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. Pictured above: South Carolinian Anita Singleton-Prather keeps the storytelling tradition alive on this side of the Atlantic Ocean.
Storytellers in West Africa have always been respected members of their communities. Today, Gullah storytellers like Anita Singleton-Prather 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.
Native Islander (na.tive is.land.er) n. - one of the original inhabitants or lifelong residents of the Sea Islands.
folklore (folk.lore) n. - the traditional stories, sayings and culture of a group of people.
storytelling (sto.ry.tell.ing) n. - the art of telling or writing stories, usually of historical or cultural value.
Gullah (gul.lah) n. - one of a group of people of African ancestry that live in the Sea Islands and coastal areas of South Carolina, Georgia, and northern Florida; the creolized language of the Gullahs, based on English and several other African languages and spoken in Sea Island communities.
trickster (trick.ster) n. - a figure in myth or folklore, often an animal, that deceives people as a joke or form of entertainment.
descendant (de.scen.dant) n. - a person whose ancestry can be traced to a particular person or group.
West Africa (west af.ri.ca) - the region of western Africa between the Sahara Desert and the Gulf of Guinea.