Celebrating Gullah Heritage, Hilton Head

07-Feb-2011 Although it had its origins in slavery, the history and culture of the inhabitants that call Hilton Head Island and the Lowcountry coastal region of South Carolina “home” is an inspiration to all Americans. Living simply just as they did more than a hundred years ago, these people, whose ancestors are known as the Gullah subscribe to high religion and the celebration of spiritual redemption in leading their daily lives.

The original Gullah were African slaves who were shipped across the Atlantic from West Africa to work the cotton plantations of the South. While plantation owners built their fortunes upon slave labor, the slaves were able to create something of their own -- the unique culture that is now known as Gullah. With that culture came a thriving mix of language, folktales and superstition, a mix that has shaped generations of families who live on Hilton Head Island and in the Lowcountry today.

Today, the descendant of West Africans who 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 customs of their ancestors through the sewing of sweet grass baskets, the weaving of casting nets and the preparation of traditional Gullah food.February 1st through 28th 2011, Native Island Business and Community Affairs Association, Inc. (NIBCAA) will host the Gullah Celebration which showcases the rich cultural heritage of the Gullah people and their history on Hilton Head Island. This year’s Celebration events include an Art Exhibit and Sale, Arts Crafts and Food Expo, Taste of Gullah, Gospel Concerts, Youth Musical, the Marsh Tacky Horse Race and more. We invite you to come and celebrate Gullah on Hilton Head Island where your soul will be transformed by the spirit of the Gullah Culture.

For additional information regarding events, group ticket sales, and brochures, contact 843-815-2147 • Gullah Celebration info • visit www.gullahcelebration.com

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