Dreamcatchers are an authentic American Indian tradition from the Ojibway (Chippewa) tribe. A dreamcatcher is a based on a hoop (traditionally of willow), on which is woven a net or web of sinew in a somewhat similar pattern to how the Ojibway tied webbing for snowshoes. A "dream-catcher" was hung in the sleeping area as a charm to protect children from nightmares. A legend holds that a dreamcatcher filters a person's dreams, letting through the good ones and trapping bad dreams in the web. Some believe that a dreamcatcher can help us remember our dreams.
Dreamcatchers are often decorated with personal and sacred items such as feathers, totems and beads. While these additions may make a dreamcatcher appealing and add to them as a work of art, it is suggested by some that such ornaments are not appropriate on dreamcatchers used for "catching dreams" as they could interfere with the spiraling motion of the web and can cause disturbing dreams.
Generally, a dreamcatcher is suspended near the place where you sleep, on the wall, or perhaps from a lampshade or bedpost.
Also Mandala, is similar in shape to a dreamcatcher but it usually has no web. Instead, the hoop is filled with yarn, feathers, fur and usually has feathers hanging from the bottom. Mandala is something you hang for prosperity and good fortune on a door or wall inside your office, home, hogan, or tipi.