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Gullah Culture

Gullah Culture Libguide for Performance

Who are the Gullah Geechee?

The Gullah Geechee are descendants of enslaved West African people who worked on coastal plantations from North Carolina to northern Florida.

A Taste of Gullah

What is Gullah Geechee Culture?

Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Logo

The Gullah Geechee are the descendants of African people who were enslaved on coastal plantations stretching from Wilmington, North Carolina, to St. Augustine, Florida. Newly freed black people who settled in the region after Emancipation are also Gullah Geechee.

In the Carolinas, these people and their culture are known as Gullah. In Georgia and Florida, they are called usually referred to as Geechee.

Gullah Geechee people have retained many African customs, including religious beliefs and traditions, music, foodways, and words and phrases from African languages. 

The Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor was established by the U.S. Congress in 2006. It includes 79 barrier islands, and communities as far as 30 miles inland on the mainland. The Corridor is managed by the National Park Service.

In Georgia, the Gullah Geechee culture spans from the Savannah area down to St. Marys and surrounding communities. It includes difficult-to-access islands such as Sapelo and Cumberland, and many popular tourist and resort areas such as St. Simons and Jekyll islands.