

DREAMS HAVE ALWAYS HAD MANY MEANINGS TO THE INDIANS. ONE OF THE OLD OJIBWA TRADITIONS WAS TO HANG A DREAM CATCHER IN THEIR HOME.

THEY BELIEVE THAT THE NIGHT AIR IS FILLED WITH DREAMS, BOTH BAD AND GOOD.  THE DREAM CATCHER, WHEN HUNG, MOVES FREELY IN THE AIR AND CATCHES THE DREAMS AS THEY FLOAT BY.

WITH THE GUIDANCE OF THE SPIRIT BEAD, THE GOOD DREAMS ARE ALLOWED PASSAGE THROUGH THE CENTER OPENING, THEN SLIDE DOWN OFF THE SOFT FEATHER SO GENTLY THAT MANY TIMES THE SLEEPER BELOW DOESN'T KNOW HE IS DREAMING.

THE BAD DREAMS, WITHOUT GUIDANCE FROM THE SPIRIT BEAD, BECOME TANGLED IN THE WEBBING AND PERISH WITH THE FIRST LIGHT OF DAY.

SMALL DREAM CATCHERS WERE HUNG ON CRADLE BOARDS SO INFANTS
WOULD HAVE GOOD DREAMS.  LARGER  SIZES WERE HUNG IN LODGES FOR ALL TO HAVE GOOD DREAMS
Do not all men share the same dreams?
Native American Medicine Wheel
MEDICINE WHEELS

A NATIVE AMERICAN MEDICINE WHEEL IS LIKE CARRYING
THE WORLD IN YOUR POCKET.  EVERYTHING ON A MEDICINE WHEEL SAYS SOMETHING ABOUT THE WORLD AND HOW HUMANS LIVE IN IT.

A MEDICINE WHEEL IS SHAPED LIKE A DREAM CATCHER WITH A HANDLE.  IT STARTS WITH A PIECE OF TWIG FORMED INTO A CIRCLE.  THE CIRCLE REPRESENTS LIFE, WHICH NEVER ENDS.  NATIVE AMERICANS ARE BORN,
GROW UP, REACH ADULTHOOD, BECOME OLD, AND THEN  ARE "BORN" INTO THE SPIRIT WORLD WHEN THEY DIE ON EARTH.

INSIDE THE CIRCLE ARE TWO STRAIGHT STICKS TIED TOGETHER IN A CROSS.  THESE STRAIGHT STICKS CUT THE MEDICINE WHEEL CIRCLE INTO FOUR QUARTERS, LIKE A PIZZA WITH FOUR SLICES.  THE STICK PIECES REPRESENT THE FOUR DIRECTIONS: NORTH, SOUTH, EAST, AND WEST.  THEY ALSO REPRESENT THE FOUR SEASONS: WINTER, SUMMER, SPRING, AND FALL.  PLUS, EACH STICK PIECE HAS A COLORED BEAD ATTACHED TO IT.  THESE COLORS MEAN DIFFERENT THINGS, AS WELL.

THE PIECE OF TWIG POINTING UP STANDS FOR "NORTH."  IT REPRESENTS WINTER.  THE BEAD ON THIS TWIG IS WHITE, FOR SNOW. 

THE PIECE OF TWIG POINTING DOWN STANDS FOR "SOUTH."  IT REPRESENTS SUMMER.  THE BEAD ON THIS TWIG IS GREEN, THE COLOR OR GROWING THINGS.

THE PIECE OF TWIG ON THE LEFT STANDS FOR "EAST."  IT REPRESENTS SPRING, THE BEGINNING OF THINGS.  THE BEAD ON THIS TWIG IS RED.  RED IS THE COLOR OF THE SUN WHEN IT RISES FROM THE EAST EVERY MORNING AND BEGINS THE DAY.

THE PIECE OF TWIG ON THE RIGHT STANDS FOR "WEST."  IT REPRESENTS FALL.  FALL IS THE HARVEST SEASON, WHEN GROWING THINGS ARE CUT DOWN AND STORED FOR THE WINTER. THE BEAD ON THIS TWIG IS BLACK.  THAT IS THE COLOR OF NIGHTFALL  AT THE END OF THE DAY, WHEN WORK IS OVER.

