On Friday, March 16 at 6:30pm, The Compleat Naturalist nature store in Asheville’s Historic Biltmore Village welcomes Don Wells, author of the newly-released book Mystery of the Trees. It is the never-before-told story about the curious, oddly-shaped “trail trees” that were used by Indians to guide themselves across the North American continent. The book covers six years of work in documenting a part of the cultural heritage of the Indians that is rapidly disappearing.
The methodology of bending the trees and their meaning are part of what has been lost. Wells said, “Probing the evidence will allow us to recover, explore and preserve this fascinating part of Indian culture.” In less than six years, bent trees have been documented as existing or previously existed in 39 states. Some of these trees clearly marked Indian trails. GPS and digital topographic technology are being used to correlate trees with known Indian trails and village sites.