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A Southern Tradition


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#1 Mykiedave

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Posted 08 September 2003 - 05:08 PM

Does anyone have any good sources for information on Spirit (bottle) Trees? I know that they are still around in the South, but I am having trouble finding any info that isn't from a fictional work. Thanks.

Primarily:
Point of Origin?
Purpose?
Multi cultural uses?
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#2 CajunKnight

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Posted 09 September 2003 - 07:56 PM

Hope this helps a bit, I have seen numbers of these in the past and didnt know what they were for but had to go in search of the meaning.

"Once a common site in the Southern landscape, the bottle tree is now an increasing rarity as ancient folk beliefs and costumes fall from the common usage. The origins of the tree go back the ninth century. In the Congo, where hand-blown glass was hung on huts and trees as a talisman against evil, you can find the practice of removing the foliage from a tree (preferably a cedar, because of all the branches point heavenward) and placing the tree in the yard of the house. The bare branches are then covered with colorful glass bottles that attract any evil spirits that may be lurking near the house. The spirit becomes mesmerized by the play of sunlight through the colorful glass and becomes trapped inside the bottle. When the wind blows past them, the moans of ensnared spirits can be heard whistling on the breeze."


ok for some reason this first link is not working properly but if you copy it and paste to address bar then add   's%20yard.htm   to the end of it you can view the page

http://northbysouth......an's yard.htm

http://www.sherryaustin.com/gpage.html
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#3 Mykiedave

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Posted 10 September 2003 - 10:25 AM

Thank you for the info. I am fasinated by this for some reason. I can only imagine the sounds that would come form these trees, spirits or not. I wonder how they hold up in Hurricane season?
Growing old is mandatory... growing UP is optional.I didn't say it was YOUR fault, I SAID I was going to BLAME you.The nice thing about being Senile is, I can hide my own Easter Eggs.Posted Image

#4 secretsign

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Posted 10 September 2003 - 12:58 PM

Well I always wonder why they put those bottles on trees ???
Slainte mhor agus a h-uile beannachd duibh Good health and every blessing to you

#5 Mykiedave

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Posted 11 September 2003 - 10:18 AM

Did you visit the links Secretsign? They are pretty informative and have some nice clear pictures. I had read a fictional story about a mentaly imbalanced person who was doing the same thing with bags from grocery stores. He figured the different bags would confuse the evil spirits and trap them inside and the they would suffocate there. I'll try to find it if I can and post a link.
Growing old is mandatory... growing UP is optional.I didn't say it was YOUR fault, I SAID I was going to BLAME you.The nice thing about being Senile is, I can hide my own Easter Eggs.Posted Image

#6 secretsign

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Posted 11 September 2003 - 02:59 PM

I couldn't get to the first one but did the 2nd. That is very interesting info. I live in Kentucky and have seen them around these part all my life.I never would have thought they stood for anything except a some kind of folk art. I find them pretty and a neet way to store bottles.
I hope you can find that link. Ya'll got my interest going on these trees now and I just know I'm gona have to take a drive around some of these country roads to see if I can find some ;D
Slainte mhor agus a h-uile beannachd duibh Good health and every blessing to you

#7 CajunKnight

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Posted 12 October 2003 - 11:03 AM

As I stated in another post on a different thread I have taken a second job spraying for mosquitoes at night. While on one of my routes I have found a bottle tree and will return to get a photo or two of it to post here. It is a simple piece of art and is actually quite breath taking when you see it. And I have no idea how they weather the storms but I will definately watch this one and let you know how it holds together.

Now that I have seen this one I am considering constructing one of my own. So if some of my post seem to be coming out off a drunken tongue, it will be due to the excessive amounts of Sky vodka being consumed to complete this project. 8)
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#8 offdahook4now

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Posted 13 October 2003 - 09:38 AM

lol cajunknight ;D

I've never heard of this southern tradition, but it sounds very interesting.  I'm going to keep my eye on this thread, and maybe we'll find out more about these Spirit Trees.

Both my grandparents were born and raised in Harlan Co. Ky, also known as Bloody Harlan.  I'll ask my almost 89 yr old grandpa about it next time I visit.  He may know something about them.

#9 hawkerdriver

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Posted 13 October 2003 - 11:15 AM

The article also mentioned that these people painted  the wood around their windows and doors blue.  I'm wondering if that didn't in fact come from the native americans.  The Taos pueblo as well as other pueblo indians have been doing that since time began.  It's done to keep evil spirits out.
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#10 secretsign

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Posted 13 October 2003 - 03:30 PM

Both my grandparents were born and raised in Harlan Co. Ky, also known as Bloody Harlan.

Hey so were mine. we might be kinfolk ;D, But mine are gone to the other side.So I don't think I would get any info there ???
Slainte mhor agus a h-uile beannachd duibh Good health and every blessing to you

#11 offdahook4now

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Posted 13 October 2003 - 03:57 PM

secretsign... I bet we just may be related!  Seems most of the folks that lived in Harlan lived there for many generations.  I have my genealogy done back into the 1700's on some lines. I'll have to send you my genealogy weblink and let me know if you see any familiar surnames.

I don't know if it's allowed or not, but I'll try to post the link here.
http://www.geocities...651/mindex.html

#12 secretsign

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Posted 14 October 2003 - 05:14 PM

Oh my Stars! I'm gonna have to PM you! I think we may be related.
Slainte mhor agus a h-uile beannachd duibh Good health and every blessing to you




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