Gullah Tales

Native Islanders share their folklore and history through storytelling and singing. Gullah storytellers often perform folktales that feature animals as the main characters. Much like tales heard in Africa, the smaller animals often outsmart the bigger ones. A good example is the trickster named Brer Rabbit. He is a direct descendant of Cunnie Rabbit, the clever character in African folklore. 

Storytellers in West Africa have always been respected members of their communities. Today, Gullah storytellers like Anita Singleton-Prather (Aunt Pearlie Sue) carry on this tradition of acting out characters by changing their voice and making animated facial expressions. During a live performance, one storytelling technique is to get the audience involved by asking them to repeat words.

Play the interactive stories or watch the video-based stories below.

 

Type
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)
Gullah Net - Teacher Resources
Gullah Net - Teacher Resources

Document

Gullah Net along with its host, Aunt Pearlie Sue, was designed to introduce Gullah culture and language to children on the Web. These suggested lesson plans and activities are designed for...
Gullah Storybook
Gullah Storybook

Lesson

The goal for this project is to create an electronic storybook to teach younger students about Gullah. The storybook should be a multi-sensory, interactive experience for young readers so that they...

Jealous Bragging Turtle in English | Gullah Tales
Jealous Bragging Turtle in English | Gullah Tales

Interactive

Students will read and listen to Aunt Pearlie Sue’s animated English version of the traditional folktale "The Jealous Bragging Turtle." Stories teach a moral or explain the origin something in nature...