WHEN THE BASIC MEDICIINE WHEEL HAS BEEN MADE, EACH OWNER PUTS SMALL THINGS ON THE WHEEL THAT ARE IMPORTANT.  IF HE OR SHE IS FROM A CERTAIN CLAN  ~   SAY, THE BEAR CLAN  ~  THAT PERSON MIGHT WANT A BIT OF BEAR FUR  ATTACHED TO THEIR WHEEL.  IF A PERSON HAS HAD A DREAM OF BEING GUIDED BY THE SPIRIT OF THE EAGLE, THEN AN EAGLE FEATHER MIGHT DANGLE FROM THEIR MEDICINE WHEEL.  IN THIS WAY, MEDICINE WHEELS BECOME AS DIFFERENT AS THE PEOPLE WHO OWN THEM.
Do not all men have the same color blood?
Native American Ceremonial Mask
MASKS

Native Americans hold ceremonies at different times of the year.  Sometimes they are celebrating  a birth or marking a death.  Sometimes they are giving thanks for a good harvest.  Sometimes thay are asking for help from "spirit people" who look after their nation from the spirit world.

Many Native American nations use masks in their ceremonies.  Every mask means something, and every mask has a name.  A mask may represent the spirit of a certain animal that wil bring strength or good back to the nation.  Or it might represent the spirit of an ancestor.  Sometimes a mask represents a "dream spirit.:  This spirit came to the mask wearer in a dream.

Native Americans of the Northwest, the Inuit nation, use many masks when they dance in their ceremonies.  The spirits represented by their masks are called INUA.  They may show the spirit of the seal, the brown bear, the octopus, or such things as the Cold Weather Spirit or Earthquake Dancer.

Sometimes an Inuit mask fits only the front of the face.  But some fit completely around the dancer's head.  These are two-faced masks.  The spirit may be smiling on the front, but frowning on the back.

Other masks are a different kind of "double."  A dancer wearing one mask pulls strings attached to that mask.  Presto!  The mask opens up and reveals another one underneath!
Do not all men have a heart searching for love?
Native American Bead Work
BEAD WORK

MOST NATIVE AMERICAN NATIONS HAVE MADE JEWELRY AND ALSO DECORATED EVRYDAY OBJECTS WITH BEADS.  MANY NATIONS STILL DO.

BEADS ARE MADE INTO BEAUTIFUL NECKLACES, EARRINGS, AND OTHER ORNAMENTS.  THEY ARE ALSO SEWN ONTO MOCCASINS, CLOTHING, CARRYING BAGS, QUIVERS, AND EVEN SOME BASKETS!

IN ANCIENT TIMES, NATIVE AMERICANS MADE BEADS FROM SHELLS, STONES, BONES, AND EVEN POTTERY.  BUT MOST BEADS WERE MADE FROM DIFFERENT- COLORED SHELLS.

HOW WERE SHELL BEADS MADE?  FIRST A SHELL WAS BROKEN DOWN INTO SMALL PIECES.  THEN THE BEAD MAKER PUT A HANDHELD DRILL ON EACH PIECE.  THE BEAD MAKER RUBBED THE DRILL RAPIDLY BETWEEN HIS OR HER PALMS.  THIS WAS HOW A HOLE WAS DRILLED INTO EACH SMALL SHELL PIECE.

WHEN SEVERAL SHELL PIECES HAD BEEN DRILLED, THEY WOULD BE PUT ON A STRING.  THEN THE BEAD MAKER WOULD GRIND THE OUTSIDES OF THESE SHELL PIECES INTO ROUND SHAPES.

BEADS USED TO BE STRUNG ON TWINE MADE FROM PLANTS, OR ON STRING MADE FROM ANIMAL SINEWS.  NOW BEADS ARE STRUNG ON COMMERCIAL THREAD.

BEADS AND BEAD SHELLS HAVE ALWAYS BEEN TRADED AMONG DIFFERENT NATIVE AMERICAN NATIONS.  NATIONS THAT LIVED ON THE EAST OR WEST COASTS WOULD TRADE WITH INLAND TRIBES.

WHEN EARLY DUTCH SETTLERS FOUND THIS OUT, THEY LEARNED TO MAKE BEADS.  THEY TRADED THOSE BEADS, AND ALSO GLASS BEADS FROM EUROPE, FOR THINGS THAT THEY NEEDED FROM NATIVE AMERICANS!
Do not all men weep the same salty tears?
Native American Baskets
BASKETRY

BASKETRY IS THE WEAVING OF PLANT FIBERS.  NATIVE AMERICANS DID NOT WEAVE PLANT FIBERS ONLY FOR BASKETS.  THEY ALSO MADE FURNITURE, SUCH AS CRADLES.  THEY MADE CLOTHING, SUCH AS SANDALS AND HATS.  AND THEY MADE ARMOR AS WELL AS QUIVERS.

ALMOST ALL NATIVE AMERICAN NATIONS ONCE WOVE BASKETS.

THERE WERE MANY KINDS OF BASKETS.  NATIVE AMERICANS HAD BASKETS TO CARRY THINGS.  SOME BASKETS STORED GRAINS OR OTHER GOODS.  SOME BASKETS WERE MADE FOR HARVESTING CROPS.  AND SOME BASKETS WERE SO TIGHTLY WOVEN THAT THEY COULD HOLD WATER!

