In many Native American tribes, a dream catcher is a handmade willow hoop woven to a web or, literally, a net. A dream catcher also includes such features as feathers and beads. They are traditionally suspended on cradles as a form of armor and protection. Dream catchers can be traced back to the Ojibwes. The Ojibwe people started the phenomenon, and over time, dream catchers became adopted by other tribes, cultures, and even Nations. This adoption was made possible through the process of either intermarriage, trade, or both. Dream catchers became widely adopted by Native Americans in the 1960s and 1970s as a result of the Pan-Indian movement.
While dream catchers have become widely popular phenomena outside the Ojibwe indigenous people and even extended beyond the Pan-Indian communities, there have been multiple types of dream catchers. When one takes a good look at these dream catchers, you can still see that they bear some resemblance to the traditional ones. However, these resemblances are very little. There is still a wide gap between the original and the modern ones. These new styles are made, sold, and exhibited by the modern era, which is considered, by some, to be a violation of the culture, beliefs, and traditions attached to the traditional dream catchers. This has made it very daunting to find authentic dream catchers. In recent times, dream catchers have been said to be more American than Native Americans. They are made of cheap materials and usually oversize.