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We come from a proud people, a rich heritage and a deep culture, the Geechee/Gullah culture.

From colonial times to the present day, the coastal islands of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida have harbored a unique culture that originated with the transportation of African slaves from the Gold Coast of West Africa.  They were bought here to work on the cotton plantations and develop extensive rice crops. The enslaved Africans included those from Gambia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Nigeria, and Angola.  The Sea Islands served as an excellent location for the Geechee/Gullah culture because of its separation from the mainland. The culture itself has survived over the past and present generations by elders passing down the culture, language, and traditions to their children.  From its music and crafts to religion and social customs, the culture reflects important aspects of the African homeland.  

It is believed that the word "Gullah" is derived from Angola and that the word "Geechee" is derived from a tribal name in Liberia.  The language is an English-based Creole language.  It is known an oral language because enslaved Africans were denied further educational opportunites to advance their language skills.  The language has linguistic links to West Africa (Sierra Leone) and to the English Carribean (Barbados).  Unlike most other African American dialects, the language still retains grammar and punctuation elements of African languages while incorporating English vocabulary.  Today Gullah is used to refer to the total cultural continuity, which includes language patterns, culinary and medicinal customs, folkways, spiritual practices, and other traditions.  Geechee on the other hand has been most often used to describe African Americans native of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.  

Most Geechee/Gullah people are either Baptist or Methodist (including AME) and follow all Christian beliefs.  There is a strong belief in the spirit world as an extension of their faith.  For example, folktales are often accompanied by the wearing of masks and with singing and dancing.  Even today, in visiting any of the Sea Islands you would be likely to see shutters painted bright blue to keep out the evil spirits, women with covered heads on their way to church, and no work being done on Sunday.  In terms of values it is the custom of the culture to believe strongly in a set of values which identifies the community as the focal point and the foundation on which it is built. 

All of these things have contributed to the culuture being deemed as an art form that serves as the link between African and African Americans, now you can see why we have so much to be proud of.