Arts & Culture

A Gullah Geechee Celebration

Get a taste of Gullah Geechee traditions at this Conway, South Carolina, conference

Photo: courtesy of IGGAD

A quilting exhibit at the International Gullah Geechee and African Diaspora Conference.

On the islands off the coasts of Georgia and South Carolina where descendants of West and Central Africans hold strong to Gullah Geechee traditions, rice is the basis of beloved dishes including red rice and crab rice. During the International Gullah Geechee and African Diaspora Conference (February 25–26) at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, South Carolina, food trucks will offer samples of these and other dishes of the African diaspora. “We’re also hosting chefs for cooking demonstrations to show guests how they can use local fresh ingredients to interpret the variations on Gullah Geechee culture that we see up and down the coast,” says director Alli Crandell, who adds, of the overall conference: “We want to showcase the immense depth and diversity of projects, voices, and expressions of Gullah Geechee culture in the wide region.” Main Street in Conway will pulse with dance performances, storytelling, and art workshops with Zenobia Harper, who makes traditional fabric dolls, and the ceramist Ashlyn Pope, whose work includes clay vessels that resemble traditional sweetgrass baskets.

photo: courtesy of IGGAD
Anita Singleton-Prathe shares Gullah folktales at last year’s festival.