Gullah refers to a group of African Americans who live on sea islands and in the coastal areas of South Carolina, Georgia and northern Florida. The term refers to the people, their language and culture.

The Gullah people are descendents of slaves brought from the Winward Coast of West Africa.

Today, they carry on the traditions of their African ancestors through craft (basket sewing, net making, pottery, woodcarving), cooking, music, storytelling, medicine and religious belief.

Where to See It:

Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture
Free at the College of Charleston
125 Bull Street
Charleston, SC 29424
Phone: 843-953-7609
Carrier, T. (Producer), & Boulware, D. (Director). (1990)., Family across the sea. [Videotape]. USA: South Carolina ETV.
The Native Islander Gullah Celebration festival
(Native Island Business and Community Affairs Assocation, Inc.)
(usually in held February)
Admission Fee
21 Cardinal Road, Suite 105
Hilton Head, SC 29926
Phone: 877-650-0676
Phone: 843-682-3742
Penn Center Heritage Days festival
(Penn Center, Inc. )
(usually held in November)
Martin Luther King Highway (Route 45)
St. Helena Island, SC 29920
Phone: 843-838-2474

Where to Read More About It:

Boling, K., (2002). New year be coming!: A gullah year. Morton Grove, IL: A. Whitman.
Branch, M. M., (1995). The water brought us: The story of the gullah-speaking people. New York: Cobblehill Books/Dutton.
Goodwine, M. L. (Ed.)., (1998). The legacy of Ibo Landing: Gullah roots of African American culture. Atlanta: Clarity Press.
Jones-Jackson, P., (1987). When roots die: Endangered traditions of the sea islands. Athens: University of Georgia Press.
Twining, M. A., & Baird, K. E. (Eds.)., (1991). Sea island roots: African presence in the Carolinas and Georgia. Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press.
Island Packet
Read archived news articles about Gullah activities in a Hilton Head Island, SC newspaper. From the home page, type "gullah" in the Search box, select Archive from the drop down menu, then hit the Search button.
Gullah Net
(South Carolina ETV (
Read about the history and culture of the Gullah people and hear the Gullah language spoken.
Special Resource Study: Low Country Gullah Geechie Culture
(National Park Service)
Read about the role of the National Park Service in preserving and interpreting the Gullah/Geechie culture.
pdf icon The link above requires Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you are unable to view or download this article, get Acrobat Reader here.

Last Modified: Monday March 23, 2009 11:47 AM