Gullah cultural preservation plan could boost heritage sites

A new plan meant to help coastal residents sustain their African roots could bring more attention and federal money to Beaufort County preservation groups.

The Gullah-Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission released a 272-page document this month, setting the groundwork for preservation and public recognition of Gullah Geechee heritage. The commission was formed to recognize contributions made to U.S. culture and history by African slaves who worked on the plantations that made South Carolina one of the wealthiest American colonies.

For nearly two decades, Hilton Head native islander and commission member Emory Campbell and others have labored to pass along traditions handed down for generations — such as basket making, boat building, storytelling and net weaving.

“During that time span, a renaissance of widespread interest and acceptance of Gullah-Geechee culture, art forms, and economic ventures emerged,” said Campbell, author of “Gullah Cultural Legacies.”

But for those ventures to thrive — and for Gullah folklore, arts, crafts and music to survive — better coordination is needed among state and local governments and public and private interests along the corridor, he said. Commission chairman and St. Helena resident Ron Daise said the report can be used to help weave together Gullah heritage groups.

Read the rest of the story in the Island Packet.


via: The Island Packet