IF you’ve been at the souvenir shops around the island, you probably have seen these attractive round things with colored feathers and a web of colored yarn or twine crisscrossing in web-like patterns all over the ring like a trap with a small hole at the center.
If you haven’t seen a dream catcher before, you will think that they are just one of those regular door decorations ideal for souvenir or a gift.
Dream catchers are usually hung in the doorways. They look like a huge mischievous spider’s web, colorful feathers fluttering as they spin with the wind.
But I learned that there is more behind each dream catcher.
Dream catchers, also known as dream nets, are believed to snare your bad dreams and get them entangled in the sinewy threads while the good dreams slip through the center hole.
These were hanged above the cradle of the babies in the ancient Native American Chippewa tradition.
Go online and you will find several fascinating versions of the legend of the dream catcher.
The traditional dream catcher was intended to trap the negative and bad dreams in the web while allowing the good dreams to slip through the hole, slide down into the feathers and straight to where you were sleeping. You tend to forget the bad dreams with the rising of the sun.
Some enterprising artists in the islands came up with a new design. Instead of the tangled web with a hole in the center, they placed a corkboard material and painted it with scenic views of the islands. Saipan, Tinian and Rota are printed on one side.
I bought a medium-sized dream catcher a year ago and it’s still hanging from a nail in my bedroom wall. I later learned that you should give a dream catcher space to freely spin around, contrary to what I earlier did, but mine was the localized version of the dream catcher, with an attractive painting of huge waves and an island scene.
Though the idea of trapping the bad dreams in the tangled web is gone, the revised version is still a hit among tourists as gift or souvenir items.
“It doesn’t matter whether you believe in them (dream catchers) or not, but they look lovely hanging from the doors and even on cars,” one tourist said.
Dream catchers come in various sizes, costing from $4 and up, depending on the size and they are available in all main stores such as Joeten , Star Sands Plaza, and all other shops where souvenirs are sold on island.