Ron & Natalie Daise
Well known for bringing Gullah culture to national and international television audiences via Nickelodeon’s “Gullah Gullah Island,” Ron and Natalie Daise have devoted much of the twenty years to recovering, performing, and publishing information about the rich history of Lowcountry African-Americans.
Writer, vocalist, lecturer, and storyteller, Ron Daise is a South Carolina native who, after studying at Hampton Institute, returned home to mine the depths of his own culture. With his wife, who hails from Syracuse, New York, he has tirelessly performed “Sea Island Montage,” an outgrowth of his 1986 book, Reminiscences of Sea Island Heritage.
Drawing on stories culled from oral histories conducted with elderly Sea Island residents, the two perform nearly forgotten spirituals, and tell tales of “seekin’religion” in the wilderness, of folk medicine belief and of “the hag.” Strong and effective advocates for the importance of recognizing Gullah language and culture, the Daises have ensured that people around the world will know about a corner of our state. Ron and Natalie Daise received the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award in 1997.