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Gullah Virtual Library

Discovering the Gullah Culture

The Gullah people of the Lowcountry are descendants of the enslaved Africans from West and Central Africa, and their rich cultural legacy endures. The Gullah (sometimes called Geechee) corridor extends from North Carolina to northern Florida including both the mainland and sea islands.

According to Gullah expert Dr. Emory Campbell,* the Gullah have preserved much of their African language and cultural heritage in part due to isolated living conditions. Gullah artistic traditions such as music, storytelling, folktales, crafts, basket making or “sewing” and rice-based foods encompass strong influences from West African Cultures.

Gullah Traditions Endure

Gullah artists such as basketweavers, dancers, storytellers, and singers carry on traditions brought to the Lowcountry. For example, coiled sea grass basketry has survived in America for 300 years, and these baskets are now recognized as an art form. Gullah spoken language, folktales and stories as well as spirituals and gospels are passed down from generation to generation.

The Gullah Virtual Library

This Virtual Library was designed to provide educators with resources such as videos, lessons plans, handouts, and digital content. These tools aid in the study of Gullah history while allowing students to experience Gullah arts and culture.

Dr. Emory Campbell

*Former Penn Center Director, former chair of the Gullah - Geechee Corridor Commission, co-author of the new book “Gullah Days: Hilton Head Islanders Before the Bridge 1861-1956” and a past member of the Arts Center’s Board of Trustees.

Daufuskie Island Virtual Gullah Tour with Sallie Ann Robinson

Gullah History and Culture Presentation
Gullah History and Culture Study Guide
Gullah Recipes

The Significance of Adinkra Symbols in Gullah Art with Amiri Farris

Preserving the Art of Sweetgrass Basket Sewing with Michael Smalls & Dino Badger

Artist Bios Michael Smalls and Dino Badger
Sweetgrass Word Search
Exploring Printmaking through African Symbols and Textiles Lesson Plan
Understanding How Symbols Communicate Stories and Meaning Presentation

Gullah Tales with Anita Singleton Prather

Exploring Gullah Folktales through Puppetry
Gullah Folktales Presentation

What Tabby Ruins Reveal about Gullah History with Dr. Emory Campbell

STEM Activity Engineering Tabby with Rice Cereal Lesson Plan
Hilton Head Island Cultural Trail Map
Tabby Slave Cabins: Tabby Demonstration
Archaeological History of Tabby
Heritage Library Presents: Our Storied Island
Penn Center

A Visit to the Gullah Museum with Storyteller Louise Miller Cohen

OCA - Gullah Celebration Video

A Sweet, Sweet Basket

by Margie Clary

Circle Unbroken

by Margot Raven

Gullah Days: Hilton Head Islanders Before the Bridge 1861-1956

by Dr. Emory Campbell

This project is funded in part by the South Carolina Arts Commission which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Additional support is provided by the Winthrop Family Allendale/Hampton Fund which is managed by Coastal Community Foundation of S.C.