People who identify as gullah or geechee represent the many ways that africans in the americas have held on to and amalgamated the traditions of africa with the cultures they encountered both during and after enslavement.
Gullah is a term that was originally used to designate the creole dialect of english spoken by gullah and geechee people over time, its speakers have used this term to formally refer to their creole language and distinctive ethnic identity as a people.
Based on english and african languages, gullah is also known as “geechee” in georgia around 250,000 people speak gullah today a brief history of hilton head’s gullah people in the decades following the american revolution, cotton growing became an extremely lucrative industry in hilton head. His research confirms the evolution of a new language based on west african influences and english many words in the coastal culture could be matched to ethnic groups in west africa, thereby linking the geechee/gullah people to their origins. Gullah cultural traditions: origins and practices by ramon jackson - photos by bob durand, jr, apg llc the gullah are a distinctive group of african americans whose origins lie along the coasts of south carolina and georgia, as well as the adjacent sea islands.
Origins of the gullah people and language there are a few theories as to the origins of the word “gullah” some historians believe that the word is derived from “gola”, a group of people who live on the border of sierra leone and liberia. These had hundreds of laborers, with african traditions reinforced by new imports from the same regions over time, the gullah people developed a creole culture in which elements of african languages, cultures, and community life were preserved to a high degree.
Gullah people now organize cultural festivals every year in towns up and down the lowcountry the gullah celebration on hilton head island in february, the gullah festival in beaufort in may, and heritage days at penn center on st helena island in november. The gullah language is a testament to the adaptation, evolution and survival of the slave culture’s african heritage in the face of forced assimilation slaves came from many different countries and tribes and spoke many different languages. The gullah and geechee culture on the sea islands of georgia has retained ethnic traditions from west africa since the mid-1700s.
Gullah tradition and heritage the history and culture of the gullah people is well preserved by their descendants, still living throughout the sea islands of south carolina discover the time-honored traditions and heritage of a culture whose roots have shaped the lowcountry for more than 200 years.