February Book Display

In honor of Black History month and South Carolina's Gullah and Geechee communities and people, the book display focuses on the Gullah communities and their relationships with rice, cooking, language, poetry, arts, and crafts, including sweet-grass basket making.

Poster of Rice Trunks, water flow control mechanisms for rice fields.

Rice Trunks

The South Carolina Wildlife Magazine Executive Editor, Joey Frazier lent the South Carolina State Library the poster Rice Trunk, made by Jessica Elmore, and also took some time to discuss with us rice trunks and how ducks use old rice fields today.

Gullah Geechee Reading List

Cover of Gullah Branches, West African Roots

Gullah Branches, West African Roots

Ronald Daise

Documents the lifestyles, customs, superstitions, and lore of cultures from which the Gullah sprang. Ronald Daise lovingly weaves poetry, personal experience, spirituals, and stunning visuals, to connect the Gullah culture to West African values and traditions and the African Diaspora of three hundred years ago.

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Cover of Hoodoo Medicine - Gullah Herbal Remedies

Hoodoo Medicine: Gullah Herbal Remedies

Faith Mitchell

In relatively few pages, this book tackles an extraordinarily involved question: How does a culture develop its unique approach to healing? Author and medical anthropologist Mitchell provides us with insights by examining the medicinal practices of the Gullah people of the South Sea Islands who settled off the coast of South Carolina. The Gullah people are African-Americans descended from slaves who developed a distinct dialect and folk heritage due to their unique geographical isolation. Since as late the 1960s these islands were unreachable except by boat, so the Gullah learned to rely on herbal remedies for the treatment of illness, both physical and spiritual.

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Cover of Daufuskie Island - Photographs

Daufuskie Island: Photographs

Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe

With 110 photographs, many never before published, Daufuskie Island is a clarion call to preserve the remnants of island life and the culture of the rural south.

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Cover of Porgy


DuBose Heyward

 This fascinating book gives a vivid and intimate insight into the lives of a group of American negroes, from whom Porgy stands out, rich in humour and tragedy.

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Cover of Africanisms in the Gullah Dialect

Africanisms in the Gullah Dialect

Lorenzo Dow Turner

A unique creole language spoken on the coastal islands and adjacent mainland of South Carolina and Georgia, Gullah existed as an isolated and largely ignored linguistic phenomenon until the publication of Lorenzo Dow Turner's landmark volume Africanisms in the Gullah Dialect. In his classic treatise, Turner, the first professionally trained African American linguist, focused on a people whose language had long been misunderstood, lifted a shroud that had obscured the true history of Gullah, and demonstrated that it drew important linguistic features directly from the languages of West Africa. Initially published in 1949, this groundbreaking work of Afrocentric scholarship opened American minds to a little-known culture while initiating a means for the Gullah people to reclaim and value their past. The book presents a reference point for today's discussions about ever-present language varieties, Ebonics, and education. For readers today the book offers important reminders about the subtleties and power of racial and cultural prejudice. In their introduction to the volume, Katherine Wyly Mille and Michael B. Montgomery set the text in its sociolinguistic context, explore recent developments in the celebration of Gullah culture, and honor Turner with a recounting of his life and scholarly accomplishments.

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Cover of Stories & Poems of a Gullah Native

Stories & Poems of a Gullah Native

Elijah Heyward

As a child of the 1960s, Elijah Heyward, Jr. saw life unfold with dramatic change where he was raised on Lady's Island in Beaufort, South Carolina. The decade began with the Civil Rights era fast gaining momentum. It ended with hopes of equality and justice for all as Jim Crow laws were being defeated throughout the South. It was an era that birthed a greater sense of self-identity and awareness for black youths. Serving as a bridge from the past to the present, Elijah Heyward, Jr. penned "Stories & Poems of a Gullah Native" as a tribute to trailblazers of the best the human spirit can achieve by putting these noble personalities, historical events, and personal recollections into prose and verse.

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Cover of WEBE Gullah-Geechee - Cultural Capital & Collaboration Anthology

WEBE Gullah/Geechee: Cultural Capital & Collaboration Anthology

Marquetta L. Goodwine

WEBE Gullah/Geechee Cultural Capital & Collaboration Anthology is the second anthology compiled by Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation (www.QueenQuet.com). This historic work details interdisciplinary research within the Gullah/Geechee Nation. Ethnography, anthropology, science, history, and literary contributions and analysis all come to life within these pages. This book not only provides the history of the evolution of the Gullah/Geechee culture, but also focuses on the issues of leveraging cultural capital in the current human rights movement of the Gullah/Geechee Nation. This anthology tells the living story of the Gullah/Geechee. Disya da who webe!

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Cover of Gullah Images - The Art of Johnathan Green

Gullah Images: The Art of Johnathan Green

Jonathan Green

Beaufort, S.C., native Jonathan Green's colorful, vibrant canvases paint the world of his childhood among the Gullah people of South Carolina's barrier islands.

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Cover of Gullah Cuisine

Gullah Cuisine: By Land and By Sea

Charlotte Jenkins

Marion Sullivan: Culinary Institute of Charleston -- A World the Gullah Built: William Baldwin-A writer's view from the roots up ; Charlotte Jenkins-A Gullah chef's beginnings ; Frank Jenkins-Coming up Gullah -- Dark to Dark: the Gullah life -- The Recipes: Basics, appetizers, soups & stews, meats, game, seafood, vegetables & sides, rice dishes, quick breads, desserts, beverages -- Closing: Frank in closing ; Charlotte in closing -- Index of recipes.

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Cover of Sweetgrass Baskets and the Gullah Tradition

Sweetgrass Baskets and the Gullah Tradition

Joyce V. Coakley

The ancient African art of Sweetgrass basket making has been practiced for more than 300 years in the Christ Church Parish of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. Seen on the roadways of Charleston County and in museums and galleries worldwide, these unique handmade baskets are crafted from Sweetgrass, bullrush, pine needles, and palm leaves. Traditionally, artisans use a piece of the rib bone of a cow and a pair of scissors as their only tools for construction. When English settlers founded Christ Church Parish in the late 1600s, they saw a place rich in natural beauty and ideal for harvesting rice, cotton, and indigo. Skilled agricultural laborers were needed, and consequently, South Carolina became the top importer of enslaved West Africans. Finding a landscape similar to their homeland, those who came kept many of their traditional practices. Today, the richness of the West African presence can be seen in Charleston's architecture, basketry, and ironworks.

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