They are native islanders with a culture, history, and language all their own.
Next month is your chance to learn about the Gullah Geechee, what they mean to Hilton Head and our entire community.
Celebrating and honoring the spiritual thread that binds the African ancestors to the Gullah of today.
That’s the goal of the 2020 Gullah Celebration, the 24th annual on the Island.
Some of those ties can be seen in a special art exhibit all month long.
The gallery at the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina is playing host to a dozen different artists who use their talents to express Gullah culture.
Their paintings are designed to show the struggles, the sorrow and the joy of the native islanders who shaped Hilton Head.
It is just part of a month-long celebration which also includes history tours at Mitchelville Freedom Park, traditional music and Gullah food.
Organizers say they are proud that they can honor their ancestors year after year.
“A lot of persons don’t know what the Gullah culture is,” explains Cora Miller, Organizer of the Gullah Celebration Art Exhibit. “So we with the celebration each week and these things we are expressing, like the storytelling. They are telling the story of the culture, the history that is here already on the Island. the foods, the arts, the people the language and once the elders pass on if we do not continue to carry it on it is a dead language.”
The art exhibit kicks off with a reception Thursday night which is open to the public starting at 6:30 and will be open every day through February 29.
All the paintings, sculptures, and jewelry are for sale.
This is just the beginning of a month-long celebration.
From the Gullah Celebration website:
Today, the descendants of West Africans that were brought to the coastal islands of South Carolina and Georgia in bondage are striving to preserve a way of life. Gullah is more than simply the language and name of a people. It encompasses the essence of struggle, spirituality, perseverance, and tradition. The Native Island Gullah People adhere to the custom of their ancestors through the sewing of sweetgrass baskets, the weaving of casting nets and the preparation of traditional Gullah food.
NIBCAA has hosted the Hilton Head Island Gullah Celebration, since 1996, which showcases the rich cultural heritage of the Gullah people and their history on Hilton Head Island. This year’s Celebration events include the “Arts Ob We People Annual Art Exhibition and Sale”, “Taste of Gullah”, Arts, Crafts, and Food Expo, Gullah Gospel Music Series, the Sweetheart Ball with Deas Guyz and more! We invite you to come and celebrate Gullah where your soul will be transformed by the spirit of the Gullah Culture.
For more information about all the events: