Geometric Dream Catcher

Early 20th Century Portraits Preserve the Heritage of Native Americans

In what he perceived as a race against time, due to the American expansion and the intervention of the federal government, photographer and ethnologist Edward S. Curtis spent more than 30 years documenting Native Americans and their traditions. In 1906, with the sponsorship of J.P. Morgan, Curtis undertook the production of what was set to be a series of 20 volumes with 1,500 photographs of Native Americans. Originally, five years was designated to the project, but its ambitious scale pushed Curtis well beyond the deadline. Under the original terms of the sponsorship, Morgan paid out $75,000 over five years in exchange for 25 volumes and 500 original prints. This was enough for Curtis to purchase his initial equipment to make the arduous voyages to each tribe, but money quickly grew scarce.

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Dreamcatcher Meaning: History, Legend & Origins of Dream Catchers

What is the meaning and history behind the dreamcatcher? You’ve probably seen a dream catcher hanging from a tree, a porch or even in a souvenir shop and wondered about its purpose and meaning. Learn more about the story and the legend behind the origins of the dream catcher.

Originally created by American Indians, dreamcatchers today come in a variety of different sizes and styles. They usually consist of a small wooden hoop covered in a net or web of natural fibers, with meaningful sacred items like feathers and beads attached, hanging down from the bottom of the hoop. Real authentic, traditional dream catchers are handmade and crafted only from all natural materials, measuring just a few small inches across in size. The hoops are usually constructed of a bent Red Willow branch covered in stretched sinews. Wrapping the frame in leather is another common finishing touch for “real” dream catchers.

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