Neolithic Sites in Western Europe
Images and Ritual Meanings


"Clouties" in Trees next to Chalice Well, Glastonbury, England

This photo shows colored ribbons tied on tree branches near Chalice Well, Glastonbury. They are reminiscent of "clouties," strips of cloth that one sees tied to trees and shrubs near sacred wells throughout Cornwall. The cloutie is taken from a garment that covered a part of the body which needs healing. It is tied to a tree or shrub near a healing well. According to folk belief, when the cloutie disintegrates, the indicated body part will be healed. These colored ribbons are likely symbols of healing intentions left by pilgrims at the well. Like all healing rites at the site, they indicate a belief in the healing power of the well and its water.

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