From African Spirit Catcher to American Folk Art Emblem: The Trans-Atlantic Odyssey of the Bottle Tree

Graham, Richard
January 1993
Corners of Texas;1993, p130
This chapter describes the bottle tree in the U.S. Elements and ideas incorporated into bottle trees suggest the efficacy of its magical properties. On the trees the throats of the bottles are likely to be greased with fat to facilitate the capture of evil spirits fatally attracted to the colored glass. Once sucked inside, it is believed that the spirits cannot escape, the morning sun sealing their fate. When a strong wind whips through the bottle tree causing it to emit a low, aeolian whistle, folk belief explains that it is the death moan of imprisoned spirits.


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