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The Gullah Culture It’s not just a language— it’s a way of life.

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Presentation on theme: "The Gullah Culture It’s not just a language— it’s a way of life."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Gullah Culture It’s not just a language— it’s a way of life.

2 Where did they come from?  The Gullah population was imported from many regions in AFRICA –Senegal Rice –Sierra Leone Coast –Angola –Nigeria Gold Coast –Congo

3 Where did they go?  Sea Islands of South Carolina  Coast of North Carolina  Coast of Georgia  Coast of Florida

4 Why were they brought?  Their expertise of RICE cultivation –The climate of South Carolina was perfect for RICE cultivation. –The RICE plantation owners knew very little about RICE cultivation. –The owners paid a higher price for the slaves from Africa because of their expertise.

5 How many were brought?  40,000 Africans were brought to America as slaves  By the 1700’s, the Gullahs dominated the slave labor force in America  By 1708 there were more slaves than there were white people.  The owners had to keep importing the slaves because they were the best!

6 What did they bring? 1.Expertise in RICE cultivation 2.Their culture 3.Diseases –Yellow Fever –Malaria The slaves were immune to these diseases, but the white plantation owners were not. but the white plantation owners were not.

7 How were they different from other slaves?  They used the TASK system –Slaves were assigned to a certain task. –When slaves were done for the day, they could do their own thing.  Usually gardening, fishing or hunting.  This helped them supplement their food ration. –This system was unique to the RICE plantations  Not the GANG system –This system was used on the tobacco and cotton plantations. –All the slaves worked together until all the work was done for the day.

8 How were they different from other slaves?  They were isolated from the white plantation owners –Whites were not immune to disease, so they had little contact with the whites. –The plantations were left under the supervision of “foremen” or “drivers” during certain seasons. –They lived an ISOLATED life on the islands which has allowed them to keep so many of their African cultures preserved.

9 What is the Gullah Language?  It is an English based Creole language –A Creole language is an amalgamation (combination) of different languages  The British were the powerhouse of the slave trade. –This Creole language was developed so they could communicate with the slave traders in Africa –It spread from Senegal down the coast of Africa.

10 The Language  Lorenzo Turner –The first person to study Gullah –A Black American who was able to win the confidence of the Gullah people –Found that Gullah was not “Broken English” –Found that is was a mixture of 19 different African languages and the English language.  Sierra Leone dialect has the biggest influence.

11 Examples of Language  A few Gullah phrases –Shut mout’ = secretive or withdrawn –Mah head leab me = I forgot  Let’s listen… –  English words with Gullah influence –Goober –Gumbo –Tote – to pick up –Yam

12 Gullah Traditions  Medicinal –Spider webs –The stamp  Folklore –Hags –Fish –Hair –Blue doors  Dead –When someone dies  Drum  Mirrors  Gravesite  Meal  Spiritual –Ladies in church –No work on Sundays

13 Gullah Music & Religion They go hand in hand  Christianity –This was “fit in” to the voodoo, juju religion they had in Africa. –Used spirituals as confirmation of Christianity  Spirituals = life music –Very emotional – joy, hardships, hope –Used to pass down traditions orally –Coded messages – can communicate with each other secretly –Kum by yah, ma Lawd = Come by here, my Lord  Praise Houses Let’s listen to it: al.html al.html

14 More Gullah Music  Call and response -  Shouts – –A capella –  slave owners banned drumming –Begin with shuffling feet, clapping and stomping  Used to keep musical beat –Sets the Gullah apart from others –After slavery, many people refused to sing shouts. Gullah music is the root of a lot of popular music today: R&BHip Hop CountryGospel RapJazz & Blues

15 Gullah Art Strip Quilts Storytelling Uncle Remus and Brer Rabbit Net Making – Long standing tradition brought from AfricaLong standing tradition brought from Africa Used for fishingUsed for fishing Sweetgrass Baskets

16 Gullah Food  The Gullah have a HUGE impact on Southern Culture –Gullah foods we eat today  Peanuts  Sweet Potatoes  Okra  Black-eyed peas  Collard Greens  Sesame Seeds

17 Popular Gullah Dishes  Frogmore Stew Hoe Cakes Perlo Swimp n Grits

18 How did they become free?  The Sea Islands of the Low Country fell under Union control early on in the Civil War –Served in the Union Army –The Port Royal Experiment –Landowners  Many of the plantation owners still didn’t know how to grow rice, so they sold tracts of land to the freed slaves. –Laborers  They worked for low wages, which was integral for the recovery of this region after the Civil War.

19 Port Royal Experiment  Federal Government program established to help transition slaves from slavery to freedom. –Leaders were Quakers and abolitionists. –Churches helped this movement.  Penn Center – –Established in June 1862 –Oaks Plantation House –First teachers – Laura Towne & Ellen Murray

20 Where are they now?  The Gullah culture is –one of the oldest culture groups surviving and living today. –The 500 mile stretch in the Low Country is NATIONALLY recognized as endangered. –Endangered  Development of tourist industry  Sweetgrass basket industry –Celebrated  Heritage Days celebrates Gullah culture and the Penn School history.

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