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Delta Themes
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Expressing Cultural Values

The Lower Mississippi Delta Region is known worldwide for its richness of cultural expression. Delta music, architecture, literature, art, and food reflect many groups' adaptations to the physical environment of the region and convey the area's special sense of place.

  • Music is a language that interprets life in the Lower Mississippi Delta in a way that no other mode of expression can. The blues were born in the Delta, and gospel, ragtime, rhythm and blues, rock and roll, country, and zydeco flourished there. Music from the Delta has had a significant impact on musical forms around the world.
  • Delta architecture reflects the region's diverse cultures. French and Spanish-influenced architecture is visible in New Orleans while the Greek Revival, Queen Anne, and Italianate Revival or "Villa" styles can be found in many areas throughout the Delta region. Plantation architecture, including the spatial relationships between the large, classically proportioned plantation houses, slave quarters, and outbuildings, is the most visible symbol of the antebellum south, illustrating a time when "cotton was king."
  • Literature and art from the Delta symbolize the region's sense of place. The region's land, water, and climate form the subject or backdrop for much of the art and literature created in the Delta. Kinship, family, tragedy, melodrama, and class differences have long given rise to written expression in the Delta.
  • Food is a primary form of expression throughout the Lower Mississippi Delta Region, revealing the cultural diversity of the area.


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Last Updated: March 14, 2001