Gullah traditions are the customs, beliefs and ways of life that have been passed down among Sea Island families. Making sweetgrass baskets, quilting, and knitting fishing nets are a few of the crafts that parents and grandparents teach children. Folklore, stories and songs have also been handed down over the years. Many of the traditions that have been preserved by the Native Islanders have origins in West Africa.
The annual Gullah Festival is held in Beaufort in May. This is just one of the events held throughout the year to celebrate Gullah traditions in South Carolina. It's a chance to see craft demonstrations, hear stories and music, and taste delicious food. Traditional recipes include seafood dishes and Low Country favorites such as hoppin' john, sweet potato pie and benne wafers.
The York W. Bailey Museum at the Penn Center on St. Helena's Island and the Avery Research Center at the College of Charleston have year-round exhibits that provide a firsthand look at Gullah culture and the link to African and African-American people.
ABOVE PICTURE: "Uncle Sam Polite" knits a fishnet and teaches students at the Penn School in 1910. From the Penn School Collection. Permission granted by Penn Center, Inc., St. Helena Island, SC.
traditions (tra.di.tions) n. - customs, beliefs and ways of life that have been passed down from one generation to the next.
Sea Islands (sea is.lands) - a group of islands off the coasts of South Carolina, Georgia and North Florida.
sweetgrass basket (sweet.grass bas.ket) n. - a coiled, handmade basket made of sweetgrass.
craft (craft) n. - a job or activity needing skill and experience, especially in making objects like baskets or quilts.
preserve (pre.serve) v. - to keep something the same or prevent it from being damaged or destroyed.
Native Islander (na.tive is.land.er) n. - one of the original inhabitants or lifelong residents of the Sea Islands.
origin (o.ri.gin) n. - where something begins or comes from.
West Africa (west af.ri.ca) - the region of western Africa between the Sahara Desert and the Gulf of Guinea.
hoppin' John (hop.pin john) n. - brown field peas cooked with rice; eaten for good luck.
benne wafer (ben.ne wa.fer) n. - a cookie made with sesame seeds and eaten for good luck; introduced by slaves from West Africa.
- 3-2 The student will demonstrate an understanding of the exploration and settlement of South Carolina.
- The inhabitants of the early Carolina colony included native, immigrant, and enslaved peoples. To understand how these various groups interacted to form a new and unique culture, the student will utilize the knowledge and skills set forth in the follo...
- This indicator was written to promote inquiry into the unique development of ethnic, political, and religious identities in the New England, Mid-Atlantic, and Southern colonies.
- This indicator was developed to promote inquiry into how South Carolina developed as a result of the relationship among various ethnic, political, and religious groups.
- This indicator was written to promote inquiry into the role of mercantilism in the growth of agriculture, early industry, harbor development, shipping and trade, and slavery in the British colonies.
- This indicator prompts students to inquire about how geography influences economic activities around the world. Economic livelihoods may be expressed by agriculture (subsistence, commercial), industry, and services.
- This indicator prompts students to inquire about different ways to represent the distribution of various cultural characteristics, like belief systems, clothing, food, and shelter, and the varied ways in which people make a living in different world r...
- 3.4.2.HS Investigate the economic and land use characteristics of places and regions around the world.
- 3.4.1.PR Investigate the cultural characteristics of places and regions around the world.
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Las tradiciones de Gullah son las costumbres, creencias y formas de vida que se han pasado entre las familias de Las Islas del Mar. Hacer cestas de pasto dulce, colchas y redes de pesca de punto son algunas de las artesanías que los padres y abuelos les enseñan a los niños. El folclore, las historias y las canciones también se han transmitido a lo largo de los años. Muchas de las tradiciones que han sido preservadas por los nativos isleños tienen orígenes en África Occidental.
El Festival Gullah anual se celebra en Beaufort en mayo. Este es solo uno de los eventos que se celebra durante todo el año para celebrar las tradiciones gullah en Carolina del Sur. Es una oportunidad para ver demostraciones de artesanías, escuchar historias y música, y probar comida deliciosa. Las recetas tradicionales incluyen platos de mariscos y platos favoritos de Low Country como el hoppin' john, pastel de batata y obleas de benne.
El Museo York W. Bailey en el Centro Penn en la Isla de Santa Elena y el Centro de Investigación Avery en el Colegio de Charleston tienen exposiciones durante todo el año que ofrecen una visión de primera mano de la cultura Gullah y el vínculo con los pueblos Africanos y Afroamericanos.
IMAGEN DE ARRIBA: "Amable Tío Sam " teje una red de pesca y enseña a los estudiantes en la Escuela Penn en 1910. De la colección de la Escuela Penn. Permiso otorgado por Penn Center, Inc., St. Helena Island, SC.