From our Friends at Mountain Stewards:
Finally, after years of working on this project, the book has been published and is on the market for sale. The “Mystery of the Trees” is a story about curious, oddly shaped trees that were used by Indians to guide themselves across the North American Continent, to trade, to hunt, to communicate with other tribes, to gather plants for medicines and more.
This book covers six years of work in documenting a rapidly disappearing part of the cultural heritage of the Indians. In the early 1900’s, some information about the trees was published, but then it languished in archives. It remained below the radar for years. Through interviews with tribal elders and extensive research the story can now be told. The Indian Trail Trees are sacred to the Native Americans and their preservation is very importance. Although, many of these trees can live to be 300 to 600 years old, some are near the end of their lives. Others, unfortunately, have been destroyed by urban development or vandals.
The meanings of these trees are not completely known and may never be known since most of those who know are all but gone. Some of these trees are found marking old Indian Trails. Others point to water, shelter, stream crossings, medicinal plant sites and more. The techniques for bending a tree into a particular shape, for the most part, have also been lost. However, these “living artifacts” are a testimony to the skills and knowledge of the Indian people as they lived their lives with the idea of being one with nature.