Date: May 1, 2021
Time: 10am – 1 pm
Place: ICC North Lawn
What: Bottle Tree Build
Why: Celebrate spring and bring in good energy to our community
How: Save your bottles
Who: All are welcome to join, help, and advise as the tree grows
Have you seen bottles on trees, or sticks, or posts and thought
“what is that?” , “how beautiful!”, or ‘ why?!’ Well members of
the ICC want to build a bridge between - the year we’ve had
and the years of community to come at ICC -
with Bottle Tree Art\Folklore Project
~ All are welcome and encouraged to participate~
* Covid protocol will be followed for this event. As of this writing Benton County is in the High Risk category.
Bottle tree history is rooted in the cradle of civilization, African, Southern folklore, and tradition.
A bottle tree is a post or trunk with branches that are decorated with bottles that are open downward, towards the trunk.
Glass bottles began circulating through Africa, Egypt, and Mesopotamia in 1600 BC. The belief that spirits could live in these bottles quickly followed.
have a long history of spiritual, cultural, and aesthetic significance in American history and garden design. The folk art tradition of creating bottle trees carried over to the people of the Congo starting in the ninth century. African people brought the tradition of bottle trees with them when the slave trade began in the 17th century. In the US, bottle trees started in the Old South and spread to Appalachia.
One of the more common interpretations is that they protect the home, field, or garden by catching evil spirits, which are attracted to the bottles by their bright colors. Once inside, the sunlight destroys the spirit. Other interpretations suggest the spirits are trapped inside the bottles in the evening. Then, the morning sunlight destroys them. If you pass by and happen to hear the wind blowing across the bottles, it is thought to be the sound of the spirits trapped inside. Bottle trees have also been thought to bring rain, luck, and to make trees bloom.
Intrigued? want participate? Here is how:
• Save an empty bottle or two and contribute to the ICC Bottle Tree. Drop the bottle off at ICC in the bottle box on the porch anytime before 10am May 1 installation.
• If you want, attach a label explaining what evil spirit you hope to catch with it (see history above).
• A colored glass bottle about the size of a wine bottle is good
• Cobalt blue is the traditional color, but any color, or clear is fine. You can also make a colored bottle by swirling paint in a clear bottle.