The earliest inhabitants of North America lived on vast, untouched terrain. Much of the land was covered with trees, and people made their homes in the dense forest. Native Americans who lived hundreds of years ago knew these woods very well, but still needed a way to mark the territory so their people knew which direction to go.
As it turns out, they actually solved this problem with a brilliant method that can still be seen today. You just have to know where to look!
Their solution was simply brilliant.
All across the North American continent you can find strange trees, which are bent near the base of the trunk.
The trees were some of the first navigational tools used before there were paved roads.
Called “marker trees,” they were deliberately bent and manipulated as saplings to set them apart from other trees.
This allowed them to be used as landmarks to tell people where they were and which direction they should go.
The trees marked the territories of different tribes and signaled geographical divides.
They also informed people about other important points of interest.
These included water sources and burial sites.
They trees also marked safe places to cross rivers.
The shapes of the trees varied, which could also give people important information about the marker.
Some shapes were only used by specific tribes.
Other shapes pointed to a specific landmark or purpose.
Most of the trees are made from trees like oak, maple, and elm.
They were bent early on in their growth.
This way, the unique shape would stay permanently in place as the tree matured.
Eventually, the European settlers adopted the marker trees as well.
The trees were crucial for the early peoples of North America.
And today, they stand as reminders of these inhabitants’ resourcefulness and creativity.
There is something undeniably beautiful about these subtle reminders of the country’s past life.
So the next time you see a tree that’s bent at the bottom, take a closer look. It might have been put there on purpose, and you could be standing next to link to the past!