Today it could be a garden-art or just a nice ornament tree, while centuries ago this nice looking decorated tree with bottles was an old African tradition and belief.
Metaphorically, a tree is a symbol of family connected to a homeland.
Traditionally bottles are placed on the branches of a crepe myrtle trees upside down with the neck facing the trunk. The image of the myrtle tree recurs in the Old Testament, aligned with the Hebrew’s escape from slavery, their diaspora and the promise of the redemption of their homeland.
Bottle colour are usually blue – the colour of water and sky (The blue bottle tree is found only in Central and West Africa and in the Southern United States).
It was believed that evil spirits, ghosts, wondering during the night close to the homes, could be captured by the bottles and after, destroyed by the rising sun next morning.
It is said, when the wind blows across the open mouths of the bottles, the whistling sounds are said to be the moans of the spirits trapped inside.
Bottle trees are charming and the old story behind them makes the trees more attractive and mysterious, don’t you agree?