When the world itself was young, an elder spiritual leader of the Native American Lakota tribe had a vision while on a high mountain. He saw an ancient spirit (Ikomi) in the form of a spider. This spirit was a teacher of natural wisdom and he was holding a willow hoop with feathers on it, beads, and other offerings worked in it. He spun a web in the centre of the dream catcher and told the elder leader about the cycles of life and the importance of following the good forces not the bad forces in order to keep the natural world in balance and in harmony.
The web in the willow hoop was a way to filter out the bad forces and to hold onto the good forces. The bad forces would get caught in the web and disappear with the morning light. If the dream catcher was hung above a sleeping person, the good dreams, visions, and ideas would pass down the web onto the feathers and into the person’s own dreams.
In this way, it became a tradition to hang a dream catcher above a baby’s sleeping place or above a child to ward off bad dreams, filtering in the good and keeping out the bad. Larger ones would be hung in lodges for all people. In this way, the people would know how to keep harmony in the natural world around them by staying connected to the good forces.