They definitely felt religious to me too. They reminded me of Tibetan prayer flags or something, but they're obviously solid. I'm bookmarking the link for later, when my kids are less crazy!
EDIT: Interesting. Here's the relevant portion from that blog post.
"Past these doubled gates are smaller torii of two leaner posts and a uniting rope, upon which hang something akin to Japanese ema — wooden charms found at Shintō shrines. These types of gates are called shime torii, and are often hung with fetishes or other religious implements. A phenomenon called kanjo nawa exists in rural parts of Japan, in which shimenawa are strung across the borders of villages in order to protect from spirits and other supernatural entities that would cause harm.  In Breath of the Wild, the ropes carry a series of small wooden planks, potentially derivative of many Japanese cultural artifacts, from the emamentioned above to nafudakake (name plates in memoriam or to pay thanks to patrons at temples). More simply, and this is perhaps more likely, they are wind chimes, as they are unmarked by any symbol or script. These small planks are cut into two different sizes, and most are painted, though some remain the natural color of bamboo. Fascinatingly, the choice of color in paint reflects the color of the traditional torii: vermillion. So while the torii of the village are left in their natural state, the wooden chimes of the village hearken back to the color-schemes of traditional Japanese gates. These chimes hang together in small clusters, rattling gently in the breeze, producing one of the best features of the village: the small, rain-like patter of wooden chimes in the wind. These shime torii are not simply found at the entrances to the village however, but cascade throughout the very air of the village, hanging over places both sacred and earthly: they overhang paths and houses, but also stretch over the guardian statues of the village, as well as over the statue of the Goddess Hylia herself."