Wednesday, May 12

The Bottle Tree Man, Art & Music Inspired

Ever since I lived in the Mississippi Delta I was mesmerized by the bottle tree. I didn't know what it was, just that it was beautiful. It's even more enchanting when you know the legend behind it...

In Africa the kongo tree altar is a tradition of honoring deceased relatives with graveside memorials. The family will surround the grave with plates attached to sticks or trees. The plates are thought to resemble mushrooms, calling on a Kongo pun: “matondo”/”tondo” [the kongo word for “mushroom” is similar to their word “to love”]. During the slave trade this tradition migrated to the southern United States where the slaves would place bottles in trees in hopes that the evil spirits would go into the bottles and be trapped. Once the evil spirits were trapped the slaves would cork the bottles and throw them into the river to wash away the evil spirits. (

The Bottle Tree Man, Dudley Pleasants, has uniquely combined his artistic talent with his musical talent offering the "Delta Blues Blessing." When you order a bottle tree he will install and play his harmonica to bless it! Learn more about Dudley's story and how he has become The Bottle Tree Man in the video that aired on the Mississippi Roads episode on February 4th.

Check out for more information about The Bottle Tree and how to order one for yourself!

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