Monday, January 28, 2008

Bottle Tree Love

Bottle Trees are prominently featured in my novel. I love them. I am fascinated by their beauty and their deep connection to Africa. I have one bottle tree-small and pretty. Now I want others- taller and bigger. I want Bottle Trees that people can see as they drive by my house. I have been sketching plans to build them. You can buy them at places like but the quilter in me is demanding that I try to build my own. So, sometime this spring I’ll be at Home Depot buying wood and calling on my wine drinking friends.

For those who don’t know what bottle trees are here is the basic description:

The West African tradition of placing bottles and other luminous objects on trees as adornment, a practice that has thrived through the African Diaspora and is now predominately found in the southern region of the United States. The bottle tree tradition holds that spirits are attracted to the bottle and are trapped inside. When the winds blow, the low howl emitted from the bottles is said to be the sound of those spirits inside.

A deeper description is located at the website below:

An absolutely beautiful article by Susan Lee Travis called Roots, Reflections and the Blue Bottle Trees is on the Travis House Graphic website. Take a look it will probably make you want to build your own Bottle Tree.

A blog called Deep Fried Kudzu also has direction on making a bottle tree from an old christmas tree.


Shauna Roberts said...

I may have mentioned this before, but after federal levees broke in New Orleans, some people started bottle trees as a symbol of hope and rebuilding, and as a way to beautify yards in which every living thing had died under the waters of the flood.

Josephine Damian said...

I seem to remember a movie that showed bottle trees.

Shauna: love that it was used as a symbol of hope post Katrina.

Lafreya! The Queen! Not sure you saw that once again, you made the cut in my contest crits.

I think out of all these contests, you're the only one I've given high praise to each time. Not even my man, Conduit can make that claim.

I predict great things ahead for you, my dear, and much success.

Carleen Brice said...

I love this! I have swept yards and speaking to the ancestors in my wip. I can't wait to read your book!