19th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest The American Experience
Lucious Spiller and bottle tree, Clarksdale, MS 2020

Like most performing artists, blues musician Lucious Spiller had very limited opportunities for work during the pandemic. He is seen here at Hopson plantation outside Clarksdale, MS in the heart of the Mississippi Delta. Behind him is a large bottle tree made by artist Stephanie Dwyer. Bottle trees originated in the Congo in the 8th Century and their use migrated to the new world with enslaved Africans. It is believed that the colorful bottles capture evil spirits and offer protection.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 07.2020
Date Uploaded: 11.2021
Photo Location: Clarksdale, Mississippi, United States of America
Copyright: © william steber