Gullah Traditions | Gullah Net

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 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 - the region of western Africa between the Sahara Desert and the Gulf of Guinea.

hoppin' John ( john) n. - brown field peas cooked with rice; eaten for good luck.

benne wafer ( wa.fer) n. - a cookie made with sesame seeds and eaten for good luck; introduced by slaves from West Africa.



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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.