"My daughters live this. They became known as Gullah Geechee — the name’s origin is unknown — and the area where they live is now widely acknowledged as the most African place in America. The Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor is a National Heritage Area and it was established by the U.S. Congress to recognize the unique culture of the Gullah Geechee people who have traditionally resided in the coastal areas and the sea islands of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. But where did these people come from? The Gullah are African Americans who live in the Lowcountry region of South Carolina and Georgia, which includes both the coastal plain and the Beaufort Sea Islands. We work every day at preserving Gullah. Slave owners fearful of tropical diseases made few trips to the islands, allowing the Gullah-Geechee to live in relative isolation. The National Park Service recently released a 272-page management plan for the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor, which stretches from Wilmington, N.C., to Jacksonville, Fla. "I live Gullah," Smalls says. Listen to the music and the words. The building is located in the former A.S. Varn & Son Oyster and Crab Factory, which served as the primary employment for most of the community until 1985. Nearly 500,000 Gullah/Geechee people inhabit a 500 mile stretch between Jacksonville, North Carolina and Jacksonville, Florida today. Towns once were often dotted with dirt roads and traversed by oxen, mules, and horses. Most of the Gullah/Geechee still live in rural communities of low-level, vernacular buildings along the Low Country mainland coast and on the barrier islands. There is a popular Gullah saying that "Cumya can't tell Binya," or in other words, those that have come here (the Cumyas) can't tell those who have been here for generations (the Binyas) how to best live life in these parts - because they are the true natives of this land, and the Gullah spirit is ingrained in the culture here, then and now. “They still live in rural communities in the coastal region and on the Sea Islands of those two states, and they still retain many elements of African language and culture.” The Gullah Heritage Corridor stretches from St. Augustine, Florida up to Wilmington, North Carolina, and Hilton Head Island … The Gullah are known for preserving more of their African linguistic and cultural heritage than any other African-American community in … A large number of these Gullah people live in rural areas on the Sea Islands which are located off the coast of South Carolina and Georgia. On Hilton Head Island, Gullah-Geechee culture is reflected in the traditions and foods of historic families who live on heirs’ property. The property … Study it carefully, and … From the food to the language, the Pin Point Heritage Museum in Savannah, Georgia, provides visitors with comprehensive information about Gullah and Geechee history from those who lived it.
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