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Afro-American Folklife Scholarship: A Case Study of the Sea Islands

The Gullah-speaking people of the South Carolina and Georgia Sea Islands are tradition-bearers of a distinctive folk culture. Created from African traditions and American circumstances, this culture allowed them not only to endure the collective tragedy of slavery but also to bequeath a notable and enduring heritage to posterity.

Public interest in the folk culture of the Sea Islands predated formation of the American Folklore Society (1888) by more than two decades. Popular interest in the Sea Islands had been stimulated by articles in Atlantic Monthly in the mid-1860s, and the first major field collection of American folk songs to be ...

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