These Trees Have Secret Native American Codes (16 Pics)
Before roads and cars, before electricity and the internet, all we had to depend upon was nature.
Over 400 years ago, before European settlers ever reached these shores, thriving tribes of Native Americans lived upon the land.
In order to live and work efficiently, these tribes needed a way to navigate their land and communicate with one another.
Called "marker trees," or "trail trees," saplings were carefully bent by a local Native American tribe, forcing them to grow in unnatural shapes.
These formations communicated a special message to the tribe members. This tree stands upon a geographical divide, said to mark the boundary between two local tribes. Hence the reason it points in opposite directions.
Like highway exit signs, these trees would have pointed tribespeople to water sources, medicinal plants, and special burial sites.
They were also used to indicate safe-crossing points at rivers, rock or mineral deposits for tool-making, and the burial sites of their ancestors.
The shapes of the trees varied depending upon the tribe and the message being relayed.
These guideposts were essential to the Native Americans' way of life. It was a necessary means of communication in the sprawling forests of North America.
Native Americans were experts at following animal trails, but these did not guide the tribespeople to sites needed for human survival and comfort.
Trail trees are typically made from those of the hardwood family, such as oak, maple, and elm.