SOME NATIVE AMERICANS HAD "COOKING BASKETS."  FOOD AND WATER WERE PUT INTO THESE BASKETS.  THEN HOT STONES WERE DROPPED INSIDE.  THE WATER BECAME HOT ENOUGH TO BOIL ----AND COOKED THE FOOD.

MANY TIMES BASKETS ARE COVERED WITH DECORATIONS, DESIGNS, OR PICTURES.  SOMETIMES WE MAY SEE SOMETHING WE RECOGNIZE.  IT MAY BE A TURTLE OR A BIRD, A BEAR OR A BUTTERFLY, OR IT MAY BE A HUMAN FIGURE.

OTHER TIMES WE MAY SEE A DESIGN AND NOT KNOW  WHAT IT MEANS.  A JAGGED LINE COULD STAND FOR LIGHTNING.  A HOOP WITH A DIAMOND PATTERN INSIDE IT MAY BE THE DESIGN FOR A RATTLESNAKE!

MANY NATIVE AMERICAN NATIONS NO LONGER WEAVE BASKETS.  ONE NATION, THE TAHONO O'OTAM NATION IN SOUTHERN ARIZONA, STILL DOES.  THEY MAY MAKE AS MANY AS 30,000 BASKETS A YEAR.

ONE FAMOUS DESIGN HAS THE FIGURE OF A HUMAN AT THE TOP, AND A MAZE-LIKE PATTERN AROUND IT.  THIS REPRESENTS I'ITOI, AN OLD MAN WHO LIVED ON A MOUNTAIN.  HIS HOME WAS SO HARD TO GET TO THAT NO ONE COULD FIND IT!
Do not all men share a dream?
Native American Kachina Dolls
KACHINA DOLLS (TIHUS)

THE HOPI NATION HAS ALWAYS LIVED IN NORTHEASTERN ARIZONA.  HOPIS LIVE ON THE TOPS OF "MESAS," OR FLAT-TOPPED MOUNTAINS.  THESE NATIVE AMERICANS WERE HARD TO REACH, SO THEY WERE USUALLY  LEFT ALONE BY EUROPEANS

THIS MEANS THAT THE HOPI  WAY OF LIFE  WAS NOT UPSET BY EUROPEAN CUSTOMS.  AND THEY DID NOT HAVE TO MOVE ONTO A RESERVATION IN A NEW LAND.

KACHINAS HAVE BEEN PART OF THE HOPI CULTURE FOR MANY HUNDREDS OF YEARS.

KACHINAS ARE SPIRITS WHO LIVE IN THE SPIRIT  WORLD AND LOOK AFTER THE HOPI NATION.  THEY ARE NOT WORSHIPPED.  THEY ARE PARTNERS WITH THE HOPI, HELPING TO KEEP THE NATION HEALTHY AND HAPPY.

KACHINA SPIRITS PLAY A PART IN MANY HOPI CEREMONIES.  HOPI MEN DRESS IN KACHINA COSTUMES AND DANCE IN THESE CEREMONIES.  THEY TAKE ON THE PERSONALITY OF THE KACHINA SPIRIT  WHOSE COSTUME THEY WEAR.  SOME KACHINA SPIRITS ARE CLOWNS.  BUT THEY ARE NOT LIKE CIRCUS CLOWNS.  THEIR BEHAVIOR MAY SOMETIMES SEEM FUNNY.  BUT THEY DO NOT DO THINGS ONLY TO MAKE PEOPLE LAUGH.

BY ACTING IN CRAZY WAYS, KACHINA CLOWNS SHOW HOPIS WHAT THEY SHOULD NOT DO!  CLOWNS MAY BE RUDE, FIGHT WITH ONE ANOTHER, TALK TOO LOUDLY, MAKE FUN OF PEOPLE, PRETEND TO SET FIRES, OR EAT TOO MUCH.

WOMEN, AND CHILDREN UNDER TEN YEARS OLD, ARE NOT ALLOWED TO WEAR KACHINA COSTMES.  BUT THEY NEED KACHINA PROTECTION, TOO.  SO KACHINA DANCERS HAND OUT DOLLS CALLED "TIHU" TO THEM.  THEN THEY, TOO, HAVE SOME OF THE KACHINA SPIRIT.

TIHU ARE DOLLS, BUT THEY ARE NOT TO PLAY WITH.  THEY ARE PROTECTIVE SPIRITS.  HOPI HANG TIHUS INSIDE THEIR HOUSES.

THE ZUNI NATION ALSO MAKES KACHINA DOLLS.  ZUNI TIHUS ARE TALLER AND THINNER AND THEY HAVE MOVABLE ARMS AND LEGS.
When will all men realize they must live in harmony?
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