First Pamela Whitehorse had her dream catcher featured on the silver screen. This spring, a larger version will grace a wall in the new Dejope Residence Hall on the UW-Madison campus.
“I think that one will be the biggest dream catcher I’ve made,” said Whitehorse, who lives in Stoughton. “I’m really excited about that.”
Whitehorse’s dream catchers became popular when a small one was featured in the worldwide blockbuster “New Moon” in 2009 as part of the wildly successful “Twilight” saga of novels by Stephenie Meyer.
In the movie, Jacob (the American Indian werewolf) gives Bella (a human who loves the vampire Edward) a dream catcher to thwart her recurring nightmares caused by heartbreak over losing Edward. The gift — not part of the book — appears in a few scenes throughout the movie.
Dream catchers are Native American crafts designed so bad dreams are caught in the webbing while the good dreams filter down through the beads and enter the life of the dreamer.
Whitehorse’s grapevine dream catcher for Dejope, a Ho-Chunk word for “Four Lakes,” is about 30 inches and took about 20 hours to make. The catcher features hand-stitched feathers, and Whitehorse, who is a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation, said she positioned four identical shells within the catcher to represent Madison’s four lakes.
Whitehorse estimates she’s made about 600 3-inch dream catchers since hers was featured in “New Moon” — quite a jump from the three or four per year she used to make.
And while she made about 75 this Christmas, “it has tapered off quite a bit,” she said. But “it has been a great adventure. The ‘Twilight’ saga has been just awesome.”