Native American Trail Marker Trees: Marking Paths Through The Wilderness

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9780979789281: Native American Trail Marker Trees: Marking Paths Through The Wilderness
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This exciting book, a beautiful combination of history and nature, has 264 pages with more than 250 color and black and white photographs, maps and sketches. Early on the author was inspired by local historians, scouting groups, and his own Native American relative. Later, in his thirties, he would begin to follow in the footsteps of anthropolgist and botanist at Northwestern University and the University of Chicago, Dr. Raymond E. Janssen. Janssen had traveled to thirteen states working with Native Americans and documenting the Trail Marker Trees from the late 1920's into the 1940's. The author has traveled to over forty states and five Canadian provinces, beginning his studies with the states that Janssen visited and then expanding upon the study from there. During his travels, he met with Native Americans, anthropologists, archeologists, and local historians. He has dedicated much of his life to photographing and researching the history of Trail Marker Trees. This is the first publication to focus in such detail on this unique form of land and water navigation used by the Native Americans and, later, the early pioneers

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About the Author:

Dennis Downes is a world renowned, award-winning artist and sculptor. The main body of Dennis' work has been inspired by research trips to ancient sites and to natural wonders across the Great Lakes region and beyond. Dennis' travels began at a young age, taking trips to visit his mother's people, the Basque Berriochoa clan living in the Idaho and Montana Rocky Mountain area. His travels have inspired both his paintings and his sculptures. Dennis currently works out of Northeastern Illinois as well as the Wilderness Coast of Ontario.

Review:

The bronze trail marker tree by Dennis Downes is a powerful reminder of a bye-gone era. As Chicago celebrate[d]its 175th anniversary in 2012, it is too easy to forget that for centuries and centuries before [now], this very same land was home to countless generations of inhabitants. They left their marks in the trees, some of which still survive to point out the paths that those people followed. Now, an important local artist has left a permanent representation of those trees. This artistic creation will help us to remember the people who were here first and the paths that they blazed. --Gary Johnson, President, Chicago History Museum

The sad reality is these trail marker trees are rapidly disappearing. It's to be expected of a living thing, especially one ancient, neglected and under attack by man and nature. We are lucky there are still many standing and (fingers crossed) a number to still be discovered. It is Dennis Downes who is passionately working to document their history and give life to their story. Someone must tell it before the remaining Tree Trail Markers slowly give up their spirit and rejoin the earth. --Janet Davies, WGN

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Dennis Downes
Published by Chicago's Books Press (2011)
ISBN 10: 0979789281 ISBN 13: 9780979789281
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Dennis Downes
Published by Chicago's Books Press (2011)
ISBN 10: 0979789281 ISBN 13: 9780979789281
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