Today we don’t pay much attention on nature around us. We have GPS, maps, and all kind of tools, and gadgets to make our life easier. But have you ever wondered how people travel in the woods before the age of technology? The secret is in bent trees. Keep reading to find out how! Learn, and share this article just in case you run out of signal in the forest.
Bent Trees: The Oldest Navigation System
Native Americans valued the nature specially trees which had enormous significance in their everyday life. Moreover, they know every part of them. Even we could say that they know their uniqueness and soul.
Long time ago, when woods were natural livings space of Native Americans, trees with their unique forms, especially the way they are bent, were basic instrument for navigation.
The national American Forests website stated:
“Across the U.S., you can find trees that are oddly shaped. Their trunks have odd kinks in them, or bend at strange angles. While some of them may indeed be simple quirks of nature, most of these trees are actually landmarks that helped guide indigenous people on their way. Native Americans would bend young trees to create permanent trail markers, designating safe paths through rough country and pointing travellers toward water, food or other important landmarks. Over the years, the trees have grown, keeping their original shape, but with their purpose all but forgotten as modern life sprang up around them. Today, we may not need these “trail trees” to navigate, but their place in history makes them invaluable. Imagine the stories these trees could tell.”
However, There are many bent and oddly shaped threes given by the nature itself. However, there are few things that Native Americans did in order to divide the navigation trees from those made by Mother Nature. These trees can help lost wanderers find their way home. Moreover, many people who have seen these trees share the same instinctive response: this can’t be natural. Real answer is: No, they are not.
”Having the knowledge of these trail trees could mean the difference between life and death, between eating and starving, between crossing the river correctly or incorrectly” says Dennis Downes – a researcher of evidence that people used trees to create a navigational system of their own design.
The trees that are bend by Native Americans own a noticeable nose, or notch. They put a piece of tree into a hole to make the tree grow up around it. Also, there are noticeable scars from where the straps were placed when the trees were young.
Man-made Bent Trees: Do They Still Exist?
Being 150-200 years old, hundreds of these tree trail markers exist today spread all over North America. How can you find them? There are all tracked down in the Mountain Stewards [linkto: https://www.mountainstewards.org/project/internal_index.html] website. The site mapped out more than 1,000 bent trees all over the country and documented exactly where they were! But this trees are under threat. Soon they may become victims of our habits to destroy nature and be timbered…
I hope more people will start an adventure to find these bent trees, and orient in the forest with their help. Moreover, I am encouraging you to take a stand, and spread the awareness to protect these trees. After all, they have played in American history.