(Source: Flickr / solley)
Mending a Break in a Rice-Field Bank, by Alice Ravenel Huger Smith
Chapel of Ease in Saint Helena Island, SC
Sweetgrass flowers in Charleston, SC
(Source: Flickr / 8x7)
(Source: Flickr / terrymanning1)
The Gullah were a major factor in the development of commercial fishing in the Sea Islands, but competition from those with larger resources have made it difficult to survive. Overfishing and pollution from the development and maintenance of golf resorts have also aided in the decline of shrimping as a way to earn a living.
Because the Gullah live along the coast and on barrier islands, seafood makes up a large part of their diet. But development on Hilton Head has resulted in fences and gates that have cut off much of the access to Gullah fishing grounds. Most of the Gullah-Geechee make their own fishing nets, an art that came from West Africa.
The Rev. Ben Williams of the Mount Calvary Baptist Church on Hilton Head Island still performs traditional river baptisms. As with fishing and hunting, developmenbt of private residential communitites along the highly valued marshes and rivers of the Sea Islands has limited the Gullah-Geechee’s access to the rivers where they perform the ceremonies.
In the 1950s, the Gullah children on Dauguskie Island attended the Mary Fields School during an era of segregation. Today there are only a few Gullah-Geechee living on Dauguskie, which has two resorts and a private residential community. As of 2005, Qur’an Green was the only remaining native islander attending Daufuskie Island Elementary School. On Sapelo Island in Georgia, about 13 children commute to the mainland for school daily via ferry.
— The Shadows of the Gullah project examines the changing landscape of the unique Lowcountry culture.
Members of Mount Calvary Baptist Church perform a river baptism
Hilton Head Island, SC
Rip Tide catch and bycatch
Hilton Head Island, SC
Brandon Dixon casts for shrimp just before sunrise
Hog Hammock on Sapelo Island, GA
Jamarcus and Johnathan Wilson head out to do some shrimping and crabbing
Sapelo Island, GA
De moon done rise en’ de win’ fetch de smell ob de maa’sh
F’um de haa’buh ob de lan’ wuh uh lub’.
T’engk’ Gawd fuh life en’ he’lt’ fuh sing ‘E, praise.
T’engk’ Gawd fuh uh bin bawn en’ uh gwi’ die een Chaa’stun
Sweetgrass basket stand along highway 17