The Gullah Festival Of South Carolina – A cultural history

August 22, 2010 by Anwar Mehdi  
Filed under Activities

The Gullah Festival Of South Carolina

Although it had its origins in slavery, the history and culture of the inhabitants that call Hilton Head Island and the Lowcountry coastal region of South Carolina “home” is an inspiration to all Americans. Living simply just as they did more than a hundred years ago, these people, whose ancestors are known as the Gullah subscribe to high religion and the celebration of spiritual redemption in leading their daily lives.

The original Gullah were African slaves who were shipped across the Atlantic from West Africa to work the cotton plantations of the South. While plantation owners built their fortunes upon slave labor, the slaves were able to create something of their own — the unique culture that is now known as Gullah. With that culture came a thriving mix of language, folktales and superstition, a mix that has shaped generations of families who live on Hilton Head Island and in the Lowcountry today.

The Gullah are known for preserving more of their African linguistic and cultural heritage than any other African-American community in the United States. They speak an English-based creole language containing many African loanwords and significant influences from African languages in grammar and sentence structure. The Gullah language is related toJamaican Creole, Barbadian Dialect, and the Krio language of Sierra Leone in West Africa. Gullah storytelling, cuisine, music, folk beliefs, crafts, farming and fishing traditions, all exhibit strong influences from West and Central African cultures.

In addition to attending the annual Hilton Head Island Gullah Celebration held each February, which gives visitors the opportunity to share in rich cultural traditions and crafts, such as the Gullah basket weaving; while in town, they can also visit Mitchelville – the first freed Negro township; Gullah Heritage Trail – Hilton Head Island; Ibile Indigo House – a working studio where visitors learn the tradition of West African indigo-dye processes and products; Zion Chapel of Ease – Hilton Head’s oldest cemetery; Queen Chapel AME Church – established in 1860 as a “praise house” for Pope Plantation slaves. When on a south carolina vacation, this is one of the best activities to partake in.

Hilton Head Island visitors can immerse themselves in Gullah culture year round with a visit to De Gullah Creations. Located in Shelter Cove Mall, this unique consignment store is a cultural co-op owned and operated by the native Gullah community and is dedicated to improving the economic condition of the Gullah community and to providing a unique showcase for the talented artisans who celebrate and capture low country life.

The Gullah Festival Of South Carolina

The Gullah Festival Of South Carolina

A history of the Gullah people

Practically the 500, 000 Gullah stay among Jacksonville, North carolina and The town of jacksonville, Sarasota nowadays. This kind of five-hundred kilometer stretch across the Atlantic Sea well as over and also between your Rivers that encompass that is home to the particular descendants with the Africans introduced to the Carolina Nest beginning in the past due 1500s. They will reside across the interstates and also passages which sometime meander close to and also contact the edges regarding Interstate 92 and also Highway teen. For nearly several hundreds of years, their particular lifestyles are economically and also politically stuck just using this location as well as the “cash crops” required for the achievement may it be rice or even tourism. Locations close to Wilmington, North carolina, Georgetown and also Charleston, South carolina, Savannah and The city of jacksonville, Sarasota figure plainly within the Gullah tale from the beginning in order to right now.

Their source and also background began about Cameras dirt. Through the slave buy and sell, captured Africans, meant for American farms, were frequently maintained inside keeping cellular material over the Gulf Photography equipment coastlines. This forcible detention introduced a good unprecedented large number of diferrent Africans collectively below a single area as well as formed the foundation for the describe as well as structure associated with exactly what grew to become which is referred to as Gullah tradition. .

From the middle of the 18th century, these Africans centered the actual slave work force. They took over as muscle and brain behind the particular rice and silk cotton industries in which once layered the seas of the Carolina Slave Coastline. Their knowledge of farming, grain, hemp cultivation, with their work, produced the actual Gullah probably the most desired as well as sought after work from the agricultural To the south. These types of Gullah servant maqui berry farmers created their particular masters a few of the wealthiest business people inside pre-Civil War The usa.

It is well-liked belief that the title Gullah is often a distortion of the name Angola, a part that offered several 40% with the slaves delivered to as well as sold on the Charleston slave marketplace. Nevertheless, several members from the Gullah neighborhood often relate the particular name while using before American account of the Golas as well as the Gizzis, a couple of cultural organizations living in close proximity to Liberia through the Photography equipment slave buy and sell. People of these organizations had been also captured and sold in vast quantities. Africans from their area along the Windward Coast moved into via Charleston and have been nicely symbolized within the servant human population.

Not too long ago, slaves set aside the particular title concept Gullah for certain members of the communities. The name was not used within the common method it is employed nowadays. In those days, it was used much more being a deal with or even prefix since was the truth regarding Golla Jack inside the Denmark Vessey Conspiracy theory associated with 1822. Until this very day, the similarities in the Cameras and also United states names of these organizations, the Golas (Gullah) and also the Gizzis (Geechees), may be the foundation with the significance added to whether or not one is known as Gullah or perhaps Geechee today.

The actual Gullah represent one of the earliest culture groupings making it through as well as residing in our midst these days. They’re recognized for their contributions to the growth, development as well as success with the Rice and also Marine Isle silk cotton sectors from the servant interval. During the early days associated with liberty, their own under compensated work led towards the re-growth and recuperation with the area they will lived on. From the the particular 1940s, the change coming from agriculture to travel and leisure built them into the particular master labor force in and of the actual hospitality industry, the main revenue in every express exactly where these people reside in good sized quantities nowadays.

In the 21st century, the 500-mile region the location where the Gullah live is actually country wide acknowledged as decreasing in numbers property right within our process.