Traditionally used as talismans to protect sleeping people, especially children and babies, from nightmares. Believed to have originated with the Ojibwe tribe of Native Americans, the tradition spread as various groups of tribes came together in the 1960s and 1970s.
A belief is that dreams, both good and bad, circulate in the air at night. Dreamcatchers are used to trap the good dreams and slide them down gently through the fluffy feathers to the sleeper below. Bad dreams, on the other hand, are caught in its protective net and disposed of at dawn.