Tuesday, June 19, 2012

BENT TREES

This mysterious tree is located on my property near Hayesville, NC.  It may be an Indian Trail Tree because the "nose" seems to point toward Hyatt Mill Creek.

According to Don Wells, president of the Mountain Steward's Organization, Native Americans bent trees to mark trails, point toward streams, creek crossings, campgrounds, or ceremonial sites.  He presented a program on these mysterious trees at Moss Memorial Library in Hayesville, NC on Saturday, June 9, 2012.

He explained that Indian Trail Trees are also called Marker Trees, Thong Trees, Signal Trees, Prayer Trees, and Culturally Modified Trees (CMT).  The Natives Americans also peeled bark from Medicine Trees and carved symbols on Witness Trees.

Wells presented a power point presentation.  He said US soldiers removed the Cherokee Indians from southeastern US in 1838-1839. He added that the Native Americans bent trees on the Trail of Tears.

"The Indian Trail Tree Project has documented 1,885 bent trees (as June 2012) in 39 US states," said Wells.  His organization has discovered several of these trees in Clay County, NC.

For more information, contact:  http://www.mountainstewards.org/.

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