Students build, learn history of dream catchers

Cassie Buchman, Staff Reporter

Students gathered at 7th Street Underground to make dream catchers at the University Board’s annual “Make Me a Dream Catcher” event Tuesday evening.

There were only a few people there at the beginning, but as the night progressed, so did the attendance.

Jessica Ashley, the cultural arts coordinator for UB, said the night was to inform people on the history of the dream catcher, along with teaching people how to make them.

“It’s not just because it’s a pretty thing to have on your bed or in your window,” Ashley said. “But it doesn’t hurt that they’re pretty to look at.”

The dream catcher, according to a sheet provided to the attendees, is a Native American tradition intended to protect sleeping individuals from negative dreams.

The positive dreams slip through a hole in the middle of the dream catcher, while the negative dreams get caught in its web of string. These bad dreams die when the rays of the sun touch them.

Students got their own mini dream catcher kit when they walked in the room, along with diagrams showing the kinds of dream catcher patterns they could make. The kits were filled with feathers, beads, and instructions on making the dream catcher. There were also buckets filled with multi-colored beads and feathers for people to choose from.

Many who attended were already familiar with dream catchers at the event.

“I have a whole collection at home, and I miss it,” Cassy Hodge, a senior communication studies major, said. “(This event) is neat because it reminds me of home.”

Hodge said she believed in the power of the dream catcher.

“They do help me. I’ve noticed this semester they’ve helped me sleep better,” she said. “I have a slew of dream catchers on my wall, and with them, I don’t have nightmares.”

Joniqua Sanders, a freshman theatre major, said all she knew about dream catchers was they helped people sleep better.

“I just can’t get to sleep. I’ve never had a dream catcher before, but as soon as I heard they can help you sleep better I was all over it,” Sanders said.

Trace Wade, a sophomore health studies major, also had his first experience with dream catchers there.

“I’ve heard they help you sleep, so I’ve never owned my own, so I guess I’ll find out,” he said.

Treasure Cunningham, a junior communication disorders and sciences major, had a good experience with dream catchers.

“My sister told me that it helped her out in the past.” Cunningham said. “She was in a car accident, and then got a dream catcher and she felt like it was extremely good luck, and it helped her. She still has one in her car today.”

There were several people struggling with their craft, though they still managed to have a good time.

“The glue doesn’t want to stick to the features,” Wade said.

Paige Shu, a freshman biological sciences major said it was much more difficult than she originally expected.

“I’m just watching, trying to see what they’re doing, and follow the directions,” Shu said.

Ashley went around the room, helping those who were struggling to finish making their dream catcher.

Unlike some of the others, Shu was a bit more skeptical about the power of the dream catcher.

“I don’t know if I necessarily believe in what they’re supposed to do,” she said. “I feel like I still have my share of bad dreams in my life, but I have them in my room at home.”

Cassidy Garrin, a sophomore sociology major, said she thought the dream catcher could help her.

“They’re magical,” she said.

Cassie Buchman can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]