What dreams reveal about different cultures. Anthropology adds another dimension to the bigger conversation.
by Cory Rosenberg
Dreamcatchers in a breeze, Monument Valley, Utah. The inner web of a dream catcher pulls in bad dreams at night and discharges them during the day. The dangling feathers allow good dreams to trickle down to the person sleeping.
Image Credit: Photograph by Jane Rix/Shutterstock
We tend to think of our dreams as being uniquely personal — nighttime narratives built from our own experiences that help us process our day-to-day lives.
While dreams can give us a glimpse into the rich tapestries of our personal selves, anthropologists have culled data that suggests dreams weave their way into our cultural fabric, manifesting themselves in ways that shape societal beliefs and reveal collective anxieties.
When the Society for Psychological Anthropology held its biennial conference in April in Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico, anthropologists specializing in psychology and dreams explained their cultural dream research.
It was a discussion that not only showed how culture and dreams are intertwined, but also the differences across various cultures, according to Psychology Today.