Folk Narrative | Digital Traditions

Throughout the South, storytelling is a particularly rich form of verbal folklore. Stories can be sacred or secular, serious or funny, long or short, and performed by children or adults. Storytellers can be found on front porches, the corner store, the family dinner table - anywhere people tend to gather. Storytelling is not restricted to one particular culture group. Native American, African American, and EuroAmerican narrative traditions have deep roots in the South. In addition, much of the traditional music in South Carolina has a powerful storytelling aspect. Blues music usually incorporates storytelling into the song structure, as does much of the gospel, country, and ballad music performed from the hills of the upstate to the marshes along the coast.

Content is provided by McKissick Museum, University of South Carolina.

Type
Agnes Brown Photos | Digital Traditions
Agnes Brown Photos | Digital Traditions

Photo

West Africans brought to the South Carolina and Georgia coasts as slaves settled on geographically isolated plantations whose owners often were absent. Such conditions allowed lowcountry slaves to...
Anita Singleton-Prather | Digital Traditions
Anita Singleton-Prather | Digital Traditions

Photo

Anita Singleton-Prather is an entrepreneur, Gullah scholar, entertainer, and master storyteller. She brings Gullah culture to countless people through “Aunt Pearlie Sue,” a character inspired by her...
Bossy Elephant in English | Gullah Tales
Bossy Elephant in English | Gullah Tales

Video

Gullah storytellers often perform folktales that feature animals as the main characters. Aunt Pearlie Sue tells the story of "The Bossy Elephant" in English. After listening, compare how the same...
Bossy Elephant | Gullah Tales
Bossy Elephant | Gullah Tales

Interactive

Listen to the interactive version of the Bossy Elephant in both English and Gullah. Storytelling performance by Anita Singleton Prather (Aunt Pearlie Sue)
Buford Mabry Photos | Digital Traditions
Buford Mabry Photos | Digital Traditions

Photo

Born and raised on a farm in the Stateburg area of Sumter County, Buford Mabry always told people there were two circumstances that mainly helped him become the storyteller he was. First was having a...
Carolyn White Photos | Digital Traditions
Carolyn White Photos | Digital Traditions

Photo

Having learned the art of Gullah storytelling from her parents and grandparents, Carolyn "Jabulile" White thought it only natural that she should share the stories with the community, and especially...